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How to Excel with Seasonal B2B Marketing Trends

By: Andrea Panno

Leveraging the ebb and flow of seasonal marketing trends offers a valuable opportunity for marketers. And it’s not confined to the realm of B2C — there’s a rich vein of potential waiting to be tapped by B2B enterprises as their clients transition from a defensive footing towards seeking innovative strategies for growth. With increased financial flexibility, often during the summer months, decision-makers may be more inclined to renew their infrastructure, pursue crucial acquisitions, and invest in growth. This is where B2B marketers have a golden opportunity to step up their game.

Businesses that overlook the rhythmic cadence of seasons and the significance of critical milestones risk appearing detached or disconnected. Amidst the dynamism of today’s business landscape, the reassuring consistency of seasonal patterns serves as shared touchpoints that resonate with all. Navigating the effects of seasonal shifts is a critical aspect of your business strategy, with implications that span across various industries and sectors, and your marketing efforts should reflect that.

This blog explores the intricate dance between seasonal marketing shifts and business performance. We illuminate the summer slump in B2B sales, dissect types of business seasonality, and delve into tactics to stay afloat during these lean periods. Finally, we offer insights on strategically weaving seasonality into your B2B business model.

How to Excel with Seasonal B2B Marketing Trends

Summer’s Effect on B2B Enterprises

A survey of B2B organizations showed that two-thirds experienced summertime sales slumps, with July and August taking the most significant hits. Of these, nearly 75% reported a drop in sales of 20%, and one in five claimed dips over 40%.1 It’s important to note that not all B2B businesses experience this effect; some actually peak during the summer. But the big picture is that the trends exist, and understanding and responding appropriately are essential. And if your business experiences a summer slump, there are ways to beat it and avoid losses in productivity.

B2b marketing Strategies for the Summer

Types of Business Seasonality

Business seasonality is the fluctuation in customer activity, which can be tied to specific holidays or seasons or extend across the year. Such fluctuations can significantly impact sales, revenue, and inventory management. Business seasonality can be broadly categorized into three types based on the intensity of impact on demand:

1. Mild Seasonality: In this case, the business observes a moderate decrease in demand, falling within the range of 10%-20%.2 Such fluctuations might occur due to minor shifts in customer preferences or behavior, possibly influenced by factors like regional holidays or changes in weather. However, the overall impact on business operations is manageable and often doesn’t require major strategic adjustments.

2. Substantial Seasonality: This type involves a more noticeable slump in demand, which can be around 30%-40%.2 This level of business seasonality can significantly impact a business’s sales and operations. Such dips could be tied to more significant seasonal changes, like summer vacations or end-of-year holidays, when consumer behaviors may drastically change. Businesses facing substantial seasonality often need to implement robust strategies to manage these swings, including advanced inventory planning or aggressive marketing during off-peak times.

3. Severe Seasonality: This is the most extreme business seasonality, where demand can plummet by 50%-100%.2 This situation is common in industries with highly seasonal products or services, such as ski equipment manufacturers or beachside tourism businesses. When demand practically disappears for specific periods, these businesses must survive the off-peak season by diversifying their offerings, carefully managing cash flow, or building a significant buffer during the peak season to sustain operations.

What Influences Seasonality?

Understanding the nuances of seasonality is critical to effective business operations. Key factors that can shape seasonal trends in customer behavior include:

    • Changing Seasons: The change of seasons can coincide with new business cycles, particularly regarding software and technology. For example, many enterprise software companies align product updates and launches with the start of a new fiscal year. The beginning of the year is typically when many businesses review their operational needs and consider implementing new systems or technologies, so it makes sense to schedule releases and updates accordingly.
    • Holidays and Special Occasions: While holidays may not affect B2B sales in the same way as they do in B2C, the start of a new year is still a significant event in the B2B space. The beginning of a new year is often when companies implement new initiatives, align with new business goals, and establish new budgets. This increases the demand for B2B services, such as strategic planning, consulting, and enterprise software solutions. It’s a time when businesses are more open to change, and investment helps B2B sellers create and capitalize on ‘special occasions’ that encourage engagement.
    • Work-related Trips and Events: Monitoring potential customers’ travel schedules can provide valuable insights. Knowing when major industry events are happening or simply understanding your existing clients’ plans can enable you to align you sales strategies accordingly.
    • Budget Cycles: Business operate within annual budget constraints, which can affect their purchasing patterns. If a client’s budget has been allocated, they may not respond to new proposals. However, the end of the fiscal year can be a fruitful time for lead generation, as potential customers may have a leftover budget to spend.

top 10 b2b marketing trends for 2023

The Impact of Summer Season on a B2B Business

In the same survey referenced previously, nearly 95% of B2B businesses identified customer or prospect holidays as a significant factor.1 With most people taking time off during the summer, business activity has a natural decline. Clients and potential clients are often away, making it more difficult to close deals or move projects forward.

Additionally, almost half of the respondents indicated that their staff’s summer breaks contributed to the seasonal slump. When a significant portion of the team is on vacation, it can disrupt regular workflows and potentially delay project timelines, impacting sales and revenue.

And just under half of the businesses reported a general decrease in productivity during the summer months. This could be due to various reasons, such as a more relaxed pace or frequent outings due to the pleasant weather. It’s common for their and customers’ staff to exhibit a more laid-back approach during this period.

These findings underscore that the “summer slump” is not merely a business myth but a reality for many B2B companies. However, understanding these seasonal dynamics can help businesses strategize effectively, ensuring they maintain productivity and momentum even during these slower months.

Tactics to Excel During Seasonal Summer Business Months

It’s undeniable that the summer slump is a real challenge, affecting about two-thirds of B2B businesses. However, it’s also clear that many companies are underprepared to tackle this seasonal downturn. Here are some strategies to navigate the summer months successfully:

Create Seasonal Offers: Test and roll out exclusive summer offers using your email marketing list.
Charitable Donations: Donate a portion of your summer sales to charities your customers support.
Summer-themed Events: Organize or participate in summer-themed online events such as webinars.
         —> To help you plan: Top 10 Tips for Planning a Webinar in 2023
Photo Contests: Launch a photo contest to encourage user-generated content.
Summer Giveaways: Offer summer giveaways to your existing customers as a token of appreciation.
Flash Sales: Leverage limited-time “flash sales” to entice current customers and new leads.
Loyalty Events: Host an event celebrating your long-standing customers.
Update Marketing Visuals: Refresh your marketing materials with summer-themed visuals.
Referral Rewards: Launch new, limited-time rewards for referral business.
B2B Collaboration: Collaborate with other B2B businesses for an event or cross-promotion.
Customer Satisfaction Surveys: Send out surveys and offer a chance to win a prize for participating.
Social Media Expansion: Amplify your social media marketing with posts on trending summer topics.
          —> If you’re just getting started: Top 7 Social Media Marketing Tips for Beginners
Behind the Scenes Photos: Share photos of your team working diligently behind the scenes.
Share Industry-specific Summer Tips: Share summer tips relevant to your customers’ industry and challenges.
Celebrate Summer Holidays: Find tasteful ways to honor summer holidays on social media and video.

On top of these tactics, summer is an ideal time to strategically plan for the busy fall season. Use these quieter months to prepare for trade shows and other events, finalize your marketing plans, conduct competitive analysis, and get a jump start on strategic planning. This can also be a perfect opportunity to begin budgeting for the year ahead, ensuring you’re ready to hit the ground running when fall arrives. And always remember the importance of relationships in B2B business; use this time to strengthen your existing partnerships and seek out potential new ones. While summer may be slow in terms of sales, it’s rich with opportunities for growth and planning.

Incorporating Seasonality in Your B2B Business

Incorporating seasonality into your business strategy requires careful consideration of your specific industry, geographic location, and brand identity. Regardless of the sector you operate in, there could be unique seasonal challenges and opportunities that your clients face. Proactively creating and sharing content that addresses these fluctuations ensures that your business remains relevant and engaging throughout the year. This strategic approach can position your business for success in any season.

As an award-winning B2B marketing agency, Sagefrog specializes in various industries, including healthcare, technology, industrial, and business services. Our unique approach combines branding and integrated marketing to drive success for our clients, delivering tangible results and a robust return on investment. With our expertise, we can help you navigate seasonality effectively, positioning your business for optimal success no matter the time of year. Contact us today to schedule a consultation and discover how we can help your business excel in every season.

how can we support you marketing efforts this summer?

1. Harlow, Steve. “Summer Slumps: How Can B2B Businesses Deal with Them?”, August 8, 2022,
2. Chervonyi, Dmitry. “Business Seasonality in B2B Marketing: The Bedrock of Marketing and Content.” Belkins. Last modified July 5, 2022.