Planning in Lousy Weather

Weather affects the mood. There’s no question about that. Last week in Wisconsin it was in the 40s. People were gloomy, downtrodden and just a bit cranky. Then, this past weekend, our spirits rose as temperatures hit 60 on Saturday and 80 on Sunday. It’s amazing how just a little sunshine can raise everyone’s spirits.


It’s easy to see why advertising dollars are at a premium this year. Right now the weather is a little gloomy. Here in Wisconsin we get used to crappy weather, but we still plan for the future. We plan for when better days are ahead.


Advertising is no different. In transit things are a little cloudy and damp right now. This past weekend Washington cut $1 billion in high-speed rail funding, the Department of Transportation is in the cross hairs of Congress, and a new funding bill seems remote. With this dire news, it's no wonder suppliers see a bleak outlook on the future.


Advertising works the same way. You make your advertising plans for better days and you advertise for the sale you haven’t yet made. Your marketing and promotions build awareness in the future and not the present. I think this sometimes gets lost on people. Not on us who buy and sell marketing but it sometimes is lost on those who allocate the funds. Planning an ad campaign is about looking forward.


It’s never too early to make your plans for August, September or October. For one thing, there are usually savings to be had if you buy early. As we get closer to major events like Expo, there will be less on your plate. This frees up your time to organize other important campaigns for your company. Your ads will be bought and sales people aren’t calling every other day. The weather may be a little damp and cloudy now, but that won’t last forever.


The psychology behind advertising is similar to the psychology to planning spring and summer fun in the coldest days of the winter. I bought my baseball tickets and bought my golf cards in February. For one thing that’s when the best deals are available. Planning for later right now puts your company in the best position to succeed. You’ll be strategically prepared, you’re well positioned against your competition and you’ll be ready for when the clouds lift.