It’s spring once again, and as the weather gets nicer, your business gets busier.
Spring is an opportunity for revitalization and renewal. Put some energy back into your spring marketing efforts as you ramp up for the summer!
But how do you make sure you capitalize on the spring months so you can have your best busy season yet? Read on for some ideas to “spring clean” your business.
You’re not alone in your spring marketing preparations! Virtually every industry is hard at work in springtime. Here are a few activities that our major customer categories are focused on right now:
It’s the start of patio season for many restaurants in Canada! Many hospitality businesses are hiring new staff for the busy warmer months. The sun sets later, which means longer daylight hours and longer active working hours for many servers. This spring, you’ll likely be preparing your staff, menus and marketing to support the influx of customers. Make sure your spring marketing includes a teaser for the summer experience.
There are many notable holidays that come up in spring and summer, such as Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Canada Day, Independence Day, and Victoria Day. This means group outings and gift shopping! Long weekends and bright evenings offer an enticing opportunity for folks to get out and enjoy the retail experience. Not to mention, the warmer weather means more parties, get-togethers, and hosting. These activities all need a trip to the store to prepare for!
One sub-industry of note here is the golf industry. Most courses are open and booking up their weekend tee sheets. Golf has become even more popular as many first-time players have given the game a shot during the pandemic. Make sure your spring marketing caters to them, too! GGGolf is our club management software subsidiary – learn more about how to optimize your golf course operations by visiting gggolf.ca.
Have you changed your tires yet? The automotive industry is extremely busy during springtime with tire changeovers, car detailing, and the sale of new vehicles for the summer! Many people are preparing for road trips and want their vehicles to be in tip-top shape, so dealerships often offer maintenance packages as part of their spring marketing efforts.
Similar to the automotive industry above, the petroleum industry is supporting their customers this spring by helping them prepare for the road trips and cottage visits that are starting. Gas stations should be tailoring their spring marketing to reach these demographics, and ideally push for loyalty program sign-ups so that their customers get the best bang for their buck during the busy season.
So, how do you boost your spring marketing to prepare your business for the summer?
1. Review your goals
Perhaps you haven’t revisited your business plan in a while. What are your major goals for this year? If you made a list in January, is it still relevant now, with 5 months of the year under your belt?
Is your current technology the best fit for your business as it is today? What about for what you’d like to do in the near future? How easy is the checkout process for your staff members? Revisiting your technology solutions such as payment, point-of-sale, and marketing programs like gift cards and loyalty is a very important piece of your spring marketing plan. Make sure those operational elements are supporting you as you need them to. Speed, efficiency, and ease of use are top priority. If you need to, make a change before the busy season is in full swing.
2. Prepare your summer stock
As we mentioned earlier, the spring and summer months are chock-full of holidays and special events. Do an inventory review. Do you have enough gift cards in stock? What about rewards cards? Your spring marketing plan should include the creation and ordering of promotional items, such as posters and signage, to last you through the busy warm months. You wouldn’t want to be left in a position where you’ve run out of stock but the demand is still high!
(PSST: Are you an Ackroo customer? Check out the Ackroo Card Store for an easy reordering process!)
3. Plan out your promotions
Further to the above, take the time to plan out your promotions from now until at least September or October, if you haven’t done so already. You’ll thank us later! With a solid plan in place, you’ll be able to delegate energy to carrying out the promotions, and free up your time to evaluate whether they’re bringing in the ROI you expected. After all, what’s the point of putting time into a promotion only for it to fall short, and you don’t have time to figure out why?
4. Spring forward with an event
Kickstart your busy season with an event! With warmer weather comes the desire to get outside and visit with family and friends. Capitalize on this desire by offering an exciting event at your business. Have some giveaways, be charitable, or partner up with other local businesses to support each other. Drum up engagement and excitement for your business that will carry you into the summer!
5. Clean up your digital presence
Spring is a great time to refresh and renew. Take a look at what worked and what didn’t work for you in regards to digital marketing. That means your website, social media, and maybe even advertising. Try piloting a Google ad to see if that brings more traffic to your business. Run a giveaway through your Instagram page. Hire a marketing freelancer to review your online marketing and advise you how to improve. Or, ask us at Ackroo — we’d be happy to help you optimize your digital presence as you head into the busy season!
6. Re-energize your staff
Whether you’ve just been through hiring new staff or want to re-engage your existing ones, spring is a wonderful time to inject some excitement back into your employees. Ride the wave of new energy that comes with springtime!
Ask your employees for their advice on how to make the busy season more successful. You’ll be surprised what they have to say! By giving your staff a voice into how your business tackles the coming months, they’ll feel more engaged and more valued, which will only have a positive impact on your work culture and success.
Also, did you know you can use promotional gift cards as staff incentives? Run an internal contest to see who can boost the most sales, or garner the most customer engagement. Then, give the top employee a gift card loaded with a value (expiring or not!) that they can keep for themselves, or share with a friend or family member!
7. Try something new!
Spring brings to mind fresh new experiences. Taking chances. Finding inspiration. Try something new as part of your spring marketing!
Maybe you found some success last year with gift cards, but customers would rather have a digital version to bring up on their phones, so they don’t have to worry about remembering to bring the physical card. Digital gift cards are an affordable, modern solution. This spring, give eGift cards a try!
Email marketing is another exciting promotional tactic to add to your spring marketing plan… and beyond! Engage your customers further this year through a newsletter. If you have a rewards program, email marketing is an awesome opportunity to have regular conversations with your most loyal customers, and remind them why they love shopping with you. Learn more about how email marketing benefits your business here.
In conclusion, don’t let this ripe time of year and the opportunities it brings pass you by this year. Re-energize your spring marketing now so that you’re in a great place for when business heats up (figuratively and literally!) this summer.