Since I posted about potential Valentines Day campaigns, I’ve spoken to a few marketers and the consensus seems to be that although it would be nice to profit well on a Valentines Day campaign, it isn’t a long term recipe for success. So a lot of marketers don’t bother.
I think a couple of the people I spoke to were trying to schmooze me over having read the previous posts about focusing long term. There’s a difference between focusing all your profits on the short term, and understanding the consumer cycles that exist to be exploited.
“Why should I bother with a Valentines Day campaign when I can only get two weeks of profit out of it?”
It’s a fair question. But let’s say you DO make the effort to put together a profitable Valentines campaign. You may only get two weeks of hard profit from it now, but you’re also safe in the knowledge that you’ll have a campaign to roll out next year, and the year after…and so on. It’s a short term campaign that delivers long term results.
As affiliate marketers, we aren’t blessed with working for large companies that can hand out Christmas bonuses when December rolls around. We have to make our own bonuses.
If you were the manager of a high street store, would you neglect Christmas festivities on the basis that it’ll be January soon? No, you come up with a marketing strategy and you use it to take advantage of the current consumer mindset.
When people talk to me about building long term campaigns that can profit all year round, I don’t see that as a bad thing. I just see it as an opportunity lost. Valentines Day isn’t going to disappear from the calendar anytime soon.
Neither will Halloween, Christmas, Thanksgiving Day, New Years Day, Guy Fawkes Night…
You can choose to ignore every single one of these events on the principle that you’re happy with your stable campaigns and don’t want to rock the boat. Okay, but are you simply turning down the equivalent to your Christmas bonus?
If you were to turn each of those events above in to a profitable seasonal campaign – and they can be extremely profitable – you will have done a lot to boost long term profits. Why? Because we know that they’re going to roll around in 2011, 2012…there’s no expiry date in sight. High street shops and online retailers know this. They adapt to whatever current event is being pushed on the consumer and they increase their sales accordingly.
I’m not only talking about seasonal campaigns. Most of us have had a profitable short term cash cow on Facebook at some point. You know? The kind’ve campaign that delivers three straight days of super high profits and then nosedives in to a loss. Is this sort of campaign worth ignoring?
I don’t think so personally. I like these campaigns because I can slam the Pause button, leave it for a month, then cream another couple of days of profit. It might be a short term coup. But it’s a long term option to have. The more of these campaigns you can have at your disposal, the larger your reach becomes and the more flexible you are.
I’ve made a big song and dance about focusing your efforts on the long term, and I don’t back down from that at all. But it genuinely surprises me how many marketers are happy to neglect seasonal opportunities. Tapping in to the current consumer mindset is vital. Just as it’s important to be able to produce consistent stable profits, it’s also important to predict those consumer cycles. You don’t think an actual marketing agency would let you ignore them, do you?
I remember reading a post recently about focusing efforts in to one niche and adopting tunnel vision to stick with it until it succeeds. While this can work, I don’t see it as a sensible decision unless you’re getting closer to owning a product, or at least having a long term asset in that niche. If you’re simply doing CPA lead generation, you NEED to be aware of what’s happening around you. Especially if you’re working at the volatile end of the market where products can disappear overnight.
My job is made easy when I’m selling what a consumer is actively looking to buy. If there’s one thing that definitely isn’t a short term gamble, it’s that Valentines Day will be just as culturally significant in 2011 as it is 2010.
So are you going to adjust to the seasons? Or carry the same message all year round?