Tick Tock. The 2014 holiday marketing countdown has started.
July is the month many business marketers start the “snowball” rolling for the upcoming holiday season campaigns. So put down the beach ball and kick off the flip-flops! It’s time for some Eggnog and holiday marketing list strategy.
If you think it’s too early to plan for the holidays, just this month, Hallmark Channel kicked off their holiday marketing campaign with a week of holiday movies, peppered with promotions of this year’s Keepsake ornaments, tips and ideas for shopping and decoration storage ideas. And, Walmart pitched their holiday top-sellers to long-lead and gift guide editors in June in anticipation of rolling out the first holiday mentions after the back-to-school rush.
Why is it important for your small business to start planning its holiday marketing strategy now? The last six months of the year are the revenue make or break period for many small businesses. July through December marketing can make the difference between a company ending the year in the Black or in the Red.
Small Business owners, just like giant corporations, have the same opportunities to start dropping holiday “cookie crumbs” for their customers to follow all the way to December!
Don’t Wait; Start Marketing Your Customers Now.
Start building and refining your holiday database. Review your customer list, update information, take note of products your customers really like, what they purchased from you in the past, and what they mentioned to you during the year.
Define your customer’s holiday “pain points” then focus on solving their problems and easing their stress. What should I get Aunt Mary? Grandpa likes _________? Listen to what your customers are saying and identify ways (aka solutions) to take the “hectic” out of the holidays.
Avoid Pushing Products Early On, Your Goal Is to Create Relationships And Sell Later.
Start slowly, ramp up your 2014 holiday marketing campaign with Tweets, posts, and articles that inform your customers about what’s trendy this holiday and what’s on everyone’s wish list.
Use promotional tactics that have worked in the past. Review prior year campaigns – what worked well before? Use or tweak that tactic—if it worked in the past, you don’t want to mess with success!
Start early, reach out to your customers, and market your social media channels, smartly. Advance planning can position your business for end of year success that will have you jingle belling all the way to the bank!
Over to you! When do you start planning your holiday marketing strategy?