It's hard to believe, but we're halfway through the summer season. (It's even more hard to believe if you're sitting in San Francisco like we are, bundled up in a sweatshirt and wearing a beanie.) But fear not: summer isn't over yet, and if anything, the halfway point is a good time to reflect on what you did — and didn't do — to capitalize on the season. Therefore, we encourage you to consider the following questions:
Did you remember to capitalize on the summer season? Or to put it another way, did you grow and strengthen your brand by capitalizing on the inherent fun that summer signifies? As we noted in our piece on rolling a summer marketing campaign for financial firms, we hope you took some of the rituals of summer — like road trips, BBQs, and vacations — and built campaigns around them. For example, successful financial brands encouraged their customers to set aside money for vacation while embracing lighthearted themes and imagery like sun, the open road and beach time.
Did you revisit your buyer personas? Your summer marketing campaign should have been predicated on a thorough understand of who, exactly, you wanted to reach. Therefore, a thorough analysis of your buyer personas should have been in order. Sure, everyone loves summer, but specific buyer personas align best with unique elements of summer. For example, a married working woman with children is more interested in saving money for a trip to Big Sur and not tailgating in the parking lot of a Giant's game. In other words: Did you look at each persona's demographic information, including education, age, salary and personal interests and design your summer marketing campaign accordingly? We hope so!
Did you remember to send out messages even when on vacation? Just because you were lounging by Lake Tahoe doesn't mean your prospects were doing the same. Ideally, your team embraced the power of marketing automation tools and you were able to automate key tasks across multiple delivery channels, especially social media, email and blogging. Let's take the latter category. Were you able to roll out tools like Dlvr.it, which automatically sends out updates to Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+, and other networks once a post is published? Our fingers are crossed.
Did you show off your "summer expertise?" Your inbound marketing strategy is comprised of more than promotions, contests or ad campaigns. To reach customers and educate them around your brand you need to consistently exude expertise and professionalism across inbound marketing channels like social media and blogs. Therefore, we're cautiously optimistic that your posted blogs and content on social media around things like "Top 7 California Road Trips." We hope you dropped an epic sunrise photo on Instagram and asking followers, "Where's the best place in California to catch a sunset?" And we wonder if you turned to your networks for advice, asking things like, "Can any suggest a great B&B in Napa?"
If you answered "no" to any of these questions, that's perfectly fine. After all, it's summer. You were taking it easy. The good news, as we noted, is that summer isn't over. In fact, given the fact that September is actually the warmest month in Northern California, it hasn't even begun yet! So there's still time to complement your summer marketing efforts to reach more people, strengthen your brand and expand your social media footprint.
Which reminds us: what elements of a summer marketing effort did we neglect to mention? What was the most successful element of your summer marketing campaign?