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AMiable Solution #312: Preparing for What’s Next

They’re out there already: landscapers. Many of us woke up today to an inch or more of snow, but already the landscapers are working on a spring schedule, applying fresh new layers of mulch and preparing for flowers.

Landscapers know that to have beautiful blooms in April, they have to start laying the groundwork in late February or early March. Beauty doesn’t appear out of nowhere. Someone has to understand growth and weather patterns, do the weeding and prepping and planting, and time it all just right so that growth appears when the weather breaks.

You can say the same about marketing. You have to plan ahead to meet your customers’ needs when they need them, and one of the best ways to do that is with seasonal marketing.

While you might automatically assume that seasonal marketing is defined simply by a date on the calendar or a change in nature, it’s important to remember that your seasonal marketing could be tied to an annual event, a product’s life-cycle, or a service system.

It’s also important to remember that your “season” can be defined as long-term, short-term, or both.

What exactly is the difference? Long-term seasonal marketing, as the name implies, could last for months. It allows you to create and nurture promotions, offers, or deals around an ongoing or long-lasting seasonal event. The Christmas season, for example, typically begins in October or November and lasts into January.

Short-term seasonal marketing, on the other hand, lets you focus on a particular date or event and create one-time or time-limited campaigns. Short-term seasonal marketing can be done on its own or within a long-term seasonal marketing campaign. Think Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

How do you know which seasonal marketing strategy is best for you? It largely depends on your desired outcome. If you’re looking to build relationships and customer loyalty, long-term seasonal marketing enables you to build brand awareness without aggressive sales tactics. Brittany Coombs, Senior Manager for Oracle’s Marketing Cloud, says that long-term seasonal marketing is “less about instant uplift than increasing brand trust and, by extension, customer lifetime value.”

If, however, your goal is to engage customers and inspire them to respond now, not later, then short-term seasonal marketing may be your strategy of choice. The downside? While this tactic may get you the sale, it might not get you the customer.

Whatever season you choose, we hope you have a healthy harvest. Happy planting.

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