By India Dowley
Seasonal changes offer a chance to align marketing efforts with culturally significant moments. However, many businesses base their strategies on uninspired assumptions rather than a thoughtful examination of evolving consumer interests. For example, with adventurous getaways gaining traction in winter months, relying solely on your standard fireplace image may not be enough to attract guests. Similarly, adopting a "sun’s out, fun’s out" approach overlooks the desire for holidays that provide more than just cocktails and a beach experience.
To establish a meaningful connection with consumers, it's crucial to employ adaptive strategies that resonate with the season. This involves closely monitoring indicators that reveal micro-trends throughout the year, enabling the creation of specialised touchpoints tailored for shifts in the market. By tapping into cultural pulses, marketers can resonate across communities when inspiration strikes rather than going dark between tentpole moments. Here, we explore practical approaches – both online and IRL – to refining your marketing calendar for those in the travel and lifestyle space.
Perfect Seasonal Timing for Campaigns
Optimal timing for seasonal campaigns balances early inspiration with sustained desire. Nearly half of affluent travellers decide on luxury getaways more than three months ahead, so early teasers hook them without prematurely peaking. Timing rollouts to cue mood shifts around affluent planning behaviours, from aspirational browsing to wardrobe needs, cultural events and weather shifts, captures interest as desire builds, allowing time to fully convert guests.
Leverage Seasonal Partnerships
Identifying and collaborating with influencers tied to current seasonal interests results in co-created content that feels fresh. For example, Chinese restaurant Hakkasan London partners with influencers to promote special Chinese New Year tasting menus, while The Ritz in Paris collaborates with influencers and designers to celebrate Fashion Week. Move beyond surface-level tactical tie-ups based on followers and towards value-driven brand collaborations; potential partnerships could include interior designers, fashion stylists, chefs and like-minded brands.
Capitalise on Twixmas Ecommerce Opportunities
The time between Christmas and New Year's Eve brings an uptick in travel planning and bookings as anticipation builds for early 2024 getaways. With consumers on holiday during "twixmas", many brands witness increased browsing. Savvy digital marketers should optimise landing pages, boost paid ads, showcase sales and deploy “gift yourself” messaging around limited-time exclusive NYE offers and future booking credits.
Launch Seasonal Menu Specials and Activities
In addition to ingredient-driven updates, occasions drive interest so hotels and restaurants should amend food and beverage options to reflect holidays, events and seasonal happenings. This satisfies existing guests while tempting new patrons if timed right, as demonstrated across The Peninsula Hotel's Fashion Week cocktails and summer strawberry sangria. Meanwhile, hotels like The Pig optimise on-site programming to current seasonal interests through activities like wreath making and walled garden wanderings. Similarly, Equinox gym adapts in-demand offerings like revamped summer poolside fitness classes.
Surprise Loyalty Members With Relevant Rewards
Integrate internal data systems to deliver relevance. Surprise families returning the week before Christmas with matching holiday pyjamas or sending summer refreshment kits to members who often book with you. Consider gifting access to seasonal events or pop-up activations before the general public based on historical preferences and behaviours. Time-sensitive perks feel more exclusive as they foster a sense of urgency and scarcity which attracts consumers.
Showcase Seasonal Ambience Updates
Popular London venues like Annabel’s, Sexy Fish and Claridge's have nailed their visual activations to match each season flawlessly. Whether it's kaleidoscopic florals tumbling down their exterior or ghoulish Halloween displays drawing crowds around the corner, these places pull the crowds who queue around the corner in order to snap an Instagram-worthy shot. It’s a sure-fire way to cause a social media frenzy.
Spotlight Seasonal Products
Brands like Diptyque and Byredo remain top-of-mind through seasonal product drops suited to changing needs from rich autumnal candle scents to lightweight summer skincare formulas. Promoting these specialty seasonal collections builds brand connection and sales.
Adapt Your Digital Presence to the Seasons
Emails, social posts and landing pages can easily adopt seasonal themes through campaign hashtags, imagery, promotional product spotlights, weather-aware messages or hooks centred around cultural events tied to Wimbledon or Thanksgiving. Design dynamic website experiences fuelled by real-time data intelligence to tailor on-site messaging to the factors in play from weather to trending events and travel occasions identified in visitor behaviour. Customise offers, spotlight relevant packages and integrate custom, on-site recommendations to match identified seasonal interests.
Leverage Holiday Hashtags For Curated Social Content
Hashtags like #hotelhalloween allow properties to curate past seasonal content into highlight reels. Work with photographers or influencers year-round to capture relevant seasonal aesthetics for future holiday hooks rather than beginning from scratch each year.
Showcase Boutique Offerings Through Gifting Guides
Beyond dominating Q4, hospitality retailers stimulate sales through seasonal product spotlights, gift guides and pre-packaged sets suited to annual holidays and occasions year-round. British perfume brand Jo Loves gift sets connect with seasons through scent stories, while homeware boutiques like Year & Day curate tablescapes to complement alfresco barbecue weather or cosy indoor feasts. While December “gifting season” is an obvious one, underutilised opportunities exist between standard holidays. Showcase native products like customised picnic baskets for optimised on-page conversions beyond typical gifting days.
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