The end of the summer holidays is almost here, so in the words of Game of Thrones, Winter is Coming. Yep, I went there.

For many, the summer months (particularly August) can bring a slump in sales as no one is in the office! Everyone tries to squeeze in a few more long weekends before the kids go back to school. But the period between September and December harshly kicks us out of our summer chill-zone and drops us into a time of chaos.

You can guarantee from September, your competitors will be aggressively going after your market to try and claw back the lost sales. You need to be ready to challenge them and make sure you get your customers engaged and end YOUR year with a bang.

Here’s Juicy’s top tips on how to use marketing strategy to boost sales:

1) Focus on your VIP customers

Look closely at your marketing results (particularly email and social stats) to determine which customers are both engaging AND buying from you. These could be classed as your VIP customers who show a lot of brand loyalty. These guys deserve a lot of love, so target them with exclusive offers, private event invites and maybe previews into new products/ offerings.

Next you could look at your active customers. This would be defined by those who are purchasing from you, but do not engage with your marketing. They still need some TLC, so consider sending them promotions, but on a different scale.

2) Don’t be afraid to disengage from inactive customers

If a customer has been inactive after a certain amount of time, try to re-engage them with an offer. If they don’t come back, don’t be afraid to cut them loose. Focus on the customers who give back. Mark them as being in a light or deep sleep, or whatever terminology you prefer! I once worked for a company who marked inactive clients as ‘dead’ which I thought was a little harsh…!

3) Create a referrals programme

Your active and VIP customers are likely to send new business your way, so make sure you have something nice to reward them with. You could create an event, but with an added incentive if they bring a friend along. Be sure to back the programme with solid terms and conditions; you don’t want to give away an expensive prize for a one-off £10 sale after all.

4) Ask for feedback/ ideas

Asking for feedback is a great way to drive engagement. A company who holds their hands up and admits it’s not perfect is admirable. Asking the people who deal with you day in, day out also provides invaluable feedback for you too. Just make sure you’re seen to be acting on the feedback.

You could also ask for ideas on what they want from you – do they want you to extend your business hours on the approach to Christmas, for example?

5) Maximise your presence at events

Attend big/ relevant events and showcase your attendance with real-time tools like Twitter. Network and keep any conversations going after the event. You’ll still be at the front of their minds, so utilise that and target them while they are still ‘hot’. Even if you just pop them an email thanking them for their time chatting to you, you’re still marketing yourself and your business. Also consider adding any new connections you make to your VIP list and leveraging your promotions.

If you start planning and implement these ideas in time for Q4, the summer slump will become a distant memory when you’re seeing in the New Year with a bang.

We specialise in Marketing Strategy and would love to help you implement a plan that works for you. Take a look at our strategy page, and get in touch if you’d like to discuss your needs further by calling 01256 335622.

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