Does your company suffer from Seasonal Apathetic Disorder?
Without fail, it happens every year. Fall is a frenzy of playing catch up on everything that wasn’t planned for, was planned for and not executed, or fell through the cracks in the summer. And all of a sudden you’re making holiday plans—and likely feeling pressure to accomplish something.
Seasonal Apathetic Disorder, as we have jokingly coined it, is never intentional. In fact, as a small business, we feel it ourselves. All organizations get tied up with tasks at hand and fires that need to be put out now. And unfortunately, the big-picture strategic work simmers on the back burner—until it’s too late.
While we notice SAD most between around the beginning of fall, it could happen any time of year, depending on each business’s selling cycle, for example. The important thing is it’s fixable, if you can embrace the issue.
For most companies—across many industries—the goal is to ensure you have a consistent presence throughout the year, rather than a seasonal or singular burst of execution. One of the best ways to smooth this process is to go back to brand basics. As a marketing communications agency, we work to ensure that our clients’ brand foundations and strategies are intact and working for them at every step of the way, all year long.
So instead of thinking about a specific marketing campaign, for example, try to look at each campaign as fitting into a more holistic brand framework. Plan for it. Integrate it. Measure it. Every project should be paying off your brand through a variety of touch points throughout the year.
In other words, you want to get to a point where marketing doesn’t ever become a burden or panic—because it’s already humming along deliberately. This isn’t to say that last-minute requests don’t arise. They do. But when they do—in a larger, more intentional framework, they are easier to execute.
If you find your company struggles with marketing SAD, here are a few questions that may get you back on track:
Historically, what is your busiest season?
Whatever your answer, start thinking about 3-6 months ahead to ramp up to a busy time. Conversely: When is usually your slowest season? Learn to embrace this downtime. It’s easier and often more motivating to plan when business isn’t running at light speed.
When was the last time you refreshed your brand?
If you know this is long overdue or your brand is losing relevancy among your audiences, start planning for this creative endeavor now. Keep it positive! Brand work can be fun and inspiring for all parties involved, but realistically it could take six months or more for an agency to help you revisit, rework and refresh your brand.
Do you need to reallocate resources?
Sometimes getting behind on projects is not about mismanagement, but rather resources. Do you have enough—or the right—people in place? Could you shift certain tasks to other individuals to make everyone more effective in paying off the brand? Which marketing silos could you outsource without sabotaging the budget?
These are just a few topics that might help you overcome SAD. Since we see it each year, we have plenty of prompts that can help companies think more strategically—and plan more prudently. Let's start a conversation.