As temperatures rise, so do opportunities for creative, summer-themed marketing. There are so many fun ways to celebrate the season while also bringing in the cash. Here are some ideas that can help heat up your summer sales.
1. Celebrate National Independent Retailers Month. July is all about #INDIERETAIL. Team up with other small retailers and cross-promote your businesses, or throw a block party with the other shops on your street. Who doesn’t love a party?
2. Tie your pricing to the temperature. When the mercury hits 90 degrees or above, offer customers 90-cent ice creams or give them 10% off their total purchase.
3. Put your logo in their face. Print your business name and logo on paper fans and hand them out at concerts in the park, farmers markets, the beach or anywhere else the public gathers on a hot day.
4. Host a weenie roast. Set up a grill outside your storefront and let the smell of sizzling hot dogs attract people to your business.
5. Take them out to the ballgame. Baseball season gives you loads of ways to treat your customers. Take your best clients to a game, host a friendly competition with another business and invite customers to join the team or hold a ticket giveaway for ten lucky winners who tweet out your business name. (Going to a baseball game can be a great business strategy, and in some cases it's even tax-deductible!)
6. Offer a sporting discount. Every time your local team hits a homerun, makes three goals in a row or wins a soccer match by five points or more offer customers a discount. More ideas: give away a free branded beach ball to the first 50 customers or serve up popsicles on the house.
7. Chalk it up. Break out the sidewalk chalk and decorate the area in front of your shop, cafe or office. Leave a basket of chalk outside with a sign inviting kids (and adults!) to add their own pavement art.
8. Crank up the A/C. On the hottest summer days, get customers in the door by posting a sign outside that reads, “Come on in, the A/C is on!” It’s that easy!
9. Give good coverage. For service industries, advertise, “We’ve got you covered this summer!.” Every time you make a sale, give away a bottle of sunscreen, sunglasses, visor, hat and/or a sun umbrella.
Finally, coming in at number ten, here’s a marketing idea that -- literally -- landed at my feet last week. A local landscaping company put their business card in a small Ziploc bag (along with a decorative rock to give it some heft) and flung it onto my driveway. It caught my attention, and the simple creativity of the idea made me grin. Sometimes all you need is a rock, a bag and a business card to reach new customers!
How will you heat up your marketing strategy this summer? What season-specific marketing have you done in the past?
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I've worked in print, broadcast and digital media for 20 years and managed to start a couple small businesses along the way. I love collaborating with and supporting creative folks who have great ideas. As Content Creator for the QB Community team, I’m excited to help other small-business owners be the best they can be!