In the months of July and August, when most are on holidays, the sales numbers decline massively in many industries. Should you simply accept this or do something about it? Various marketing strategies for the summer slump are provided here.
The year-after-year summer slump: from good numbers to bad
Every year in July and August, nearly the entire world takes a summer break – literally. According to the Urlaubsbarometer von Europ Assistance (German) survey in the summer of 2022, 61 per cent of Germans want to go on holidays at least once. When the Mediterranean coast and other regions are populated with tourists, it means that life has come to a slumber in Germany. It does not happen to a large extent normally, but this phenomena, known as the summer slump, does lead to a nose-dive in retail sales. Some sellers record a decline of between 25 and 50 per cent. And because fewer people are using digital end devices during this time, online marketing campaigns are less profitable.
This summer break is also felt in the B2B segment. Particularly in the run-up to major purchasing decisions, which because in B2B are often based on specialist input from several departments, all the relevant employees should be available and not on their summer holidays. As a result, investments are usually moved up or delayed to early autumn.
Various marketing strategies for the summer months
How should companies react to this “time-out” from a marketing perspective? Here is an overview of potential strategies for the holiday time in the summer:
Adjust the offers to the time of year
Give your target group an incentive to buy, with the aim to break the decline in sales. Whether that be summer discounts or special promotions, blue light specials on surplus products or the promotion of goods and services that are in more demand in the summer than in the colder months.
Optimise your mobile presence
Those who have banked on their customers’ desktop computer experience should rethink this strategy for the summer months. After all, people take their smartphone with them on holidays or to the pool – but most likely not their laptop. Which is why the displaying of advertising messages should be optimised for mobile devices. This includes short and powerful subject lines, striking and clear copy, as well as dynamically contrasting images which can also be easily seen on displays on sunny days. Just as important: potential customers tend to now read their emails and posts in the evenings when they arrive back from their day. This should be kept in mind when communicating.
Adapt the marketing mix
Instead of slowing down the expenditure of the marketing team, a shift of the marketing mix may pay off. Advertise where the target group can be found: sponsor open-air events, consider setting up a pop-up store in the holiday-going region, organise outdoor product presentations or networking barbecue events. And in emails and newsletters, or within content marketing, pick up more on summer topics in which you can pack the message you want to communicate.
Get to work
In some sectors, it pays off to be extremely present in these months within online marketing – especially when the relevant competitors take a step back. If up to now you have been advertising your offers with a high financial investment in search engine ads, or have ranked low in organic searches, can ensure for more visibility much easier in the holiday time, grabbing the attention of potential customers. What’s more, it is much easier in the summer slump to bring topics to the media’s attention that are relevant to you. PR activities can thus pay off particularly well in this time of year.
Put a focus on international markets
Summer is not at the same time all over the world. If your business is international and active in the southern hemisphere, you can also counteract the decline in sales in these markets. In other European countries as well, it pays off to reinforce marketing measures in some cases, as not all nationalities are so travel-happy in the summer as the Germans.
Use the time for other things
When the daily workload becomes less in the summer is when it is time for the marketing team to get to work on other things: preparing product presentations, planning the run-up to the end of the year for the, particularly in B2B, strong sales upturn in autumn, or setting up the foundation for a successful upcoming trade show booth. The holiday-going months are also the perfect time to test new marketing approaches or conduct a comprehensive analysis of the first half of the year.