Sales drop in winter? Heat up marketing!

Friday, February 29, 2008

LEXINGTON, Ky. - The winter doldrums may be settling in, but Vicki Blevins says that's the perfect time to light a fire under her marketing efforts.
In February, the manager of VDK Turning Point, a women's health boutique, planned a women's health segment on a local noontime TV show, discussing new products and featuring a spring swimwear fashion show.
"A lot of local shows love to do anything like this," said Blevins. "And it's 15 minutes of free TV time that would cost a fortune if I had to buy it."
During the TV segment, Blevins planned to discuss the latest in breast forms and bras and host a pre-taped fashion show with members of a breast cancer support group modeling swimwear.
The show is popular with women 35 and older, said Blevins.
"It does pay off," said Blevins, who has appeared on the show before. "A year later, someone will come in and tell me they saw a show I did."
January typically kicks off a slowdown in business, with dreary weather and calendar-year insurance deductibles restarting on many insurance plans, keeping people from shopping.
Blevins also ramps up her visits to referral sources and plans an open house to boost business at this time of year.
"(Winter) is when I do a lot of my marketing," said Blevins. "When you're slow, you've got to go."