Marketing and Seasonal Demand for Goods and Services

What is Seasonal Demand ?

Marketing is the process of meeting needs that are both existing as well as unmet. To explain, marketers promote and sell goods and services which the consumers want as well as determine what they want and which does not exist at the moment.

In other words, marketing is all about identifying which goods and services the consumers would likely to buy and consume as well as determining which goods and services cater to unmet needs.

This means that marketing is geared towards satiating and satisfying the needs and desires of consumers. Having said that, there is also the concept of seasonal demand for goods and services which means that not all goods and services can be marketed around the year.

For instance, it is during the summer months that the sales of air conditioners and air coolers spike whereas it is during the winter months that sales of sweaters and other clothing spike. Therefore, marketers have to be conscious of the seasonal variations in demand and hence, tailor their strategies accordingly.

What is Elasticity of Demand ?

Indeed, the related concept of elasticity which determines the correlation between goods and services and seasonal variations is an important concept that marketers must be aware of.

For instance, everyday FMCG (Fast Moving Consumer Goods) are sold throughout the year since consumers do not stop consuming soaps and detergents as well as homecare products according to the seasons.

In other words, these goods sell irrespective of the season and hence, they are deemed to be inelastic to seasonal variations.

On the other hand, goods such as appliances are bought based on the seasons and hence, they are elastic to the seasonal variations.

Apart from the example of air conditioners that has already been discussed, it would be worthwhile to note that goods such as washing machines, TVs to some extent, and in recent years, Smartphones spike during festival seasons because consumers typically schedule their purchases to coincide with the happy occasions in addition to setting aside some money for festival purchases.

Real World Examples

In India, it is not uncommon for consumers and families as well as households to buy large quantities of gold during Danteras which is considered auspicious for buying gold. Further, consumers also buy luxury and expensive goods during Diwali as such purchases are deemed to bring good luck and prosperity for the consumers.

Indeed, the fact that in recent years, there has been a tendency to consume more during certain seasons has led to marketers’ worldwide announcing sales and discount bargains to coincide with the festival seasons.

While the Western world always had a practice of Christmas sales and the so-called Black Friday where unheard of discounts are offered, the rest of the world is not witnessing similar phenomenon wherein marketers are targeting the consumers with heavy discount sales during important festivals.

Indeed, this has become the norm in Asian countries such as China where the Chinese New Year witnesses frenetic shopping sprees and hence, marketers being acutely conscious of the spike in demand tailor their ad campaigns and strategies to take advantage of the consumers’ propensity to buy more goods and consume more services.

Rise of Consumerist Societies and Global, Local, and Glocal Strategies

So far we have discussed how seasonal demand is changing the marketing strategies. Turning to the other aspect of marketing which is fulfilling unmet needs, it is also the case that just like in the West, Asian marketers have begun to identify those unmet needs that can be satiated and hence, fulfilled.

For instance, the time share holiday resorts are one such strategy wherein marketers realize that spurring people to take holidays during summer and winter depending on their unmet need for travel and leisure is fast catching on in China and India.

There are many tour and travel operators who have created compelling holiday packages for those consumers who would like to take some time off during summer when their kids have vacations and hence, would like to travel and tour other parts of the country and even abroad.

Indeed, while traditionally Asian families used the summer vacations to visit their relatives and other friends and family acquaintances, the current trend is to encourage them to travel and tour important tourist destinations of historical and cultural importance as well as a way out to beat the summer heat by holidaying in exotic locales within the country as well as abroad.

From the points made so far, it is clear that as societies become consumerist, marketers have to adopt and adapt to the changing consumer preferences as well as aspirations. While marketing was always about such adaptation, the stakes are higher now than before since worldwide countries and the consumers are becoming more homogenized and similar in their preferences.

No wonder that the current breed of eCommerce portals in China and India are adopting and adapting the Western practices of discount sales and seasonal bargains to the needs of the local markets in which they operates.

This is the so-called Glocal Strategy at work which combines global thinking with local execution and hence, is considered a sure fire strategy to ensure that global trends are merged with local imperatives to create a win-win strategy for all stakeholders.

Indeed, this can be seen in the way the F&B or the Food and Beverages companies such as Pepsi, Coke, and McDonald’s tailor their marketing strategies to suit seasonal variations as well as adapt to local tastes so that consumers worldwide would experience the consumption of global brands without sacrificing their cultural and social traditions.

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Managerial Economics