What’s your seasonal marketing mix?
Companies, like people, form habits. With summer right around the corner, what are your business expectations for the season? Some people see the summer as a slow time for business, others see endless opportunities and consider it their busiest time.
© The Toro Company. All rights reserved.
Marketing Improves the ‘Slow’ Season
No matter what business you are in, like waves in the ocean, your business ebbs and flows. Gentle variations in business are the norm for most companies. However, the time of year matters more for some businesses than others. If your business has extreme seasonal ups (peaks) and downs (valleys), marketing can be a great way to improve and support the valleys.
If you work outside, or sell equipment to those who do, the beginning of summer is likely the equivalent of your holiday season. But what if your business is snow shovels or ice melt? How can marketing help you now?
Begin by clearly understanding the buying cycle of your customer. This helps you provide them with the appropriate content at the right time. When do people start considering the purchase of your products and services? You’ve got to provide them with relevant information depending on what stage of the buying cycle they are in.
If your products are purchased seasonally, what type of offers do you make to attract prospects?
- Do you send out coupons or incentives in advance of your slow or busy season?
- Do your ‘special’ offers have an end date?
- Do you provide discounts during the off-season?
- Are you tracking the results of your promotions?
- Do you communicate during the off-season?
One of your goals is to teach your consumers how to become better buyers of your products and services.
How Do You Sell a Refrigerator in Iceland?
Our perception is that Iceland has an abundance of cold, therefore there is no need for refrigeration. But people in Iceland live in heated homes like the rest of us and have a need to keep food cold. If their fridge breaks, they might be better off than someone living in South Florida in July, but only for a few days at most.
Make sure your marketing message addresses a specific issue your prospects can relate to.
Some companies are fortunate enough to have different products for different seasons. While this is nice for forecasting revenue, it can present challenges for their marketing departments.
Learn From Professionals
Let’s look at The Toro Company in Bloomington, Minnesota. The landscape equipment manufacturer known for lawnmowers and snow blowers makes sales in 90 countries around the world.
Seasonal sales balance their revenue stream over the course of a calendar year. In 2014 Toro celebrated its 100th anniversary and after spending time on their website, it’s easy to see why.
“To be the most trusted leader in solutions for the outdoor environment…”
Two things stand out about this vision:
The first is Trust – they strive to be the most trusted leader. How do you become a trusted leader? You become a resource for your audience.
The second is that Toro provides solutions, not power equipment.
- Solutions to grow your grass, mow your grass, and make it look beautiful
- Solutions to keep your equipment running, including a website with an abundance of educational content such as
- Help Center How-To videos for
- Maintenance tips
- Fuel issues
- Videos on
- Fuel selection
- Lawn striping (I always wanted to know how that was done – if you do too, check it out here)
- How to change the oil in your equipment
- Storing your equipment for the off-season
- Interactive sites
- Do-It-Yourself product catalogs
- How to choose the right mower
- Designing your own mower
- An entire education section covering everything from safety to service – including the Toro University Service Training Guides and 3-day classes.
That’s how you build trust.
The Grass is Always Greener
But what if your lawn doesn’t grow? (Besides having no need to cut it.) No worries! Toro goes beyond design and manufacturing of commercial and residential grounds equipment. Toro is one of the largest irrigation and sprinkler manufacturing companies in the world. So naturally, they teach people how to grow grass as well as cut it.
In 1966, Toro helped prepare the field for the first Super Bowl. They still do. Their equipment is used at sports venues around the world including Wimbledon, St. Andrews Links in Scotland, and Baltusrol Golf Club — host of the 2016 PGA Championship.
Innovating for Over 100 Years
Starting out as a tractor company, Toro added snow removal equipment as an option to its tractors in 1936. As a marketing innovator, Toro became the first lawn & garden company to advertise on television in 1956. For a fascinating, illustrated, history of the company click here.
One of the liabilities of seasonal content is ensuring that it is evergreen — relevant season after season. Toro handles this for its website with continuously updated seasonal content that is long-lasting. On the Toro website, you’ll find videos and information on storing your lawnmower for the winter, and getting it started in the spring. Its website is focused on solving customers’ problems.
Toro builds trust and expertise by allowing customers and prospects to learn in multiple ways on clean, colorful, interactive pages that support the products and services it sells.
Not convinced yet? Check out Toro’s Center for Advanced Turf Technology or any of the other links in this article.
What are you doing to build trust with your prospects? Let us know in the Comments section below. A real person reads and responds to all comments.
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Want help creating educational content that attracts high-quality leads to your website? Contact Crest for a free 30-minute consultation.
At Crest, we help companies:
- Create content that separates them from their competition
- Become subject matter experts in their field
- Measure the effectiveness of their marketing $$
- Generate a consistent pipeline of high-quality leads for less
- Turn clients into evangelists