The holiday season is upon us and it is by far, the best time of the year, both for people and businesses alike. Holiday marketing is a crucial part of marketing campaigns and it brings in huge benefits if done right and timed to perfection. For these things to happen though, you need to be prepared with an action plan. Setting up your strategies for the holidays lets you step back and relax when the actual holidays occur. Businesses are always looking for ways to maximize their returns and holiday marketing sees some of the highest volumes of sales across the world.
What Does Holiday Marketing Need?
If you aren’t a John Lewis or a United Airlines, then your holiday marketing campaign is not being eagerly awaited for. That being said, it doesn’t mean you cannot attract attention. Holiday marketing demands a clearly thought about strategy, offers that are too hard to believe and an aggressive marketing push that puts you right in front of the customer-every single time they open their eyes. This isn’t an easy thing to do and requires planning, which is the main agenda of this blog post. Some of the most successful holiday marketing campaigns have always had one thing in common-emotion. Holidays are essentially an emotional time for many and the best marketers tap into it, mercilessly.
As with any type of marketing, getting too aggressive with emotions can backfire. If you do not have the resources that can give you top notch ad campaigns, then a simple but well planned campaign is the way to go. There are numerous stories of brands who tried too hard and failed miserably.
Holiday marketing revenues for online businesses have steadily grown over the years, with Black Friday being the top grosser in terms of revenue. There is a massive potential market out there and marketers prepare for it, months in advance.
So, to give you a head start with holiday marketing, here are 6 important points you need to consider while planning for it.
- Your need – This is often seen as a confusing question for most marketers. Of course the logical and first answer you will get is sales. That does not cover the entire strategy. The reasons are many. Businesses today cannot thrive with sudden bursts of amazing offers and then go back into a placid state for another year. Loyal customers are as important as new customers. Figure out what you want from these holiday campaigns. Is it increased traffic, branding, loyalty, new customers and so on. If you have this sorted out, your vision is clear, and your campaign can take shape easily.
- Pricing – This is a crucial aspect of holiday marketing. Discounts are the name of the game and as a business owner or a marketer, giving heavy discounts can affect your bottom lines adversely. If you aren’t prepared to take the hit, then your campaign can cause more damage than good. Competitors will go all in during the holiday season and they can undermine your efforts easily. Understand where you currently stand with regards to your revenue and then work backwards while creating your discount coupons. It is not necessary to give the best, but it is necessary that you try. Just because the competition is doing it, doesn’t mean you do it too. If you are in a good position then you should take the opportunity to give amazing offers. It helps in attracting the right attention and also creates loyal customers.
- Offers – The most important part of the holiday campaigns are the offers you give. Prospects are actively looking for it and they know the chances of getting a good offer are extremely high during the holiday season. It need not be fantastical or mythical. Your offer should be clear, easy to deploy and shouldn’t confuse the buyer. Bundling services with a price cut is one of the most common holiday offers today. You can always look at ways to convert these holiday shoppers into long term users by giving them attractive benefits for longer period usage of your products or services.
- Timing – Too soon or too late, both are dangerous. Too soon and you will tend to lose steam towards the end of the campaign. Too late and your competitors would have chewed away a substantial amount of the market. Start slowly and make sure you are setting your prospects up for a great offer. Use all possible avenues to reach new prospects. Email marketing, social media marketing, offline marketing, all these mediums need to be used to their maximum potential during this period. Creating buzz around your offer is a great way to set up your prospects. Let them know you have something special for them, and they will look forward to it.
- Backend preparations – If you have planned and executed your holiday campaign, you will see results. For this, your operations and delivery teams have to be ready. There can be a surge in demand for your product or service and your teams need to be prepared for it. Poor customer service will put off prospects and this can have negative impacts on a lot of parameters. The reason being, once they have take up your offer, your customer service is what seals the deal for them. If that isn’t up to the mark, then you lose out on a good opportunity. The sales team should be prepared with a good grasp of the offer and not mess it up. The manpower aspect of the holidays is always tricky, with leave allocations and such. Ensure you have sufficient backup of your products and employees to services customers during the crucial days.
- Don’t overdo it – Most businesses trip over themselves trying to impress everyone. Eventually they will have no one to work with. Don’t spread yourself thin trying to catch the golden goose. What you can do is invest time and money into creating amazing campaigns and offers that do the work for you. Make sure all the technical aspects of your campaigns are working well, your lists are clean and you have a clear value proposition. This takes away the stress of the holidays and allows you to concentrate on delivering to your customers. Be prepared for contingencies which are more common than not.
On the flip side, holidays are extremely stressful to the general public and you do not need to add to their woes. Dedicate ample time and efforts towards creating campaigns that connect with them, they will come. Ensure that your plan is backed up with another one, if there are any issues that may crop up. Holiday marketing is big business worldwide and you need to ensure that you get a piece of the pie.
Let us know in the comments about what you think about holiday marketing, what you are doing and how to do it better.
Michael is the Marketing Manager at Ampliz, specializing in email appending and marketing database management software, editing blogs, case studies, and guides. He tries to make the world just a bit more pleasant enough by working on strategies that would help them prevent and eliminate spam in terms of email marketing.