Just as we start piling on layers come late fall or make plans for vacations in August, if we know the peaks and troughs of demand in our industry vertical we can focus efforts and budget spends at the right time of the year. And depending on how seasonal our industry is, we can decide whether to use month-to-month progress reports (January vs. February) or year-over-year (January 2014 vs. January 2013).
Looking at the Data
Let’s take a look at the content management systems market by analyzing google trends for CMS-related searches within the Web Design and Development category for the past eight years.
There is a peak at the start of the year (February), then in June, with a small peak in October. Lulls occur in May, July and at the end of the year.
While this data from Google Trends is publicly available, we can also compare it to in-house data gathered at Kentico through customer surveys. The graph below shows the answers to the question “When did you start the CMS selection process?”
Similar to the previous graph, the natural peaks occur at the beginning of the year and in June, with calmer times being in May, July and December. The obvious difference is the earlier first peak -- just after New Year’s Day -- and the later occurrence of the last peak, here in November. But strong similarities show clear seasonality in the Web CMS industry.
A Digital Marketer's Calendar for the Web CMS Industry
Both graphs clearly indicate that demand is at its peak at the start of the year and then drops off steadily towards May. A brief rise in June is quickly followed by a trough in July. Then it moves slowly up over the next three months, dropping again from October to December.
In our CMS buyer’s words:
- January - March: New Year, new resolutions, new energy.
- April - May: Spring fever. 100 other things to do.
- June: Start of H2. Big plans afoot.
- July - August: Vacation season lull.
- September - November: Renewed energy. Time running out before end of year.
- December: Out of office. Out of time.
So yes, the CMS industry is seasonal, with clear buying months through the year. Year-on-year reports in addition to your month-to-month reports can give much insight into your CMS customer and much leverage in terms of when to deliver your marketing campaigns for greatest effect and ROI.