It’s tempting isn’t it? A few days of sunshine or the onset of summer and the main or sole focus of baby products marketing and advertising turns to parasols, lightweight strollers and holiday and travel accessories.
And why not? Digital marketing tools and platforms let us react almost instantly to changes in climate, season, news stories and more. We can track the activity right through to online pounds spent with us, or numbers of visitors to our websites, or likes and retweets on social media and it makes us feel all warm and fuzzy inside. Here comes the ‘however’…
However, seasonal, short-term or tactical campaigns whilst being great for keeping things fresh can also prove to be rather too specific.
Unless the targets are selected by outstandingly marvellous deep and accurate data then a reliance on an ongoing series of micro-campaigns may start to leave a large chunk of your audience cold, however warm the weather is.
Whilst the tactical stuff is rolling out you also need the consistency of core messages to be maintained. For example, if you make or sell pram systems for newborns then by all means push the parasols when the sun has got his hat on, but keep promoting your pram systems too at the same time.
My reasoning for this is down to UK birth statistics. Around the turn of the century we had in the region of 600,000 babies born in the UK, and now it is upwards of 700,000. There are some peaks and troughs in the average daily numbers of births through the year but the shifts are hardly seismic. Summer is not a quiet period for births, far from it and there will be over 1,700 babies born every day this July and August, likely to rise closer to 2,000 in September and actually go past it on some days that month (26th is the most popular day of the year which equals a lot of Christmas jiggy).
The daily figures remain high through autumn and into winter and through to spring and then on to summer again. Every day of the year there are forthcoming new parents researching and shopping for pram systems, car seats, nappy bins, newborn sleeping bags. They don’t need stroller travel bags right now, they need newborn nouse.
Your marketing and advertising needs to be consistent in the core new parent product areas. By all means go tactical when the sun shines, or be more gifty when Christmas is looming, but not at the expense of your daily bread.
Better now to look at your customer data capture and record keeping. If you don’t have any proper means for recording customer data and what they buy and then extracting it easily, then invest some time and a little money in this area. You will have more success in selling accessories if you can send a targeted message to an individual customer showing them add-ons that are relevant to the pram system you know they have.
It is pointless trying to push messages about lightweight 6+ months strollers to pregnant ladies.
If you are planning your summer email newsletters and you just have one un-profiled list of recipients, then hedge your bets a bit more by making sure you have content and products in there for all parts of the buying and parenting cycle. Put the lightweight travel stroller in, but include something about a featured pram system also. Promote the baby wetsuits, but make it clear they are also available for up to 6 year olds too.
Showcase the Group 0+ car seats, but balance it with some high back boosters as well.
Something for everyone is better than nothing for most. It is not the best however.
If you have the data, then mine it. It is more time-consuming, but it is worth it. If from a little bit of time spent segmenting your database you can take your list of email contacts and confidently split it into two groups (e.g. parents with newborns to 6 months, and parents of 6 months to 18 months) then create 2 versions of your email newsletters and target your products and articles accordingly. It WILL give you better results and move you from confused farmer with a shotgun to marketing ninja sniper almost immediately. Well, maybe. Keep your website homepage balanced, and your social media accounts too. Make sure that the core products that win you customers and make you money all year around are still present and promoted.
At the very least this balanced campaign approach will keep you relevant to all members of your audience and that is exactly how you keep hold of them.
That, and telling really great jokes…such as “Did you hear about the man who drowned in a bowl of muesli?”
“A strong currant pulled him under”.
Did I keep hold of you???
If you have any questions about Digital Marketing and how you are or could be using it then please get in touch and we will be happy to chat about it with you. We can even train you up if you want to get started the right way…