As I sit here writing this article, the temperature gauge is hitting the mid twenties and all I can think about is enjoying a nice cool 99 ice cream and I’d say pretty much everybody is experiencing the same feeling. As marketeers and business owners and/or managers we have to ask ourselves how can we take advantage of opportunities, provided by the often unpredictable weather, to boost our business sales.
In this article I will give you some examples of opportunities for local businesses to target customers based on the weather. I have chosen just a few examples but the same logic can be applied to many local businesses.
It’s A Scorcher
Over the past week in Ireland, the sun has been splitting the stones and as we all know the majority of Irish people love getting out and enjoying the good weather, whether it is visiting the local beach or park or taking part in our favourite outdoor activities. Whatever it is, our consumption increases as we enjoy more drinks to keep us cool, ice-cream for the kids (and ourselves), we eat out more often as we spend more time out doors and as temperatures soar we need to protect ourselves with sun-cream.
The opportunity: Marketing is about reaching the right customers at the right time and the good weather brings many opportunities for businesses such as pubs, restaurants, shops, garages and pharmacies, to target consumers in their local area.
One great strategy is to use Facebook to target customers based on their location. For example, a local newsagents sells Ice cream cones. They should create a Facebook campaign to create awareness that they sell ice cream. When a business creates an ad on Facebook, they can set a distance target radius, starting from 1 mile, around their business location, i.e the ad will only target customers within this radius. They should use effective images that will tempt the consumers and motivate consumers to purchase. Real and natural images work great so don’t be afraid to show some personality. An ad campaign on Facebook isn’t expensive and could even start from €1 a day budget.
This same strategy can apply to pubs, especially with a nice beer garden, restaurants, pharmacies (for sunscreen & after sun etc) and even doctor surgeries, for people who get over exposed and may need treatment.
The Big Freeze
Cold weather is something we are more accustomed to in Ireland and again this offers a number of opportunities for businesses to target customers based on the weather. I got married in December 2010, it was the time of the “big freeze” and all we heard about was people’s houses being flooded due to burst pipes etc. We have had many cold winters since, maybe not as extreme, but frozen and burst pipes and or broken central heating boilers are serious problems that affect a lot of consumers.
The opportunity: The previous example of a Facebook campaign can be used by many businesses but in this example we will look at opportunities provided by search engines. As we all know as soon as you need to find a product or service, you “Google” it. According to Google 95% of people in Ireland use Google search engine so that is why we should focus on it.
Often when we use search engines we are “intent” focused: we need a service and we are looking for the information to fulfill our need. In the example of a burst pipe or broken boiler, if you were a local plumber, a good strategy is to run a “Call Only” Google Adwords campaign. A “Call Only” campaign allows you to target customers in a certain geographic location, at certain times of the day, for certain services they may be looking for and it is focused on mobile traffic: this is about targetting the right customers at the right time in the right location.
With a “Call Only” ad it is linked to your phone number and you will receive a call directly to your phone instead of the customer being directed to your website (as it is with other Google Ads). Note: You pay when the customer clicks on your ad, the customer is then asked if they want to call your business and they have to click again to confirm the call. They may not confirm it but you pay when the ad is clicked.
The logic behind this strategy is that most people have smartphones and if they are experiencing difficulties they more than likely will use their phone to search for a local plumber rather than take the time to sit at a desktop, switch it on, wait for it to start etc. Again it is about reaching the right customer at the right time.
This weather based strategy can be applied by chimney cleaners, window cleaners, electricians etc.
Whatever your business, think about what services you offer or products you sell that are weather related and then start the right campaign for your business. As always, remember to analyse the results, modify your campaign if necessary and with the right approach you should see the benefits.
Images by Sevepb / Pixabay.com
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