By: Mike Rudd
I spend a fair amount of time watching television. I usually justify it by saying that I’m just staying current on the latest advertisements and pop culture trends for my industry, but then I end up checking Facebook or getting a drink during the commercials anyways, so it’s hollow justification. Most of my direct viewing is centered on sporting events, and my indirect viewing, viewing done while I’m engaged in other activities, is centered on home improvement shows. However, due to convenience or flexibility in viewing or whatever the reason, I, like more and more people, watch weekly broadcasted programs via an Internet video provider. The programs that I watch online are the kind of program where, if you miss a week, you can get pretty lost pretty quickly in the continuous story line of the show. So, my wife and I make the time during both of our schedules to sit down and watch these shows together, every week. And the great thing about watching them online is that it doesn’t have to be at the same time each week.
One of the shows that I watch weekly online is Bones, a crime solving show that is based on the exploits of a no-nonsense, ex-Army Ranger FBI agent and his genius, somewhat socially awkward, forensic anthropologist partner. This show has action, humor, dead bodies decomposing, romance, guns, and problem solving; all the things any man enjoys in a TV show. So, you can understand the void I feel after Bones’ season finale airs, and I have to wait months for the next installment. I can watch the reruns and old episodes, but I already know what is going to happen, so it’s about as rewarding as the “research” I am supposedly conducting. And this season of want is fast approaching for most television programs. Summer time is the traditional break for programs, allowing the stars of the shows to pursue other endeavors (movies, vacations, etc.) and recoup for the next season of shooting. But this also leaves us, the viewer, with time to fill. And because our shows aren’t new, and because it’s summer time, many people disengage from the TV (or Internet viewing) for a season and spend more time outside, with family and friends, going to the beach or the park or on a picnic or vacation. Summer time lets us take a step back in time and enjoy the non-digital world around us. Personally, I think this is great for all of us, and summertime makes us all better people, but for businesses, summertime presents a challenge of reaching consumers and target markets. With television and Internet being two of the main channels to reach consumers, and with consumers using television and the Internet less frequently during the summer months, what is a business to do?
Summertime is the time for businesses to get creative and reach their consumers in different ways than they are used to. Out of home, event marketing, and other forms of less traditional advertising can help regain some of that exposure that marketers lose during the summer months. Summer is also a great time for local businesses to grow and get their name out there. A small business may not have the budget to produce a television commercial that will actually be good enough to help business, but they do have the budget to participate in local summer conventions or trade shows, put up a billboard for a month, or sponsor a booth or event at a local fair. These small investments can yield great rewards for any business, but for small businesses with limited marketing spending cash, these can be the make or break it choices of the year. Summertime is a time for local businesses to level the playing field a bit, and really engage with their target market; local consumers. And now, the beginning of Spring, is the time to seriously start planning what your summer action plan will be. Get in touch with your advertising agency and come up with your strategy for the upcoming increase in outdoor advertising opportunities. That way, when our favorite shows come back on, you’ll be able to lose yourself in their world with less worry about yours.