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A guide to building a marketing calendar during summer in Japan

Digital strategy & planning is pivotal

Having a marketing strategy – and with it a marketing plan – is essential when promoting your business in any market worldwide. But imagine trying to create a digital advertising campaign from scratch in Japan with no strategy or plan. This would be a difficult journey and is not recommended. For this article, we begin by defining marketing strategy and its role in driving the creation of a marketing plan. Then we highlight one particular element, the marketing calendar, and why it should be a pivotal part of your Japanese market planning process. Finally, we look at the months of July, August and September to see which seasonal themes should be added to this calendar.

The difference between strategy and planning

It’s important to begin by defining the difference between strategy and planning. While a marketing strategy is defined by goals, objectives, channel selection, brand positioning and more – it helps marketers to make informed decisions. By comparison, a marketing plan is the strategy put into action in the form of a planning document. This document will have many elements, but there is one that should always be included: the marketing calendar. So what is a marketing calendar and why is it important for your Japanese planning?

The importance of a marketing calendar

A marketing calendar is exactly what you think it is. In its basic form it is a calendar with important yearly themes and seasonal events noted onto it. Which themes you include depends completely on your brand and your category/industry. For example, if your company produces products for dogs then you might want to include World Dog Day each year on the 26th August. When you have created a calendar with the appropriate events, you can create advertising campaigns based on them. This helps to raise brand awareness, to help your brand stand out from the competition, and to connect your brand with life moments and seasonal occasions. A company that has done this extremely successfully in Japan is KFC. They have promoted their fried chicken during the Christmas season so much so that it is now customary for people in Japan to eat KFC during the holiday (with people even finding it difficult to book a delivery in).

So, you have decided to create a marketing calendar for your Japan promotion between July-September. It is a time when summer peaks in Japan and autumn begins. But which themes and dates should you be aware of when creating a marketing calendar?

The summer marketing calendar

July

July Dates – Sea Day (22nd July), Sports Day (23rd July), Doyo No Ushi’s Day (Midsummers Day, 28th July) 

ThemeKeywords
recipes’ and ‘takeaways’
With people spending more time at home than ever before, we can expect a high demand for recipes, home vegetable gardens, and gardening. Take-aways and food delivery are also becoming more common, giving rise to a new need to enjoy food both at home and  at restaurants.
– Popular xx recipes
– Easy xx recipes 
– Ordering gourmet food
– Take-out menu
– Takeaway menu at xx
– Opening hours at xx take away 
‘heat protection’ and ‘weather’
This is the time of year when demand for leisure, travel plans and tourism is expected to increase, just before the summer holidays. Demand for goods to help make life with a mask more comfortable and to help people get through the hot summer is also expected to increase.
– Summer Masks Cold
– Sports masks
– Popular fans
– xx (place name) Weather
– Weekly weather xx
– Window air-conditioners

August

August Dates – First day of autumn (7th August), Mountain Day (8th August)

ThemeKeywords
‘heat stroke’
As the rainy season ends and August arrives, summer is in full swing. As summer is getting increasingly hotter each year, the number of searches related to heat stroke also increases. In the intense heat, and as people spend more time wearing masks, the number of searches related to heat stroke prevention also tends to increase.
– Heat stroke Symptoms
– How to prevent heat stroke
– Heat stroke headache
– Heat stroke Food
– Hot weather season
‘summer holidays’
Needs specific to this period, such as free research and summer courses, increase before the summer holidays. Also, the way people spend their summer holidays, the environment in which they learn and the way they play, has also been changing since the pandemic.
– Free research summer break
– Summer courses summer break
– Crafts Summer holidays
– Primary school students summer holiday
– How to spend summer holidays
– Summer holidays Lunch

September

September Dates – Disaster Prevention Day (1st September), Respect for the Aged Day (20th September), Silver Week(Long holiday at the end of September)

ThemeKeywords
‘Typhoon’
Typhoons that develop into extremely powerful storms every year cause a lot of damage to the Japanese archipelago, and demand for countermeasure goods and preparations are expected to increase at this time of year.
– Typhoon Countermeasures
– Rain cloud radar
– Typhoon Power outage
– Course of typhoon 
– What to prepare for typhoon
‘Autumn events and tastes’
With the heat of summer still lingering in the air, people are looking for a holiday away. Searches related to autumn delicacies and Silver Week leisure activities also increase during this month.
– grape picking
– Halloween
– Travel to xx (place name)
– Mom outfit for sport’s day 
– Camping Silver Week

Get in touch with us at DMFA

Be sure to keep the above themes and events in mind when building out your strategy for Japan. Should the market be part of your expansion strategy, we at DMFA are ready to assist you. 

Our team of bilingual Japanese experts can support you or your business with online ads, digital strategy, SEO localisation, social media marketing, and more. Get in touch to learn more about our services and how our consultants can support you.

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