It’s that time of year again.  

Summer.

Sometimes it promises much and delivers little. Other times, as it has in the last 2 weeks, it literally scorches us into submission.

But do you know who I really feel sorry for at this unpredictable and fickle time of year? (Apart from the elderly, children and pets of course.) It’s those companies trying to sell us their seasonal wares – or in some cases their usual wares with a seasonal twist.

Never is the difficulty in planning more apparent than when you’re sat down in front of the television with the family on a Saturday night in July. With driving rain at your windows (and perhaps the thermostat turned up) you watch adverts from some poor retailer trying to get you excited about their BBQ sale or not-to-be-missed offers on paddling pools, sun cream and ice lollies when all you really need is a good rain coat and some wellington boots.

In fairness, they’ve gone with the odds. Realistically, by the middle of July, it should be barmy and warm outside, a gentle breeze wafting through the beautiful English blossoms. But we all know and love the English weather enough to know it is anything but predictable.

Ironically, when the weather is beautifully barmy, we’re probably more likely to be outdoors enjoying that BBQ or paddling in that pool that is so in-demand it has become a luxury item, that we don’t even see the TV ads promising us even more fun in this great weather with their fantastic summer offers.

But apart from this blog being a great opportunity to do the very British thing and talk about the weather, it does relate to a very real “thing”; seasonal marketing.

Seasonality provides different opportunities for different business sectors. For many businesses, like the types mentioned previously, seasonal opportunities are huge and often the most commercially critical times of their financial year.

For others, the seasons may not directly impact their business at all, but building a campaign around a season/seasonal event can help to engage people who might not ordinarily engage with their brand. 

For example, a Christmas campaign for AO.com the household appliance retailer used Christmas as their seasonal push. Launching their guide “A Guide to the Ultimate Christmas Dinner”, AO.com managed great success from a simple idea based around recipes using the 12 staple ingredients of Christmas.

However, an idea alone is not enough to guarantee success. Rather, what AO.com did right was ensure that the organisation, frequency, channels and campaign assets were well thought out and very well timed. 

Their seasonal campaign wasn’t simply adding a relevant headline or appropriate image to their “Festive Fancies”. They weren’t trying to push their products with a pleasant pun and dash of hucksterism. They took the time to understand their market, understand what made them tick, know what would get them engaged and took the time to give it to them. The campaign spanned continents, platforms and formats. People liked, commented and shared. And AO.com benefited.

Granted, not every SME has an AO.com sized budget. However, the lesson here is not about scale, but about thought and organisation and not falling foul of lazy marketing.

Want to plan your own seasonal spectacular campaign? Get in touch with the OlsenMetrix team. We’re a creative bunch with a strong reputation for helping SMEs get more from their marketing budgets.