Marketing opportunities for the ‘silly season’ of summer
Author Team TFG
Tues 31st July 2018
Summer is a notorious time of the year for marketers or PR executives. (Christmas in July anyone!?) Hoards of people are on holiday, newspapers run frivolous stories with Parliament in recess and the media world simply slows down for a few weeks. Or, does it? The ‘silly season’ could provide the perfect marketing opportunities for business to launch that campaign, run an event or break a story. Here’s our advice on how to capitalise on the right marketing opportunities during this quieter time of the year.
Hone your target audience
With the summer holidays in full swing, parents throughout the UK are looking for fun and affordable activities for their children. Parents spend nearly £600 entertaining their kids during the summer holidays, according to research by Post Office Money. So, if your company could offer something to appeal to them, you have a ready-made and captive audience for your marketing opportunities.
So, look at who your company wants to speak to and what they are likely to be doing at this time of the year to pinpoint the right marketing opportunities for your brand. Then, run it across your owned and earned media channels to maximise its impact in a relatively short space of time before normal service resumes in September.
Target Audience Example
Here at The Typeface Group, we’re enjoying working with the Winchester BID to support the independent shops in the historical city. We’ve launched an ‘Indie Trail’ which gives families the opportunity to go on a hunt throughout the high street looking for independent shops and collecting stamps in a specially-designed passport. With a brief to promote Winchester’s independent businesses during the summer holidays, we brought the two together for a fun and free family activity. Find out more about that, and how you can get involved, here.
What is happening?
Media activity may slow down during the summer months, but the marketing opportunities are still there if you look for them. For example, the World Cup and Wimbledon provided plenty of food for thought for the budding marketer this year. Takeaway companies, pubs and electrical retailers have all done well this summer. The Centre for Retail Research reported that the football led to £1 billion in extra spending, which could have doubled if England had made it to the final (sorry).
We won’t be lucky every year to have such great marketing opportunities as the World Cup landing at our feet. But, think outside of the box to tap into what the country is already talking about to reap the benefits for your brand. Not only will it give you the chance to use those trending hashtags in your tweets but your story may catch the eye of a journalist already writing about that particularly topical subject.
Silly season doesn’t impact all sectors
Not everyone will be impacted by the silly season. The marketing opportunities are still there and the competition for coverage does not go away just because the schools are out. For example, industry experts have claimed that healthcare communications don’t experience a silly season and that the summer is very much business-as-usual for them.
For some industries, the foot is to the floor both in the run up to and during the summer months. The obvious ones being the tourism and entertainment industries who will be ranking up their marketing opportunities for arguably their busiest time of the year. This is not just targeting that potentially lucrative parent market but also the millions of us who jet off on their holidays in August. The holiday industry is booming with 86% of Brits taking a holiday either in the UK or abroad in the 12 months leading to August 2016. Have a look and see if your company can appeal to holiday-goers. This could be either in preparation for their trip or to help them acclimatise when they are back in the UK and suffering from post-holiday blues, even if this is a little out of the ordinary for your company.
Take stock in-house
Silly season got its reputation because newspapers dropped a level of seriousness and ran stories about food looking like celebrities and crazed animals on the loose. If you have something which may appeal to a journalist’s sense of humour, add some personality to your brand and send out a funny press release for the most lighthearted of marketing opportunities. Readers love it because it’s different, quirky and, ultimately, entertaining. It could be just what you need to rejuvenate your communication channels.
The quieter time of the year does also provide a good chance to get your in-house business in order. Fill up that content plan, schedule up some social media, get a few blog posts written. However, keep on top of what staff you have in your own office to avoid overstretching a team which may be a little thin on the ground too. It could be a good opportunity to consider outsourcing some of your activity to ensure you’re making the most of those marketing opportunities in both the short and long term.
Silly season can bring in the results you want and need if you think outside of the box on how it could work for you, your brand and your in-house resources and capabilities. It could be with carefully targeted PR or a blog series but don’t miss the chance to maximise the summer marketing opportunities – but do whack on some sunscreen and enjoy the weather too!
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