As the weather starts to cool and the air becomes crisp, we slowly start to turn our focus from summer fun activities, to my favorite season, autumn. Growing up in a small country town in Michigan, the fall always signified the start of school, harvest season, flannel shirts (before it was cool), and my favorite, going to a nearby apple orchard for apple picking, cider, and doughnuts. Once I started my career, fall took on a different meaning. My love for the start of football, sweater weather, fall foliage, and longing for trips to the apple orchard, are still there, but now fall means preparing for the end of the year and holiday sales. In most industries, year-end is one of the busiest times where companies are pushing holiday sales and making sure they finish the year financially strong. Instead of waiting until the holidays for your clients to start running their digital campaigns, focus on starting campaigns during the fall that can transition into the Holiday Season. Below are some categories where advertisers can start now and run into the new year.
It is football season. Thursdays through Mondays from now until January are spent donning your team’s colors while cheering them on in person, at a watch party, or at your local watering hole. Not only is the football season a perfect time for long term, multi-layered campaigns, the use of digital advertising allows advertisers to extend consumer reach outside of the big game. Throughout the season, fans are searching the web for new recipes, tailgating items, team apparel, and travel accommodations, to prepare for their game.
CreditScore.com did a study that found that consumers spend $100 billion on sports, with $56 billion of it on attending a sporting event.
This gives numerous industries, especially those listed below, a chance to capitalize on their fan base to send targeted ads to, to create an experience that allows for repeat business and loyalty.
- Grocery Stores – nothing completes a watch party or tailgate like eating your favorite dish while rooting your team on. Consider reaching users while they are looking up new recipes to purchase the necessary ingredients from your grocery store.
- Tailgating – is a unique experience. Nothing screams loyal football fans than pulling into campus as the sun rises to setup camp for the day. Outside of food, these fans will need all the tailgating essentials, like chairs, tents to shade themselves from the sun or inclement weather, tailgating/yard games, and grills and grilling accessories
- Apparel – No matter the time of year, fans love sporting their team gear. A couple years ago, Transparency Market Research estimated that the licensed sport apparel market will be a $48 billion industry by 2024. Capitalize on this market by advertising to fans to show up to a game in the newest trends, expand the ads to cover the different seasons and warmer clothing, and finish it off with holiday gift shopping and buying your loved one their favorite team gear.
- Travel – Whether it is driving to the game or flying in from out of state, football fans travel. Catch the attention of this fanbase with ads on how you can help make their trip experience better with exclusive specials.
- Restaurants – My favorite thing to do during football season is to meet up with other college alumnus and find a local bar to watch our team play. Restaurants, especially those not located near a stadium, have the opportunity to position themselves as the place to watch a game. Target nearby residents to come to your restaurant to enjoy great food, a cold brew, and some football. Restaurants and bars near stadiums can promote themselves as the before and after football hangout, where you can grab some food while you wait for the game to start or to avoid the traffic out of the stadium area. Creating a unique experience during these games will help keep fans coming back.
During the fall, nothing makes me feel cozier than a nice sweater and a pair of booties. The cooler autumn weather brings out new and stylish trends for flannel, sweater, scarves, and boot wearers.
Fall gives the fashion industry a time to transition through different weights of sweaters and style of boots into winter.
According to the Fashion and Apparel Report, e-commerce is on the rise, with the potential to be a $700 billion industry by 2020. Increase in smartphone use and online access, is one of the many reasons for this projected growth. What does this mean for retail advertisers? Through the increase in online shopping, advertisers can now target consumers who have directly visited their website or those that have searched for similar style of clothing online.
As a kid, I remember my parents raking the leaves in the yard into one big pile and my siblings and I jumping into them, sending the leaves flying. Granted, this defeated the purpose of cleaning up the fallen leaves, but the pure enjoyment my siblings and I felt made the re-raking worth it. Once the leaves have fallen and the produce has been picked from the garden, it is time for homeowners to finish exterior home improvement projects and start preparing your yard for winter.
The Home Improvement Research Institute has forecasted a 5.3% growth in the home improvement product market in 2018.
Fall is the time you see lawn mowers turn into rakes which turn into snow shovels or snow blowers throughout the rest of the year. For those that do not live in the South, it is time to start cleaning out the pool and preparing it for winter. It is also great time for window companies to advertise new windows to keep heat in and save on energy costs. Check out some Fall Home Improvement categories from Better Homes & Garden.
Between football, Fall Break, and those seeking the colorful foliage, fall is a great time for travel. The weather is cooler, costs are usually cheaper, and popular destinations are typically less crowded. According to the U.S. Travel Association, 74% of domestic trips in 2017 were taken for leisure purpose.
Take advantage of fall related activities by promoting your travel accommodations and the added experience you can create.
If your services are family-friendly, look at reaching parents with school age kids who will be on Fall Break and position yourself as a close weekend getaway for some relaxing family fun.
Fall is a great time for many industries to take advantage of seasonal campaigns that can transition throughout the rest of the year. Starting early can help increase revenue while being able to maintain brand awareness from fall through the new year. These campaigns can also help build brand loyalty by creating unique experiences that keep consumers coming back.