Welcome to the Dove Direct Print and Marketing Blog. Today's post, "Time to Finalize 1H21 Marketing Strategies," serves as a reminder for brands to layout first and second-quarter marketing blueprints for 2021. Before we dive in, we would like to offer congratulations to President Joseph R. Biden and Vice President Kamala D. Harris. We contend that all Americans should support their mission, given the enormous and multitude of issues facing the nation. President Biden has repeatedly assured the public that "Help is on the way." To that end, we pray and offer Godspeed to both of them to successfully execute their mission. Now, back to marketing. Unlike previous years, 2021 will be like no other. While marketing updates are routine, the calendar for 2021 will likely undergo multiple updates throughout the year as the pandemic continues its run across the globe. Brands and marketers may need to navigate in a constant state of uncertainty. You should expect consumer behavior to be in flux due to Covid-19, with government mandates that will impact most businesses and schools.
Quote of the Day: "All things being equal, people will do business with, and refer business to, those people they know, like, and trust." – Bob Burg
The Value of Marketing Preparation
The prep work for 1Q2021 should have been in the dustbin by August/September of the previous year. However, it is understandable if not. We understand. Given the pandemic and a hard-fought presidential election, 1Q21 has been in a holding pattern. We are here now.
It takes time to craft a media message, create tag-lines, develop creativity, and consolidate early media bookings. As you make and finalize the marketing calendar, we want to remind you about the consumer mindset and what they may have on their mind as we progress through a new year. These marketing focal points serve as a reminder that, pandemic or not, people need certain items beyond the basics throughout the year. The challenge in 2021 will be how to safely and profitably meet those needs during a pandemic.
Below, you'll find an outline of each month's Year-Round Sales Opportunities. You can use this list as a starting point if you have not already begun the process. In this blog, we will cover the 1H21 and follow-up in a couple of weeks with 2H21.
This list reflects annual sales ideas and needs. They also reflect and are done with both digital and traditional sales channels in mind. Depending on your target customers, markets, buying behavior, buying habits, and the economy's state, you may need to adjust accordingly.
Fuel and Energy Dealers
iTunes and CD's
NFL Super Bowl (generally around the 28th)
We recommend checking historical gross sales receipts to aid in determining which products or services you should be aggressively marketing at this time. We will make this point for each section. Beyond bestsellers, you want to take time to review any new trends that your brand may leverage.
Tax-Related Services ad Products
Bookstores (online book sales)
Warm travel destinations or Ski trips
Cold and flu-related products
Activities for winter weather
Valentine's Day (14th)
Be sure to include the historical best gross sales receipt performers for the month of February, along with any new trends.
1st day of Spring (20th)/Spring Break
Building Supply Stores
Tax-Related Services and Products
St. Patrick's Day (17th)
Be sure to include the historical best gross sales receipt performers for the month of March, along with any new trends.
Remember, as you develop your seasonal marketing strategies, we strongly recommend matching your list with psychographic associations. For example, people who buy allergy medicines are more likely to play outdoor sports or be more likely to participate in gardening. Similarly, folks who build a new home are more likely to choose an item for the house, such as a new appliance or office furniture.
Some may think these tactics are unnecessary with marketing in general. However, businesses will thrive and grow when implementing a process and a particular set of behavioral patterns that reflect seasonal sales opportunities.
April/Second Quarter Kickoff
Spring cleaning/Repairs for homes
Investment and retirement planning
Lawn and garden stores
"Keep America Beautiful"
Earth Day (22nd)
Again, include any bestsellers and any new trends that your brand can leverage in April.
Mother's Day (9th)
Sporting goods/Clothing stores
Cards and Gifts
NHL Stanley Cup
Cinco de Mayo (5th)
Memorial Day (31st)
As we are approaching mid-way, you should have a way to monitor the impact of Covid-19 on the plans you are putting into place. Depending on the vaccine rollout and distribution, you may need to modify your plans. May is also an excellent time to think about the second half if you have not already done so.
Local Tourist destinations
New auto dealers/2022 New Models
Flag Day (14th)
Preparation for Independence Day (25th)
Father's Day (20th)
First Day of Summer (21st)
Historical bestsellers, trends, and newly identified needs and wants may alter your strategy. If the pandemic has taught us anything, it has shown us to be flexible and manage in a world of change and disruption.
The Seasonal Buying Opportunities Guide for 1H21 can help you engage with online targets. It will help you with ways to consider how to engage online targets—a less arduous task than it may seem, as purchasing behavior habits and mindsets are habit-forming. Frankly, people are already programmed to receive and respond to seasonal offerings.
The online social media platforms provide an immediate way to engage with potential customers. Social sites like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, and others are ideal for engagement. With a little digging, you can find friends who tend to like or talk consistently about particular subjects that matter to them.
Once you have identified your social media channel, find friends and followers via subject matter discussions or groups, and continue observing family and friends' pictures. You will view features about your targets that you may use in the marketing. Picture surfing is not a waste of time. As the saying goes, a picture is worth a thousand words. These pictures can help you determine how to engage with your audience.
Now, observe the "speak" language of these targeted friends/followers and craft your messages to fall in lockstep with the discussions. Test the target market for responses from teaser conversations about the product/service BEFORE you start the marketing push.
Remember, particularly in the case of Facebook; these users do not generally respond immediately to ads. Keep in mind, however, that advertising and marketing is a numbers game. The larger the target base, the more likely you will experience a quick response from the Facebook world.
Lastly, understand that only 1% of the targeted market (the 1% thin theory) needs what you are selling at the moment they receive your message.
Remember to Add Print
Direct mail technology has kept pace with digital technological advancements. Variable data printing (VDP) allows for a host of data points to factor in better engagement. Selecting the right audience for your campaign, extending the right offer at the right time, and displaying elements that appeal to each recipient can help lift marketing results. This data can pinpoint several variables that make those direct mail pieces personalized, way beyond first and last name. With VDP, you can change call-to-actions, graphics, text, offers, colors, language, and more, all in a single print job. Lastly, print marketing is the most trustworthy according to recent research, and equally important, print is known to improve digital marketing efforts.
We contend that the marketing space will have its challenges in 2021; however, we remain cautiously hopeful as the year unfolds. Beyond cost-cutting measures to stave off closings and layoffs, the marketing campaign can be an effective spend to maintain or grow share. By including a direct mail marketing component in any marketing outreach, you can help lift digital response and engagement rates. Direct mail can, in particular, help engagement rates if email and other digital efforts deliver less than stellar results. Should you need an organization to partner with for direct mail campaigning planning that can provide VDP from printing to mailing, Dove Direct should be on your contact list. Thanks for stopping by and taking a moment to read "Time to Finalize 1H21 Marketing Strategies."
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