Last year I was contacted by a potential client who does seasonal work. There was a problem, however. He contacted me during his on season. He really wanted a website, but he was too busy to put anything toward it. The season has passed, and now money is tight. So, he wants to wait until he's got some more padding in the bank account. I tried to encourage him to invest in advertising during his off season rather than sitting dormant for half the year. I guess the word advertising turned him off because the response was that, "Word of mouth works just fine." Is there folly in this logic? I think so.
Advertising and marketing aren't bad words. They don't insinuate pandering or begging for business. People just like to be able to say, "I don't advertise." Heck, I like to be able to say that. However, what I mean is that I don't take out ads. I don't take out ads because my line of work isn't meant to appeal to the masses. I do however market myself to my target audience, and I do it year-round. In fact, I market more in the off season.
If you divided your industry into two brackets: passive and aggressive, you would be able to predict how and when they will market. In the off season, the aggressive brands will continue to market themselves. The passive companies will try instead to save their money. This may seem wise at first, but let's look at the whole board. Two things happen during the off seasons.
I love using the hamburger analogy because it is so easy to see the benefits of proper marketing with it. The benefits are, of course, bountiful. I'd like to point out just two of them.
Shameless plug? Yes, but one of the best ways to market your business during the off season is through your own website. Whether you run a GoogleAd campaign, have a Facebook strategy, take out traditional ads or USE WORD OF MOUTH it is always good to be able to have somewhere to send people. Your website acts as a megaphone for your current clients. It also serves as an advertisement to your potential clients. Remember that when your are paying for advertising your are paying per exposure (no matter how you slice it). You do that because (basically) the more potential clients are exposed to you the more likely they are to use you. When you have an active website you have an avenue for essentially free exposure. It's all bang with no buck.