Show of hands – who likes roller coasters? Ok, great. I’m sure we have some adrenaline junkies amongst our readers.
Now, who likes when their balance sheet looks like a roller coaster? Yeah, we didn’t think so.
This simple notion begs the question: Why don’t you just get off the ride?!
Stay with us here. What we’re going to illustrate for you in this blog is that your sales will reflect your marketing mix and strategy. If you’re viewing a consistent series of peaks and valleys, there’s a reason.
The Peak & Valley Marketing Mix
For the purpose of this blog, we’ll use the working title of “The Peaks & Valleys Marketing Mix.” As you can probably deduce from the name, the objective is to lessen the gap between highs and lows. We know what you’re saying: well duh. This seems so basic – and you’re right!
The challenge for businesses and brands, however, is different departments or colleagues will always have different preferences. One department might want to dump money into traditional channels while another embraces social media wholeheartedly. It’s difficult for small to medium size businesses to be methodical about their marketing.
Frequently, short term needs can derail longer-term marketing efforts. What would seem like common sense on paper frequently doesn’t play out that way in real life. That said we don’t need to lament the detriment of constantly riding highs and lows because you already get it. What we want to illustrate is how to maximize the effects of your marketing efforts to help you break the cycle.
Defining Marketing Peaks
A Marketing Peak is anything with a time sensitive and is a compelling call to action. Ex: Buy Now and Limited Time Only
Inherent to the language of a marketing tactic that’s a peak is a sense of urgency. You’re not going for a leisurely walk; you’re sprinting to the top. If you’re allocating all your resources to get to the peak, inevitably it’s going to be a long, lonely ride down. Once you plateau in that valley, concerns about generating new leads, brand awareness or sales are never far behind. While some of the peak tactics can be utilized at any time, these tactics are typically used to generate a spike in interest or sales.
- Email Marketing
- Event Marketing
- Social Media Advertisements
Defining Marketing Valleys
Contrasting the sprint to the top, think of that nice and easy jog along a flat plane, or a valley if you will. Valley tactics are ones that give you benefits over the long run. In order for these to be successful, you must be consistent. Marketing Valley tactics are generally more evergreen by nature.
- Social Media Management
- Blog Writing
- Website Maintenance
- Website Updates
3 Steps to a Successful Marketing Schedule
If you’re making decisions from a reactionary place, constantly starting and stopping, you will sabotage all your marketing efforts. It’s important to adopt a cool and calm mindset, while understanding that Peaks and Valleys are always going to be part of the Marketing Mix.
Pulling the plug when things naturally wind down means starting over. And over. And over. You can never accurately monitor your marketing return if your only benchmark is a “peak.”
It’s important to understand how your business ebbs and flows over 6, 12, and 18 months. Then, you can utilize these 3 steps moving forward.
1. Acknowledge & Plan
Plan for both peaks and valleys equally. To have success, you need both. Every business has a “busy” period, so don’t get consumed by your busy season and then lament the slow down in between. With some planning, you lessen the pain.
Create a simple 12-month calendar and populate with as much detail as possible: key holidays, busy/slow periods, etc. Seeing this laid out in detail makes planning much easier and allows you to target critical times.
2. Make the Most Out of Peaks
There’s a reason Kim Kardashian is famous; she keeps leveraging her 15 minutes of fame! Inevitably, you’ll come down from the peaks. The sale will end and the notoriety will fade, but you need to keep that buzz going.
This is where it’s time to divide and conquer. Identify a staff member that can take the lead on shifting from “peak” to “valley” so things move seamlessly and minimize the transition.
3. Maximize Down Time
How often have you heard “there’s not enough time”? Well, guess what, if you know there is a seasonal or natural lull to your business, use some of that down time to work on your business and not in it. Take some of those non-prioritized marketing or process tasks and get them tackled when you can gain clarity by not being stretched too thin. Or, use the down time to imagine your next big campaign that will maximize the busier times!
Let us know what you think in the comments!