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Picture: 123RF/olegdudko
Picture: 123RF/olegdudko

Consumers are inclined to spend more money during certain periods and less during others. How do marketers gear their efforts around the peaks and troughs of consumer behaviour to deliver a strong, year-long marketing strategy incorporating everything from January’s new year resolutions to the rush of Black Friday shopping and the festive period.

A recent Financial Mail Redzone in discussion with event, moderated by chief creative officer at TILT, Arye Kellman, focused on just this issue.

Seasonal marketing, explained Tinyiko Mageza, executive head of marketing at the V&A Waterfront, is the process of developing campaigns around particular seasons. This includes category specific seasonality, days or periods of cultural or religious significance, with the intention of leveraging a brand’s core marketing plan in an opportunistic way to drive brand objectives. In a nutshell, it’s about amplifying the brand’s core marketing activity.

The V&A Waterfront, SA’s most successful mixed use development, focuses on creating compelling and authentic experiences, primarily for local Cape Town residents. “For Christmas, for example, we don’t go for the snow and reindeer look as that’s not authentic for a hot, summer, South African occasion, but rather try to deliver an authentic local experience,” said Mageza.

Getting seasonal marketing right requires understanding your audience or consumer segment and understanding how to stand out from seasonal category clutter with content and messaging that is distinctive and meaningful, said Christa Kruger, the chief operating officer at Wavemaker. However, seasonal marketing should be used to build the brand for the longer term.

Brave brands have an opportunity to create their own seasons, advised Lebo Moerane, the social and digital lead at VMLY&R. Reaching consumers during peak occasion times – at Christmas or Easter, for example – can be challenging as they may not be on social media as much as at other times so it’s good idea to try and reach them just before these occasions, she added.

Mongezi Mtati, the lead brand strategist at Rogerwilco, agreed that seasonal marketing should start long before the actual season. He added that the actual season should be used to better understand shopper habits. Customer data is critical to effectively drive brand awareness. Limited-time offerings work so well both because they create a sense of ‘premiumisation’ and a psychology of scarcity which changes the priorities of consumers, he added.

Watch the event recording here.

The next instalment of the FM Redzone in discussion with… will focus on the consideration of “cancel culture” when developing marketing and brand strategies. Join us on June 7 at 9am by registering here

The big take-out: Seasonal marketing needs to be authentic for the brand.


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