The other day I heard a faint warbling sound in the sky. Looking up, I was able to spy a flight of sandhill cranes making their way north on their annual springtime migration. Just as swallows fly back to Capistrano, cranes, robins, geese, ducks -- and your customers -- all follow seasonal patterns.
Within a small range of variance these seasonal patterns repeat seemingly endlessly. Cranes, geese, and customers go where they need to go and want what they want when they want it and need it. Businesses can capitalize by recognizing these seasonal patterns, preparing for them, and marketing appropriately.
If I had a passion to photograph sandhill cranes flying in formation, I wouldn’t be standing on a dune, camera in hand, in January. I’d be out there right now craning my neck skyward. In other words, being in the right place at the right time. It’s the same with successful marketing to a customer’s peak, seasonal needs -- to catch them with the right offer in the right place at the right time.
Of course, many companies survive just fine by taking advantage of the seasonal needs of their customers without doing any special promoting or preparing, but when (or if) an aggressive competitor arrives on the scene, those businesspeople whine about “customer loyalty.” The fact remains, they have been just cherry-picking customers’ needs not actively seeking to whet their customers' taste buds.
Let’s tickle your imagination by taking a few moments. Realize that, due to seasonal patterns, there will soon be a group of people with a need (or want) for the products or services you sell. You can sit back and make some sales because there are people who know you have what they are seeking and find you convenient, or you can promote aggressively and capitalize on that seasonal need by being at the right place at the right time with the right offer.
It’s your choice, but if you want to sell to flocks of customers, promote the right offer to the right people at the right price and the right time.
Opinions are solely the writer's. Larry Galler, of Larry Galler & Associates, is a marketing and management consultant for small and mid-size companies. Learn about Larry’s new business growth program, “Beyond the Next Level,” by sending an email to email@example.com; put “Beyond” in the subject line.