Posted on: July 20, 2023
Traditionally the summer holiday season was seen as tough for marketing and business development (BD). Most people viewed late July and the whole of August as a barren time for developing new and repeat business.
But with changes to people’s working patterns and a more flexible mindset from agile working, the summer season is starting to hold more promise.
For starters many are seeing the ‘quieter’ time as a very productive one. It’s enabling them to catch up on things, progress projects and make selection and purchasing decisions.
This year in particular, the challenging business growth people have experienced in the tougher economy mean many organisations are looking at Q3 and Q4 and planning how to make them commercially successful.
So embrace this summer as a time for encouraging marketing and BD opportunities to ripen. Here are some activities to get you started….
1 Diarise catch-up calls or online or in-person meetings
Remember, your contacts, clients and your prospective clients won’t be on holiday for the whole summer. Find out when your they’re away and schedule catch up meetings with them around that.
If it’s before their holiday, offer to help clear anything on their to-do list (as they’ll be eager to trim it down). If it’s after their holiday, use the opportunity to explore what their priorities are and if they’ve got any longer-term plans now they’re (hopefully) more rested and recharged.
2 Share valuable and helpful insights
As well as being a time for rest, the summer is often when people take stock of things. They also have time to catch up on emails, social media and all the things they’ve put to one side to ‘read later’.
If you have helpful insights, tips, advice or knowledge, now’s a good time to publicise and share them.
Consider producing and sharing articles, videos, podcasts, guides or factsheets which can help your target clients and contacts with their current and future to-dos. Where appropriate, reach out to individuals with a ‘I thought you might find this helpful given [and then tailor the rest to their specific circumstance]’.
Where you can, use the shared insight as a trigger to suggest a call or meeting. This will enable you to foster a wider conversation about their individual challenges and plans. Can you help further?
3 Try out new networking events
Many networking events continue throughout the summer – both in-person and online. These present a good opportunity to start to forge professional relationships with new contacts.
Look out for the ones relevant to your target sectors and territories and try them out. See which hold the greatest potential for you, so you can stick with the more promising ones throughout the Autumn/Winter.
4 Use any quiet time to boost your knowledge
The summer is also a good time to broaden your own commercial understanding about the sectors, territories and markets you focus on.
It’s always important to remain current with any latest developments, forecasts or incoming legislation. So use the season to catch up on latest news, reported trends and forecasts.
In doing so, consider how will these affect your target customers and contacts. What potential business opportunities do these create? Also what you should continue doing, stop doing and start doing as a result of what you’ve learned.
5 Prepare for a bountiful Autumn
Following on from point 4, start to plan your Autumn BD and marketing activities in more detail. Perhaps even use the time to undertake relevant professional development or any training or online courses you’ve been meaning to do.
Remember, you won’t be the only one planning. The summer is likely to be a good time for clients and potential clients too. Be sure to demonstrate that your accessible and around and can answer any questions, or help them kick about and further develop their ideas.
If you’re proactive and super responsive (when others are away or delay), they’re more likely to keep coming to you for help.
Whatever approach you take over the coming weeks, just don’t right off the summer! The season holds many opportunities if you just make the most of them.
If your organisation would benefit from advice on which marketing projects to focus on for the Autumn, please get in touch, and contact us or tel. 01483 429111.