Marketing for Spring Break provides a huge opportunity for travel businesses, especially when you consider that college students spend more than $1 Billion on this one seasonal event (and this is just one demographic)! Parents also tend to take advantage of Spring Break opportunities by taking families away to destinations both warm and cold.
Multiple brand categories can reap the benefits of the massive amounts of dollars spent throughout this season, including airlines, hotels, car rental companies, resorts, apparel, gas stations, and consumer package goods. So, how does one take advantage during what may feel like more of an elongated season vs. a specific celebratory holiday?
By following Spring Break marketing essentials that can work for nearly any category.
Determine the Optimal Marketing Window for Your Brand
Because so many different categories can tap into Spring Break as a marketing event, the window of time is rather wide. Bigger investments, such as airline tickets, hotels and home rentals, tend to have longer consideration periods than purchasing something like a new bathing suit or ski boots.
Promotions for higher priced items and larger considerations should kick off no later than the start of the New Year (if not earlier). However, if you are late to the game, don’t completely discount the opportunity. According to a Traveler Attribution Study conducted by Expedia Media Solutions, consumers visit on average 38 different sites before booking a trip, which means you might still have a chance to influence someone before they make their purchase.
In looking back at last year’s emails promoting Spring Break apparel items, a majority of them kicked off mid-February (after Valentine’s Day) and continued through the end of March. For those items that people purchase during their actual trip, such as food, gas and even apparel, real-time marketing (including hyper-local strategies) become much more important.
Show Your Hyper-Local Cards
You know that people travel during this time of year, so turning on hyper-local strategies will allow you to capture the people with boots on the ground in local markets. This is a good way to drive local, in-store traffic and promote specials to the many travelers passing through. You can also tie-in behavioral and intent data to enrich the messages sent to consumers. For example, feature a promotion at a local ski shop to someone you know is in-market for ski attire or that has an affinity for the sport itself.
Market to Specific Demographics
Spring Break speaks to two very distinct demographics: college students and parents. While there might be other outliers, those are the prime audiences to focus on. Marketers need to have strategies in place to know how to reach different demographics, from how they prefer to shop to where they engage with brands. For college students, social media environments is sure to be a channel worth adding to your media plan, whereas parents might be more likely to engage by email.
Magnetic’s rounded up a year-long look at seasonal opportunities for every brand. To learn more, download our eBook and 12-month calendar, “Reasons for the Seasons”!