Even if your business isn’t a storefront selling toys between Thanksgiving and Christmas, you still need to be aware of seasonality in marketing. There are factors to consider besides holidays and climate changes – marketers need to take into account buying behaviors across regions and industries. For example, Europeans don’t consider Black Friday to be their biggest shopping day of the year and a snow blower manufacturer probably wouldn’t want to promote their product in a local Hawaiian newspaper.
United States Versus Europe
Based on years of marketing to Europeans, we have learned that the market is exceptionally slow between July and August when many residents are taking their annual month-long vacation. In the same way, the US tends to have a significant drop off in response rates between November and January during the traditional holiday season. During these times we encourage remarketing or repeating campaigns and saving the fresh material for the peak season in each region.
There are also differences in seasonality trends regarding marketing techniques between Americans and Europeans. In Europe, customers respond better to relationship based activities such as formal invitations and phone calls versus Americans who react well to a more informal approach such as email. Similarly, Americans tend to participate in webinars versus Europeans who prefer to consume white papers. Take into consideration the type of material that each region prefers and tailor your marketing campaigns to those likes and dislikes.
January Versus June
Another seasonality concern for marketers is determining when to launch a campaign. When deciding on a product launch date or a marketing campaign kickoff, take into consideration seasonal factors and budget cycles. For example, it’s probably not a good idea to promote a sandcastle kit in November or to pitch a huge project to a client who is already over budget at the beginning of the quarter.
We recommend that our clients use a tool such as Google Trends to understand and measure seasonal fluctuations in search volume for keywords that relate to their business. For instance, if you understand seasonal peaks in your industry, you may write a blog on a topic that is relevant and timely which may lead to increased traffic to your website and a surge in sales.
Saturday Versus Tuesday
Day and time can also be lumped into the seasonality category because marketers are always searching for the optimal day and time to grab customer attention. Research has proven that best practices for B2B email marketing is to send on either Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday and to avoid Mondays and Fridays. However, if your business is B2C, you may consider Friday or Saturday a good day for an ad campaign when your customers are likely to make purchases over the weekend.
Time is an issue across the globe, so we urge clients to consider time zones when scheduling events. For example, when planning a webinar for US attendees, we recommend a start time of 11 a.m. or 1 p.m. (CST) so that businesses on both coasts are able to attend. Or, if you want to encourage international attendance, you may want to offer the webinar at two different times to accommodate participants from other countries in varied time zones.
Need help understanding how seasonality affects your marketing strategy? Contact Launch Marketing today! Be sure to follow us on Twitter or like us on Facebook to keep up with the latest B2B marketing tips and trends.