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Summer Marketing Tips & Secrets

As temperatures rise, your customers will be hitting beaches, pools, and vacation spots. While the summer months are good for tourist-focused businesses, downtown retailers and other companies may need to work harder to get noticed. Even businesses set up on the boardwalk need strong summer marketing campaigns to keep up with competition. Targeted messaging, community events, contests and discounts are summer marketing secrets that you can deploy for increased success.

Make Your Summer Marketing Message Fun and Relevant

If you don't have an appropriate message for the summertime that will appeal to customers, you might want to scale back your marketing for the season. For example, a boutique specializing in snowboard accessories isn't going to hit record sales during the warm months regardless of marketing efforts; save your advertising budget for a more appropriate time. If you offer products relevant to summer or any time of year, spread the word with fun messaging. Many retailers use window paint or sidewalk chalk to capture consumer attention with seasonal drawings that include messages about discounts. You can incorporate the same light-heartedness into your direct mail and email messages by leveraging whimsical images and text.

Summer Sales Ideas

One of the easiest summer marketing ideas is to offer special discounts or sales. People are naturally drawn to a deal, but you can enhance your sale by linking it to the weather or the community. If the local little league team wins the championship, offer a discount -- even better, offer 1 percent off for every run the little league team bats in during Saturday's game (with an appropriate limit, of course). Some companies offer 10 percent off purchases anytime the day's temperature rises over 100 degrees – this might be one of the best marketing ideas for theaters, ice cream shops and other businesses that offer relief from the heat. Get the word out on your special summer promotion with dynamic printed flyers.

Hold a Contest

Summer marketing that creates excitement and fun is likely to engage more of your customers. Host giveaways and contests to drive foot traffic or Internet interest. You don't have to offer a large prize to get people involved – a coffee shop might offer a daily chance to win a free drink for anyone who shares or likes the company's Facebook page, for example. To get people inside your store, offer a larger giveaway for those who sign up in person. Tie in poolside fun by inviting customers to pull a rubber duck from a wading pool to earn a discount or small prize – you can print the prize or discount information on the bottom of the duck.

Bring Your Business to the Community

Small businesses can find numerous free or low-cost marketing opportunities in their communities. Summer event planners love when businesses agree to sponsor activities, and a donation usually gets you listed in event advertisements and programs. Try to add at least one booth to your summer marketing plan. Booth space is often available at 5K runs, park concerts and other warm-month venues. Make sure your booth is attractive and your message is clear to consumers at the event. Consider custom-printed signs, banners and promotional items to spread awareness of your brand.

Summer can be a great time to boost your sales. Use fun summer marketing ideas to engage customers who might otherwise be busy with warm-weather activities. Incorporating colorful advertisements, contests and community events into you marketing strategy can help you develop affordable seasonal marketing that's good for your bottom line.

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