FEATURE: Summer loving
It used to be that in the summer, most marketing activity was pretty much redundant, as it was seen as a poor time of year to get your message across to business customers who were busy thinking about their holidays. However, more recently, the summer months have become as good a time as any to market B2B products or services, as more people take holidays throughout the year, instead of just one annual vacation, and climate change means summers are hotter and longer than ever (this year excepted).
Of the many ways which B2B brands can take advantage of the seasonal conditions to promote their message, probably the most obvious is field marketing or experiential marketing, which enables face-to-face access to their target audience. Office staff are more likely to be out and about in their lunch hours during summer months, providing more opportunities for engaging them in dialogue, as demonstrated by the campaign of the month, produced by DNX for Webex (see page 16-17).
Alison Williams, chairman of the DMA's field marketing council, and of agency FDS Group, is understandably keen to promote the medium, and says that the ROI on running a field marketing campaign is high. We're currently running a B2B field marketing campaign for a client who is getting nearly £6 for every £1 of spend. This kind of marketing can be multi-dimensional with staff talking to the end-user, answering questions and highlighting differences between their product and a competitor's, she explains. As long as the campaign is well-thought through and employs trained staff, it can be a good opportunity to make the most of warm weather.