The surprising truth about seasonality and word of mouth marketing

By Ted Wright July 1, 2019


By Ted Wright

I was asked, “Is there any seasonality factor with word of mouth marketing? Is there a better time of year to do activations?”

There is no seasonality for word of mouth because people are always talking. In fact, they may be even talking more over holidays and down times.

Holiday seasons can be the best type of time of year for word of mouth marketing if you have a very seasonal kind of product.

And here’s something fun to remember. Most traditional marketers may think that nobody is paying attention over holidays like Thanksgiving, Christmas and Easter, because everybody’s focused on travel and their families. These are actually ideal times to do word of mouth, because everybody is hanging out with their friends and relatives, talking about the things they love.

There is an extraordinary amount of conversation at these times. While there are seasons of the year when you would not expect that people are paying attention to broadcast messages, they are still paying attention to human conversations. So when it comes to word of mouth marketing, there is no holiday seasonality per se.

Summer time and seasonality

There is also a spike in conversation frequency in summer. In the old days, summer was when you had the television re-runs because everyone was outside enjoying  the nice weather, and nobody was really paying attention to a television show.

But in the US, the population has shifted from the colder Northeast to sunnier climates in the South and West. So there are more outdoor activities year round than 25 or 30 years ago.

Traditional August summer fun is now taking place in March in many places. Some might think there would be less word of mouth in July or August. But there’s actually more word of mouth going on in summer weather because everyone is on vacation together.

Focus on conversation time

When you’re considering your word of mouth marketing strategy, you should care less about traditional notions of seasonality and optimal consumer viewing and concentrate on times and places where conversations are happening.

Your job in marketing today is to arm your advocates with authentic, relevant, and interesting stories for those times, knowing that your customers are going to have lots of conversations while they are gathering with family, vacationing on the beach or skiing together on a winter break.

Ted Wright

Ted Wright is the founder of Fizz, the world’s leading word of mouth marketing (WOMM) agency. Ted is also an acclaimed WOMM keynote speaker and the author of Fizz: Harness the Power of Word of Mouth Marketing to Drive Brand Growth.

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