I hope you’re enjoying the summer, because you deserve it. For those who own or are responsible for an organization, I hope you are getting the break you deserve. Multiple recessions, pandemics, and regular everyday challenges have affected both you and your organization.
Now that your batteries are recharged, I need you to focus on marketing for the fall. Children returning to school and local and national elections help to quickly return our focus to business.
In order to be properly prepared for your fall marketing campaign, I’m asking you to take into account the following:
- The fall starts now. You should be in the process of creating your ads and planning your media buys, if you haven’t already. Ads shot in the summer have a shelf life into October. In addition, booking your media, especially local broadcast television, now during the political window is essential to making sure you have ads placed once those seeking elected office or influencing the outcome of our political process gobble up all the local inventory.
- Define your message. While you’re sipping a daiquiri on the beach, or sinking that twenty foot putt, please ponder what your message should be this fall. Do you need to reintroduce yourself to your customers, better defining who you are as a business? Or, is there a specific product or service line that is better promoted in September when consumers are more focused? You can’t be everything to your customers, nor can you promote everything you want to them all at once. You need to pick and choose what is the best message to deliver when there is a return to focus.
- Don’t let politics deter you. While it’s important to book your media now, don’t let what this former political consultant knows as the “silly season” affect your marketing tactics. Like with everything in business, you need to be nimble and creative. I would avoid the run up to the primaries on September 13th, taking off the first two weeks of September (8/29 – 9/13) from broadcast advertising (ABC, NBC, CBS, Fox). I would go up heavy from September 14th through October 8th. I would expect the general election will be at full throttle beginning the second week of October, and I would avoid broadcast TV for the final two to three weeks of October. I would then go up heavy again on November 9th through the first week of December. If you’ve been through this rodeo before, which many of our clients have, you book early and then work with the broadcasters to move your spots to everyone’s advantage.
- Cable TV and streaming need to be added into your mix. Just because you may want to avoid certain weeks on broadcast TV doesn’t mean you need to shut down your videos during those select weeks. With the amount of programming and inventory available on cable and streaming television, you should fill those off weeks on broadcast with ads on the channels that best reach your targeted audience. Cable news – CNN, Fox News Channel, and MSNBC – have all seen impressive ratings; and regardless of your political affiliation, remember both Democrats and Republicans buy products and services. Cable also has been smart to release some of its signature shows before the traditional fall release of new shows on broadcast. Local sports on cable traditionally are some of its highest performing programming. We’ve already purchased plenty of Red Sox, Bruins, Celtics, Monday Night Football and college football throughout the fall.
- Digital advertising further promotes your message. If you’ve read my previous blogs, and if you’ve gotten this far in this piece, you know videos aren’t just for TV anymore. Facebook, YouTube and contextual targeted video ads are an effective and affordable option to increase the exposure to your messaging. Thousands of impressions can be achieved by placing your videos – full length and edited down 15-second versions – on top social media platforms. In addition, you can serve your videos to consumers based on their real time video watching.
Just turn on your favorite show, or scroll through your feed, and you will see that the silly season of political advertising is already upon us. If you need any validation on where you should spend your own advertising dollars, take a look at what the campaigns are doing. They’re all over broadcast TV and cable. They are targeting you with videos and messages on social media. Remember the voters they seek are the same consumers you want.
Now you know, and it’s time to take the next step.