Fall Marketing Ideas to Give Brands a Boost
Trends in consumer spending are affected by many issues, ranging from inflation and confidence in the economy to the time of year. Some industries may experience a slow-down in consumer demand during certain seasons (e.g. the tourism industry in the winter), while other industries experience a boost during those same seasons.
Because of this, there’s no one-size-fits-all approach that is appropriate for transitioning marketing campaign strategies from summer to fall. Rather, it’s important to take a look at each particular business and determine how best to capitalize on broader consumer trends from one season to the next. In other words, it’s essential to personalize each marketing campaign to each unique business.
Take stock before diving into your future plans.
As you prepare to move into the fourth quarter, it’s never a bad idea to take stock of how your marketing campaigns have performed so far this year. There are several ways to evaluate the success of a marketing campaign. When you launched your spring and summer campaigns this past year, you should have established clear goals for them.
For instance, perhaps the brand experienced PR problems and you decided to launch a social media campaign to highlight how the company intended to fix its mistakes and do better moving forward. To examine how well your social media campaign achieved in its aims, you can search relevant social media platforms for mentions of the brand.
Read through these mentions, tracking them as you go. Keep a tally of negative vs. positive sentiments directed toward the brand. Are the mentions trending more positive than negative? Then it appears your crisis management campaign was effective.
Some methods of evaluating the success of the past year’s marketing efforts are a bit more scientific. For instance, perhaps you ramped up your blogging efforts in an attempt to gain more organic inbound traffic. Check your website traffic numbers. Did your traffic improve?
Similarly, if you focused on pay-per-click (PPC) ad campaigns, you can check your metrics for those campaigns to evaluate the volume of clicks and, even more importantly, the number of conversions.
Adjust your goals as needed.
The year’s not quite over yet, and you might still have the same marketing goals headed into the fall as you did during the previous months. However, now might be a good time to make any necessary adjustments.
For example, if the brand recently added a new service offering, your new goal moving into the fall might be to increase awareness among your target demographics regarding that new service offering. Perhaps the business owner would like to book 50% more appointments for that service.
When you are establishing new marketing goals or tweaking existing ones, it’s important to relate them to your overall business objectives. Here’s a look at the relationships between them:
Overall Business Goal = Marketing Goal
- Raise brand awareness = Boost social media followers
- Reach new demographics = Increase website traffic
- Increase profits = Improve conversion rates
- Promote new products = Increase click-through rates on PPC ads
Establish SMART goals as you move from summer to fall. A SMART goal is one that is:
- S – Specific, with a definable metric
- M – Measurable, to determine how well you did compared to that metric
- A – Attainable with the resources and the time available to you
- R – Relevant or aligned with your overall business objectives
- T – Timely, as in you plan to accomplish the goal within a certain period of time (e.g. by winter)
Evaluate the brand’s charitable efforts.
If you own or manage a marketing agency, you might not have much say-so in your clients’ charitable efforts. However, it can be a good idea to have a chat with the business owner and/or manager about charitable initiatives that can put their business in the local spotlight.
Going that extra mile can appeal to the brand’s current and future customers—and it’s a good way to give back to the community.
Fall and winter are when consumers and businesses typically start to think more about charitable endeavors. One of the reasons for that is to sneak in some last-minute deductions for the year’s tax returns.
However, another major incentive is the glut of approaching holidays. From Thanksgiving onward, people start to think about giving to food banks, donating toys for tots, and so on.
If two of your marketing goals are to raise brand awareness and to cultivate a more positive brand image among consumers, then you can’t go wrong with charitable initiatives. Look for ways of tying an act of charity into business activities.
Be sure that the brand’s charitable actions will accomplish the twin goals of raising brand awareness and improving brand image. (In other words, you’ll need to spread the word about the charitable initiative.)
Here are a few ideas:
- Restaurants – Advertise for a fundraiser night for a local charity, such as a food bank or homeless shelter. Your marketing campaign can advise the restaurant’s patrons that a percentage of all sales on one particular evening will go toward the charity.
- Clothing stores – Encourage the business owner to organize a gently used clothing drive for those in need. If there has recently been a natural disaster in the region, such as a flood or wildfire, the clothing drive could benefit the survivors.
- Office supply stores and print shops – Talk to the business owner about organizing a back-to-school supply drive for local kids in need. They could set up a donation bin near the entrance and create signage to draw attention. Similarly, the business could also request donations of classroom supplies for local teachers, with a donation match offer by the business. (Teachers must often spend their own money on classroom supplies.)
Any type of business could establish a canned food drive to benefit local food pantries or host an employee volunteer day. On an employee volunteer day, the business would close or have reduced hours to allow its employees to volunteer for a charity of their choice in the local community (with full pay).
Whatever type of charitable initiative is chosen, do be sure to advertise it in advance. Post about it on the brand’s social media channels, put a pop-up banner on the home page of its website, and post an enthusiastic blog talking about giving back to the community. You can also send out press releases to local newspapers, radio stations, and TV stations.
The marketing doesn’t stop after the event is over, either. You can update the website’s pop-up banner to include stats regarding the success of the event (e.g. X number of employee volunteer hours worked or X amount of dollars raised).
Similarly, you can post a blog and social media updates about the outcome of the charitable event. Get as much mileage out of it as you can heading toward the end of the year.
Revamp the brand’s digital aesthetics.
Another way to transition your marketing campaigns from summer to fall is to tweak the brand’s digital aesthetics. You’ll definitely still want to retain the core brand color palette, of course, but you can include fall colors and imagery, as well.
One scientific study demonstrated that when people view imagery of gorgeous fall foliage, such as fall foliage on a mountainside, they may have a physiological and psychological reaction characterized by an improved mood and feelings of relaxation. This may increase positive feelings toward the brand.
Look for ways of adding fall leaves and other imagery to the brand’s digital presence. Sometimes, this might start with physical décor in the business’ actual store. Talk to the business owner about decorating the storefront with autumnal wreaths and similar décor, and take professional-looking pictures. Post the pictures on the website and the company’s Google Business Profile (GBP).
Capitalize on industry or consumer seasonal trends.
Often, an autumnal marketing strategy depends on the specific type of business that’s being promoted. Spend some time researching consumer and marketing trends in the company’s particular industry or niche. What are consumers looking for this time of year?
How are businesses similar to your client’s marketing themselves in the fall? The answers to these questions can offer valuable insights for your marketing campaign.
One obvious way in which consumer shopping trends can influence marketing is in the retail sector. If you are marketing a clothing store, for example, you’ll want the employees to populate the shelves and racks with cool weather clothing.
If you are promoting a sporting goods store, you’ll want the business owner to put the ice fishing equipment front and center. Grocery stores should put up easy-to-find displays with pumpkin spice items (coffee, muffins, etc.)
For service businesses, seasonality can sometimes be a bit more difficult to discern. You may want to take a look at data from previous autumns to evaluate customer trends.
For instance, if your client runs a plumbing business, you might notice that they tend to get lots of calls about broken garbage disposals right after Thanksgiving, as people tend to overwork this kitchen appliance during this food-intensive holiday.
And of course, clients who have an HVAC business will get calls from customers booking furnace tune-ups during the fall.
Look for ways of capitalizing on these customer trends. You can post advice on social media (e.g. “Here are the 5 things to not put down your garbage disposal this Thanksgiving).
You can also launch a PPC ad campaign that directs customers to digital coupons if they book an appointment for a fall-related service (e.g. “Get your furnace in shape for the winter with 10% off!”).
Plan ahead for holiday sales.
Speaking of seasonal discounts, now is the time to start thinking about holiday sales and other promotions. You definitely won’t want to wake up on November 15 and realize to your horror that you neglected to advertise for a Black Friday blowout sale.
When planning a Black Friday sale in collaboration with your clients, the first consideration is giftable items. What sort of items available from your company are
for office supply businesses and big box stores, but electronics, shoes, and clothing stores can also cash in on people most likely to give to other people?
Don’t forget, however, that people often use Black Friday discounts as justification to buy themselves a little something extra. If your client operates a spa, for example, this is a great time to advertise not only gift cards and giftable, take-home skincare items, but also indulgent services that people might want for themselves.
Beyond Black Friday, there are plenty of other opportunities for special promotions during the fall. Back to school shopping is particularly relevant the shopping rush, as can sporting goods brands.
Don’t forget about Halloween, either. Many types of businesses can offer special Halloween promotions. Think creatively to find a way to tie spookiness to your brand. For instance, if your client has a dog grooming business, they might offer a special on dog-friendly fur dye (e.g. “Complement your pup’s Halloween costume with a spooky fur color!”)
Populate your social media and blog editorial calendars with entries that will reflect the upcoming promotions. Beyond the initial announcement, it’s a good idea to remind customers about the promotions a few times in the weeks leading up to the sale.
Remember the proximity of fall marketing to winter marketing.
Although you’ll definitely want to focus on your autumn-related marketing efforts as summer winds to a close, you should keep in mind that time flies by fast and it will be winter before you know it. At least by late October or early November, if not sooner, you should block out part of your calendar to start planning for the next season’s marketing activities.
Winter is an exciting time in marketing, particularly for retail and ecommerce brands. You’ll want to have your social media editorial calendar, PPC ads, sales emails, and other key pieces in place before December arrives.
No matter the season, industry, or unique business needs, you can count on the team of marketing experts at Pennington Creative to develop highly impactful and fully personalized marketing campaigns for your business.
We work with both B2C and B2B businesses in all industries, and we provide white label solutions for both marketing agencies and in-house departments. Partner with Pennington today to elevate your brand and capitalize on changing consumer trends. Contact us for a complimentary discovery call!