Are B2B buyers making buying decisions in the summer? Surveying my network of B2B marketers and vendors the answer is generally no, with the possible exception of industries that have deadlines tied to government regulations.
Some B2B marketers may have different experiences, but summer has always been a historically slow time due to vacation absences. In that light, should marketers reduce their efforts in the summer because response rates to B2B lead acquisition and nurturing offers will tend to be a lot lower? Or should efforts increase in the summer because it takes more effort to generate more demand?
It’s been proven that companies that increase their marketing efforts during economic downturns recover faster and gain a larger share of the market when the economy does recover. With that in mind, here are the issues B2B marketers should consider in relation to marketing during the summer months.
- Increased summer efforts are likely to boost visibility and response rates in the fall. For B2B marketers needing to produce a steady flow of leads, marketing more in the summer may be a necessity.
- For B2B marketers with long buy cycles, less effort in the summer could result in producing a few months of poor sales months down the road.
- Increasing spending to generate a constant flow of leads and sales through slow summer months will result in a higher cost per lead and cost per sale. It’s important for B2B marketers to do the math and make sure those increases are acceptable.
- Added buyer incentives during summer months may help increase summer sales.
- Increased summer efforts are likely to boost visibility and response rates in the fall.
- If other B2B marketers are doing less, those doing more should get better visibility and attention.
With the 2012 summer more than half over, B2B marketers may not be able to take any action one way or the other this year. However, this is the time for B2B marketers to determine if they are experiencing seasonal slow-downs and be ready to respond appropriately for the summer of 2013.