June through August are the summer months for many. But in the tech world these are the winter month where the customer landscape is dry and seemingly never-ending. How will you survive the barren months of tech and then launch into the tech Spring in a way that breaks through the noise?
First, you know I couldn't help referencing GOT. Was this weekend's episode not the best thing ever?! I have been waiting for this for so long I almost fainted. Ok, now back to my point.
Fall is the Tech New Year
When it comes to tech and marketing I often tell people that they need to rethink their year. In tech, especially B2B, the year begins in Fall with all the fall product launches, shows and conferences that start just before labor day. Why Fall? Because November is budgeting time. It is the time to spend what you had and budget for the next year's spend. In other words, if you want to be in the budget, they better know about you before November.
And then there is Christmas. Is it just me or do you have to submit for gift guides earlier and earlier? If you have a consumer product that you want people to buy on Black Friday, Cyber Monday or anywhere from there to the end of the year, better be ready in May.
Spring is Tech Fall
Then there is CES and all the consumer events in the Spring. Fall is when you start planning for anything you will show, sell, or preview in the new year. Remember those devices I mentioned that launch in Fall? Well all their capabilities and new apps were purchased the Spring before. So if you miss Spring you have to wait another year and a half to get on the device.
Summer Is The Longest Winter
So where does that leave the summer months? Well if you are selling to education and government this is your time! If you are not, the summer can be very very cold and not just in San Francisco.
So What To Do In Summer?
- Revamp your messaging - does it apply through a tech year?
- Redo your sales materials - get rid of the old references and refresh the customer quotes.
- Plan that big launch - have everything locked down from packaging to materials to speaking notes.
- Apply for next year's events - Most events need at least 6 months advance submissions. Going to SXSW? Well your talk is due June 6th
- Pitch early - I am not saying don't launch anything, but I am saying pitch early so you can work around people's schedules.
- Schedule analysts briefings - their reports come out in the real Fall and winter.
- Leave your customers alone - at least from a marketing perspective. Give them a break.
- Set the stage for fall - the tone of your blog might change to give more advice than push your features. What should everyone else be thinking about.
- Advertise more - It is an old but true tale about Coca Cola upping its advertising during WWII and it's pay off when people had money to spend. Establish your brand in the summer so you are top of mind in Fall. And have some fun with it.
Ok, so Tech Winter is here and marketing never sleeps but it is a good time to make sure you have everything to get through the slow months and come out planting new opportunities when Tech Winter turns to Tech Spring.