SCORE Small Business Blog

Marketing Plans to Manage Seasonal Sales

This is the third of four articles in a series about how you can better manage your seasonal sales fluctuations. In the first articles we discussed Understanding Seasonal Sales Trends and Planning for Seasonal Sales. This articles covers Marketing Plans to Manage Seasonal Sales. The final article discusses How to Manage Cash Flow for Seasonal Sales.

Marketing Plans to Manage Seasonal Sales

Just as important as creating a sales plan that’s based on your historical sales trends is creating a seasonally-focused marketing plan that allows you to develop campaigns to smooth out your sales fluctuations. Your marketing plan drives the timetable for when to roll-out special promotions for seasonal items and should be closely aligned with what you’ve learned from analyzing your historical sales trends. Your sales trends and your marketing plan go hand-in-hand.

Your marketing plan can play a vital role in anticipating sales increases. After you’ve created and reviewed your historical sales trends (we covered this topic in the first part of this series), you can then plan your marketing campaigns to support both your high selling seasons and your low selling seasons.  You can do this by creating a marketing and promotions calendar that’s based on your historical sales trends and identifying upcoming marketing outreach that drives product sales for high seasonal sales and marked down or clearance items.

Some tips to remember in creating a marketing plan for your seasonal sales:

  • Identify the products (or product categories) that have high and low sales seasons.
  • Identify the customer profile that buys these products at their high sales seasons. Listen to what your customers are telling you they want and respond accordingly.
  • Study what the competition is doing.
  • Create specific campaigns around niche products to further drive sales during their historically high sales season, or as clearance sales to reduce inventory during their historical low sales seasons.
  • Consider the best way to reach both existing and new customers for each campaign, including newsletters, email blasts and social media outreach through your Twitter, Facebook and Google+ accounts.

A note about social media for your marketing outreach:  If you’ve not yet developed your social media outreach, remember that these are highly-focused and essentially free methods that allow you to talk directly to your customers. Just as importantly, they allow you to receive feedback that can have a direct impact on what types of products you offer. These communication channels can effectively support all of your marketing campaigns and keep you highly focused on your marketing messages.

In the next part of this series, we’ll discuss how to manage cash flow for seasonal sales.

Cynthia McCahonFounder and CEO,
After years of providing business planning and development services for private clients, Cynthia became acutely aware that many entrepreneurs struggled to develop accurate business plans and saw the need for a free tool like Enloop. | Facebook | @cmccahon | More from Cynthia

// |

Leave a Comment

More Blog Topics