Carrie Hildebrand
1 week ago - 6 min read

Planning ahead:

Don’t let your marketing strategy go on vacation when you do.

After yet another long winter, it feels like we’re finally into spring. Patios are going up, the cruise ships are starting to arrive, and our winter boots have been triumphantly replaced with actual shoes. While it may seem like your summer vacation is still a long way off, now is the perfect time to think about what will happen to your marketing while you’re hitting the beach.

We all want to relax and enjoy those precious summer months, but that doesn’t mean your brand can’t keep working for you in the background. In fact, there are plenty of ways to keep your marketing strategy on track—even when you’re floating in a pool with an umbrella in your drink.

Before you pack your beach bag, call your marketing team.

While we may have to suffer through rainy spring weather a little longer, the good news is that you still have time to get a great marketing strategy in place before you head off on summer vacation. Your digital storefront is always open, so it’s important to maintain your online presence even if you’ll be operating under summer hours or working with a smaller team. Even more good news? There are plenty of ways we can help you with that.

Email Marketing

A good email marketing strategy is one of the most effective and affordable ways to stay engaged with your customers. While many businesses do have an email marketing platform (such as Mail Chimp or Constant Contact), they’re frequently under-utilized. For small and medium sized businesses in particular, this is a missed opportunity for affordable and effective marketing.

Email marketing is a great way to build relationships, and is an ideal content marketing tool because of the ability to measure and tailor your messaging. Thoughtful consideration of content and iterative testing can give valuable insights to your client base and increase the effectiveness of your marketing efforts. Even if you’re planning to send out timely content (such as upcoming events and promotions), you can create and schedule these messages in advance and have them roll out over the summer months.

SEO

Maintaining strong search engine optimization for your website is crucial to gaining, and keeping, a competitive edge.

Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of improving your rank on search engines and bringing traffic to your website. Simply put, it’s about reaching the right audience, converting them into customers, and directing them toward the solutions you can offer. While this is something that can be built into your site before launch, it can also be implemented on an existing site. In either case, it requires constant monitoring and updates in order to work effectively and give you that competitive edge.

The SEO audit, which allows us to see what your current digital footprint looks like, will often yield interesting results about who your audience is and how they’re finding you (or finding your competitors instead of you).

If you know that you’ll be gearing up for a marketing push in the fall, doing this recon work over the summer is a great way to help inform your plan and help guide your efforts.

Digital Service and Support

Unlike a print piece, a website is a living thing that requires regular maintenance and monitoring. Obviously you don’t want to be worrying about babysitting your site while you enjoy a much needed vacation, so that’s where we come in.

In addition to providing hosting, backups, and archiving for your site, our digital team can also provide 24/7 service, support, and security monitoring to make sure your site is protected and functioning as it should. Think of us as a combination of the kindly neighbour who checks your mail while you’re away and the high-tech security system that detects potential intruders in real time.

Digital Marketing by Think Marketing.

“I’ll deal with that when I get back from vacation” and other lies we tell ourselves.

Another important consideration is whether you’d like to do any marketing in September. A lot of businesses like to re-engage with their customers as people settle back into their routines, which can be a great strategy. The thing is, if you want to have a marketing strategy that leverages this timeliness, you probably need to get the ball rolling sooner than later.

Even though there are months between now and early fall, the summer can be tricky for getting things done. Conflicting vacation schedules often mean that processes are held up for weeks—or months—at a time, so it can be dangerous to count on quick turnaround times (especially if multiple people are required for approval on a given project). Because of this, things can often stagnate until early September, at which point it’s probably too late to catch the wave on that marketing push.

Luckily, there’s still plenty of time for you to get a jump on things and get an effective strategy in place. Nobody wants to come back from vacation to rushed deadlines, chaos, and missed opportunities. To be honest, it stresses me out just thinking about it. That’s why we’re so eager to help you plan ahead and make your marketing dollars go as far as possible.

Brand Refresh

Nothing says “fresh start” like back to school season, which is why it’s such a great time to take a look at your brand’s visual identity. While you want to stay true to what your brand stands for, you also want to make sure it doesn’t appear dated. Whether you want to evolve your logo, update your colour palate, change your signage, or all of the above, we love nothing more than giving brands a makeover.

If you want to dig in a little deeper, we can take you through a brand discovery process that helps us identify your brand’s foundation, brand promise, core values, purpose, and competitive positioning. This can be a great way to re-engage your team and inject a little brand pride into your corporate culture.

Website

Your website should be a useful and effective tool that helps you meet your marketing goals. If it isn’t easy for customers to use, or easy for you to update, then it’s not doing what it should. That digital storefront is such an important part of your marketing, and can do so much for you if you let it.

So whether you think you need a more user-friendly site or have a specific timely campaign in mind, it’s a great idea to start nice and early. While it may be possible to pump a website out quickly to meet a deadline, you’re always going to have a more functional and appealing product if you allow time for targeted strategy, competitive analysis, and delicious design.

Campaigns

Between back to school and the holiday season build up, the autumn months can be a crucial time for both print and online campaigns. Now please don’t get mad because I’m bringing up Christmas this early, but the timing for your fall advertisements should probably be on your radar soon. If you want a campaign ready to go in autumn, you probably want to get things in order a couple of months in advance. But if those months happen to be July and August, well…you get the idea.

Whether you’re thinking about doing billboards, online ads, radio, or a social media campaign, we want in! We love finding creative ways to show the world how awesome you are, whatever the medium.

Do your future self a favour.

A thoughtful strategy is always better than a reactive scramble. Think about how relaxed you’ll be coming back after vacation. You have a healthy glow, you’re well-rested, and have lots of happy new memories to make you smile. The last thing you want to give that happy you is an ulcer-inducing deadline.

Vacation Memes by Think Marketing

Literally all of us are guilty of putting things off from time to time, but if you find yourself feeling keen and full of energy as the days get longer and sunnier, give us a call! Your future self will thank you.

 

Author
Carrie Hildebrand

With her passion for writing and inherent organizational skills, Carrie can create a strategic content plan that will give your online presence real impact. When it comes to crafting a statement or finding just the right words to convey your message, this copy-writing social media guru has you covered.