I know, it feels like summer just started, and it did officially. But in the advertising world, you need to stay at least 90 days ahead of the game. That pretty much puts you in the middle of autumn. I like to stay a year ahead if possible, but at the very least, we should be thinking right now about our media, market, and message and what it looks/sounds like in the middle of September! What is your best customer doing in September? What are they concerned about? What are they thinking?
Here’s a quick checklist of questions and suggestions for killing it during 4th quarter 2015 (or as we say on the spreadsheets, “Q415”):
- Where does your revenue come from typically in Q4? What services or products sell more briskly than others?
- How can you take advantage of that?
- People’s schedules change most drastically in August. Back to school, fiscal years end, vacations end…daily routines come back. How can you take advantage of that in your advertising?
- The length of the day shortens in the fall, and screen time typically increases. Out-of-home activities are fewer, especially on weekdays. Television viewership is up, and new programs are launched. Does your strategy consider these changes?
- Fall is football season in America. Friday night prep, Saturday is college, and Sunday is pro. Is there a tie-in for your business in that mix anywhere?
- In September, you will be prepping for—you got it—Christmas. How can your September help you with your holiday advertising? What about product ordering? Hiring and training new staff to prepare?
- Do you need to change, tweak, or develop new sales collateral for the fall, or for next year? Start now so you don’t pay a premium for a rush.
In general, media flows with people’s routines; so summer is a great time to make media buys, create new advertising materials, ads, graphics, or other collateral. Printers aren’t usually as busy either, so pricing can be lower in the summer. Take advantage of that, and start early.
David Day is a marketing coach, brand architect, consultant, and ad agency owner. He helps clients make good decisions about marketing, advertising, and company culture. Connect with David at firstname.lastname@example.org