Eric Wolk | March 19, 2019
Last month we saw the images of presidents appear in quite a few ads while this month we’re seeing lots of shamrocks to align with consumers’ mindsets and the planning of gatherings for corn beef and cabbage. Seasonality helps drive greater relevancy, interest and engagement which in turn produces ROI for marketers. Additionally, it enables marketers to stay better emotionally connected with their customers. Why? Because seasonality naturally aligns to consumers’ interests. It creates an opportunity to provide more timely and relevant messaging while also creating a sense of urgency. Here are three tips for marketers to take the benefit and effectiveness of seasonally focused messaging to the next level.
Think beyond the traditional “Hallmark holidays”
In addition to the traditional holidays, consider audiences and messaging built around seasonal activities, traditions and events. Some data providers, including Epsilon, roll out refreshed seasonal audiences at the beginning of every quarter. These audiences incorporate demographics, interests and verified seasonal purchase behaviors tied to various annual occurrences. For example, our spring seasonal audiences include Mother’s Day shoppers, as well as people with allergies, amusement park goers, MLB viewers and more.
Leverage consumer understanding and historical seasonal behaviors
While a seasonally focused message can better resonate, it is not a one-size-fits-all approach. For example, if a major home improvement store is trying to engage me through promoting the various pet-proofing products they offer in the days leading up to National Pet Day, while seasonal, that investment would fall short as I’m not a pet owner. Clearly the home improvement store does not have accurate data on who is and isn’t a pet owner. If, however, that same home improvement store partnered with a data provider that understood my interest in gardening and spending habits in early spring, and sent me gardening-focused messaging on the first 70-degree day, they have capitalized on a well-executed seasonal approach. It’s about understanding, through the data lens, each and every customer’s interests.
We worked with a major jeweler client, who wanted to be sure they were applying a seasonal approach to Valentine’s Day. So we built them an audience of buyers that had exhibited the type of purchase behaviors they were looking for during a similar time frame last year. Rather than a blanket approach assuming everyone is jewelry buyers on Valentine’s day, we were able to more precisely identify those with a higher propensity based on past behaviors, and the client built custom creative to ensure maximum impact. As a result of the strong performance, the jeweler has partnered with us to further explore other ‘seasonal occasions’ such as graduation and Mother’s Day.
Understand your results to increase future performance
We all know the drill. Testing and measurement are key when it comes to evaluating the success of our marketing programs. It’s important to understand performance to better plan for the future. Oftentimes seasonal audiences are ‘one time’ customers who are only purchasing and engaged because it’s a seasonal push or occurrence. Analyzing the results and understanding the pitfalls are essential to future planning.
So, take advantage of the benefits of better connecting with your focused audience around often overlooked seasonal events and celebratory occasions. Once you have identified an occasion that is a good match for your brand, consider partnering with a data provider who can help to ensure your speaking to the right customers and ensure your seasonal message is aligned with their interests. Seasonal data enables an element of creativity, encouraging marketers to think outside the box. Have fun and spring into seasonality.