Strategic Planning for Seasonality

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James Green from 4Ps Marketing and Polly Ashman from Mark Warner discuss Strategic Planning for Seasonality at 4Ps EDGE on 6th March 2014

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  • Which holidays and events are important?"One of the things I see is these pained attempts to have a sale at Easter. Why would you have a Easter sale? We try to help our clients to be authentic and be real.“Identify the holidays and events throughout the year that matter to you and your audience and adapt your marketing strategy to apply to this. Easter may be a good time of the year for promotions but it may also be a great time of the year to engage with your audiences without pushing promotion.What are your competitors doing?There is nothing wrong with looking over the other side of the fence! If something worked well for a competitor why not look at how this may benefit you! At 4Ps Marketing we continually monitor competitor strategies to harness the elements which may be insightful for our clients.What is your audience looking for?“It’s mother’s day! Let’s write an article on how mum’s are awesome!”…No. We must look at how this may benefit the overarching business goal. If we are looking to push yoga in the winter months then why not promote a campaign or competition to encourage mum’s to get fit or work with bloggers to design a 12 week yoga 2 fit challenge. Use social channels such as Pinterest, Twitter, Facebook as well as Google trends to find out what your users are looking for around particular holidays. If you have stores then why not ask the customers directly through well organised focus groups?Products are boring?- Your customers don’t! Find ways to engage with them on a meaningful level through creative seasonal content.
  • Which holidays and events are important?"One of the things I see is these pained attempts to have a sale at Easter. Why would you have a Easter sale? We try to help our clients to be authentic and be real.“Identify the holidays and events throughout the year that matter to you and your audience and adapt your marketing strategy to apply to this. Easter may be a good time of the year for promotions but it may also be a great time of the year to engage with your audiences without pushing promotion.What are your competitors doing?There is nothing wrong with looking over the other side of the fence! If something worked well for a competitor why not look at how this may benefit you! At 4Ps Marketing we continually monitor competitor strategies to harness the elements which may be insightful for our clients.What is your audience looking for?“It’s mother’s day! Let’s write an article on how mum’s are awesome!”…No. We must look at how this may benefit the overarching business goal. If we are looking to push yoga in the winter months then why not promote a campaign or competition to encourage mum’s to get fit or work with bloggers to design a 12 week yoga 2 fit challenge. Use social channels such as Pinterest, Twitter, Facebook as well as Google trends to find out what your users are looking for around particular holidays. If you have stores then why not ask the customers directly through well organised focus groups?Products are boring?- Your customers don’t! Find ways to engage with them on a meaningful level through creative seasonal content.
  • The Sochi Games was a huge opportunity for usWith the inspirational British success of Jenny Jones and Lizzie YarnoldSochi has moved wintersports into the spotlight. The Ski Club of GB are already reporting a boost in beginner ski and snowboard enquiries off the back of the Sochi games.Snowsport England are reporting that indoor and outdoor slopes have been busier than ever following the games. People have realised that it’s not expensive to have a go.
  • We needed to take this opportunity and create a structured marketing campaign around it with clear goals and objectives We already had a lot of beginner ski content, packing lists, top tips, how to videos.It’s all very well having all this content, but it’s just as important to get it out into the market place so it can pull people back into the brandIt’s important to use your stakeholders effectivelyPress – We have sent a range of journalists from national, local and trade publications out to learn to ski. Gone are the days where you just get a page in the paper. Now the journalists are tweeting in real time and the piece appears online as well as in the paper.Bloggers – As of Jan 2014 we now have 6 family blogger ambassadors who will be working with us throughout the year. They have a huge reach within the family blogger community so are perfectly poised to help us seed content out. 2 of the bloggers are going skiing with their families for the first time this season, giving us the perfect opportunity to get some first hand rich content that comes from authoritative and highly regarded sources. Helen Willis’ kids can be seen here trying on their new ski kit and pre a lesson at the Snow Centre in Hemel HempsteadPartnerships – I don’t think companies should be afraid to partner with other brands. It’s a great way to share content and reach different audiences. On this particular campaign we worked with the Snow Centre, sending Helen’s kids off to have lessons. Skiplex (a treadmill type ski machine) which has venues in Reading, Basingstoke and Reading where we held a family weekend in February and Profeet the ski boot company who gave us some great tips on finding the best ski boots and what to look out for when you are hiring kit for the first time.Sales Staff – All though all the PR and content generation is great fun and easy to get swept up in we had to remember we were doing it all to sell more holidays. We have an amazing sales team and they are the ones that are making the conversions. We took some time out to chat them through some of our beginner content so they could advice new skiiers and direct them to certain areas of the website.So let’s look at the cold hard facts …. Did it work?Dedicated beginner ski weeks up 20%Ski School bookings up 15% YOYTop 4 for “Beginner Ski Holidays” keyword groupingsWe were really happy with the results and for the business it was great to get new customers through the door, who hopefully will book again in the future.
  • And now here is not to do it.I think this really speaks for its’ self!No GAP – hurricane Sandy was not an ‘opportunity’!
  • Schedule increases and decreasesUse your media channels to there strengths. We recommend to our clients that impactful channels such as PPC as well as media buying should be factored into the seasonal trend. Keyword and topical seasonality is crucial here. We also recommend closely monitoring the market for any expected changes to make sure you plan accordingly. For example…If you sold 100,000 pairs of snow boots last year as a result of heavy snow, however, this year we have no snow…Don’t complain that sales are down as this is unavoidable. Instead look at how you can leverage other products to get you through the low periods and adjust your campaigns.Editorial Calendar- Content and editorial calendars will most
  • ASOS is a great example of evergreen content and a brand who is leading the way in fashion publishing and the key is … they are no doing it on their own. They are harnessing the fashion community and bloggers to help them.The ASOS fashion finder is a real time style guide. Not only does ASOS publish content on the latest trends, styling essentials and key season pieces it also facilitates other fashionistas to style looks from pieces on the website and post them on their community feed. This is a great example of a symbiotic relationship between brands and the wider community. ASOS gets the content and the fashionsiats and bloggers get to showcase their style and push people to check out their blogs.
  • These two examples are of how topical content can be used to add a bit of a buzz around a brand. Both Not on the High Street and Ariel would have had an evergreen content strategy running throughout the year, but these two campaigns just gave them a bit extra to shot about,Not on the High Street ran a lovely campaign with family bloggers at the beginning of December where they offered each blogger 3 x £30 vouchers to spend on 3 family bloggers of their choice. The lucky bloggers then received some great presents from mystery blogger friends.I love Ariel’s campaign with fashion bloggers. Just before Paris fashion week Ariel send out a range of beautiful items of clothing to the fashion blogging community … the down side … they all had stains on them. The bloggers then had to use the Ariel stain remover to rescue their high fashion pieces of clothing. So clever – it’s not a natural synergy between Ariel and the bloggers, but worked so well.
  • This ski season for the first time we have selected 12 social media representatives in our Chalet Hotels across Europe. There mission is to bring our resorts to life through social media. It has been a huge success. We set them guidelines and targets concerning tone of voice and volume of interaction …. With many of them choosing to engage on social media far more often than we wanted.We have had some fantastic content come out of the campaign including; ski fitness tips, news, alpine cooking tips and events in resortAnd of course snow conditions all in real time … it is essential for us to be seen as an authority in the resorts we operate in and if we can be the first to be talking about fresh snow, new bars, events and piste conditions it’s only a positive.It’s been such a success we will be continuing the campaign in the summer months Beach Resorts.
  • Session looks up what the weather is and records it in a UA Session Custom Dimension. We can see what the weather is like where people looking at our site is. We also have a Custom Dimension recording the author and any other dimension
  • Strategic Planning for Seasonality

    1. 1. 4Ps Marketing Strategic Planning for Seasonality
    2. 2. Our People James Green Digital Account Manager 4Ps Marketing Polly Ashman Brand & Communications Manager Mark Warner
    3. 3. Identifying Opportunities & Trends Plan & Refine Brands are publishers Localised Content Understand the data Key Takeaway’s
    4. 4. Identifying Opportunities & Trends Which holidays and events are important? Think as a business!
    5. 5. Identifying Opportunities & Trends What are your competitors doing? But nobody talks about us? What is your audience looking for?
    6. 6. Identifying Opportunities & Trends
    7. 7. Identifying Opportunities & Trends Website Content Press Trips Blogger Outreach Partnerships Snow Centre Ski Plex Profeet (ski boots) Sales Staff Training
    8. 8. Identifying Opportunities & Trends How not to do it! Gap Hijack Hurricane #Sandy
    9. 9. Plan & Refine Scheduling increases and decreases Refine for ACT’S OF GOD!
    10. 10. Brands Are Publishers Time is money Evergreen vs topical content
    11. 11. Brands Are Publishers
    12. 12. Brands Are Publishers When: Paris Fashion Week Who: Ariel Sent fashion bloggers stained items of clothing When: Christmas Who: Not on the High Street Secret Santa – 3 x £30 Vouchers to spend on fellow bloggers
    13. 13. Localised Content Local influencer Weather and localised purchasing behaviour Localised advertising online/offline
    14. 14. Localised Content Social media representatives
    15. 15. Understanding The Data Real-time insight A change in behaviour
    16. 16. Key Takeaway’s Create content that has meaning Be diverse Think as a business not as a channel Localise your strategy Proactive and reactive data
    17. 17. Questions…

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