Editor’s Note: Technological Tools Can Put an End to DR’s Summertime Blues1 Jun, 2011 By: Thomas Haire Response
Ah, summer: Cookouts on the patio; relaxed afternoons at the beach; and weeklong vacations in the sun.
Oh, summer: Consumers away from their televisions; response rates falling; and marketers hoping that deep discounting of products online and at retail help make a minor dent in slow sales.
Personally, it’s hard not to look forward to the long sunny days and warm nights that begin to take hold this time of year. Professionally, though, many of you are experienced with the havoc vacation season and nice weather can wreak on direct response marketers. Traditionally one of the slowest times of year for As Seen on TV sales, many product marketers have learned how to work around these months and reach more available consumers at different times of year.
Of course, while it may feel like a good idea just to fold up shop for a couple of months and head to the beach — trust me when I say that I understand that mindset with the whirlwind of last month’s Response Expo and the months of arduous work that go into it just passed — you simply cannot operate a business that way. And, thankfully — with how mobile marketing, social media and retail opportunity are changing the game for DR marketers — it’s no longer necessary to just write off these months of sun tans and tropical cocktails.
After all, with the prevalence of online and mobile access, it’s hard to say that many people are ever really “on vacation” anymore. Think about it: When you take the family on a summer road trip, do you not take up your hotels’ offers of free or cheap Internet access? Do you just simply shut down your smartphone and not look at E-mail or your mobile apps? Do you not visit retail stores? Do your needs as a consumer cease as soon as you pack up the car and hit the road?
The answer, for most of us, is loud and clear: “Of course not!” Sure, we all take our down days to refresh. For instance, I shut down on E-mail for 36 hours of a weekend recently. But, when I got back onboard, I was right back in gear: ordering music from Amazon; refreshing my Starbucks card; and becoming the consumer marketers love all over again.
In this era of ever-present media, there’s no reason for direct response marketers — once beholden to consumers spending more time in front of their televisions — cannot adjust and make the summer months as effective as the rest of the year. Sure, total sales may fall for a three-month period, but that doesn’t mean you can’t use all the tools at your disposal to make the metrics work on that smaller scale.
Today’s tools can make summer something DR experts look forward to — both personally and professionally.