Seasonal Advertising: Pros & Cons

Every year, businesses put aside a heft of their marketing budget for “in-season” advertising. In Florida, the peak tourist season spans from approximately December to March, when snowbirds head south for winter. Consumerism increases, and companies reach out to the influx of eyes and ears (and wallets) with targeted seasonal advertising.

And that’s a great idea. Ads are able to reach a wider and more diverse audience than they can throughout the rest of the year. Companies can use the same local exposure to reach new clients and expand brand awareness. However, there are also several reasons why businesses should limit in-season marketing, and recalculate their advertising budget for year-round investments.

The main reason is that seasonal advertising leads to seasonal business. If most of your advertising is aimed at those who only live in-state for one third of the year, it means you won’t be seeing business for two thirds of the year. Although you want to capitalize on seasonal crowds, make sure it’s never at the expense of the non-seasonal market.
Here are some tips for balancing your own seasonal advertising strategies to cultivate new business and keep it going throughout the year:

Maintain a Year-Round Presence
For continued brand awareness, it’s important to not only make a significant first impression in someone’s mind, but to repeatedly announce your brand, products and services until your prospective clients become familiar with who you are and what you can do for them. That means you should reinforce big in-season advertising campaigns with year-long reminders. This is not only good for encouraging new business, but will also remind past clients of your excellent services, and inspire them to use you again.

Never Automate Your Advertising
Even though you want your target audience to repeatedly encounter your brand throughout the year, what you don’t want to do is desensitize your audience to your message. Therefore, be sure that you’re constantly announcing yourself from new angles via mixed media platforms. Did you launch a comprehensive print ad campaign last season? Maybe this season calls for a radio spot or viral marketing strategy. Staying fresh as you frequently present your brand will keep your company top-of-mind. Another strategy is to run your ads erratically; instead of placing an ad in the paper every week, create a varied schedule so that it catches readers’ attention each time it’s viewed.

Catch the Less-Targeted Off-Season Audience
Think it’s brilliant to advertise at the height of the season? So does everyone else. Although in-season advertising has its merits, it also means heavy competition. On the other hand, advertising during the slow season means that your message may be more prominent, and have a greater opportunity to sink in. Everyone wants to stand out in the crowd, but doing so may come
at a high cost during the winter months. Meanwhile, when the season is slow or in transition, making an impact is not only more affordable, but poises you to reap high rewards—without all the hassle, pressure, cost and competition.

Although Florida’s busy season may tempt you to chase new and varied business, remember to never undervalue the merits of consistent business. Balanced, year-round advertising is the way to create a strong and lasting presence with loyal, return clientele.

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