How to Use Seasonal Trends in Your Experiential Marketing
Careful Planning is Key
Seasons always hit at the same time, but you need to prepare in advance. This means your experiential marketing plans need to be arranged months before you need them. If you're working on a winter wonderland campaign, you don't want to wait until December to rush the planning. You'd start building the campaign in the summer so that it's ready to go when winter arrives. As you start researching and honing in your campaign ideas, pay close attention to trending internet searches. You can see what consumers are asking and use that to build your experiential marketing plan.
While advanced planning may seem detrimental as interests change regularly, you do need to predict consumer trends months in advance. You may not always be right. Don't let that keep you from trying. Learn from mistakes and use them to your advantage in the future. Have a back-up plan in place just in case. Your experiential marketing idea is to have an ice bar in the middle of winter. However, an early spring thaw leads to unexpectedly warm weather than melts all snow and ice. With an alternative plan, you won't have to cancel the event.
Don't Feel Limited by Time
Many major holidays are tied to seasons. Christmas may evoke thoughts of the snowy winter, but you could build a campaign that lasts for months by doing a countdown of the number of shopping days left. That first part of an experiential marketing campaign can continue to build into a last-minute celebration.
Each week, your business could give out discount coupons to people who sign up for your newsletter or sales flyer. You could use free samples to draw interest in your products. You'll use one holiday and season for months of increased consumer interest and interaction. As the holiday nears, look at trade shows or holiday bazaars where you can set up a booth and let shoppers purchase on-the-spot gift cards or products directly from you.
On Christmas Eve, you could host a giveaway where everyone who has interacted in some way for the past year all gained entries to win the prize. Rather than being on people's minds for a few weeks, you've been on their minds for months. There is one thing to keep in mind when you plan a holiday-themed event.
Make Sure You're Opening a Path for Communication
Part of a stellar marketing campaign are the doors you open. You want consumers to feel welcome reaching out to you. You don't want them to feel uncomfortable if they do reach out. If you fail to do that during your seasonal marketing event, you could end up losing customers.
Going back to the months-long campaign you could create for Christmas, there is the risk that you'll alienate consumers who don't celebrate that holiday. You might do better if you also honor Kwanzaa, Hanukkah, etc. Take the time to reach the traditions and include everyone.
When consumers do reach out, take time to thank them and ask questions to keep them interacting. Create conversations that tie in the season or seasonal holiday. Let that get others talking. As you build a community of followers, get to know their interests. Use the information you learn to key in on the things that matter most to your consumers for future marketing campaign plans.
Stick to Your Budget
Set a budget and stick to it. Even the best experiential marketing campaign can be a financial disaster if you exceed your budget. A little overage isn't a bad thing, but if you've spent hundreds or thousands more than you planned, any gain in consumer interest may not make up the extra money you spent. You'll end up having to cut costs on future marketing campaigns or swallowing the lost revenues. Neither option is going to benefit your company.
Pulling off experiential marketing campaigns each season is difficult when you have a limited number of staff members or a lack of experience. It's easy to blow your budget when it's all new to you. Factory 360 is happy to help you plan, implement, and keep your marketing campaign on budget. Give us a call to learn how we can help you get onto the minds of consumers throughout the year.