As Spring approaches, I hear many people mentioning things related to rebirth, renewal, cleaning house and starting fresh. In January, everyone focuses on resolutions, better time management, and sticking to the plan – this time. We plan our personal and business lives around the seasons.
Business owners often say they don’t need any marketing right now because “it’s my busy season.” Or they really need some marketing “right now” because it’s their “slow season.” While these responses illicit an urge to get up on my soapbox and deliver a lecture about being proactive versus reactive, I think I’ll make this simple:
If you are in business all year long, you are talking to customers and prospects all year long. If you are talking to customers all year long, you should be planning what to say to them (marketing) all year long.
Think of the lost opportunities to connect and form relationships if you aren’t planning your content. You have 365 days a year in which to tell your story. Sometimes you tell it in different ways based on the seasonality of your industry or particular business, but tell it nonetheless. The details of your marketing plan can dictate when you need to increase or decrease communication frequency, but don’t go away completely just because things are good and you are busy. This is often a time when customers feel taken for granted or ignored and can be lured away by your competition. If sales are good, you may not need to advertise sales, but you certainly can thank loyal customers, offer tips, or educate about your product or service. When things are slower, plan the appropriate marketing activities and campaigns.
It is important to remember that marketing and sales are not the same thing, even though they overlap and work together. Marketing is storytelling. The story is what creates the relationship. Relationships last all year long, they are not seasonal, even if your sales are. Regardless of whether you are wearing your winter beanie, spring bonnet, or summer ball cap, don’t ever take off your marketing hat, just change it with the seasons and you’ll be covered!