Guest post by Dave Thomas
For many retailers, the holidays are the sink or swim time for their businesses. Put together a winning retail season and they can either go into 2012 with a surplus and a winning attitude or at least have broken even to end a difficult year. Come up with a losing retail season, however, and they can find themselves dreading the New Year.
So, how can businesses, and marketers for that matter, deliver a bundle of joy this holiday season? I’m so glad you asked.
Holiday Marketing Gifts
Stay within your budget – It is important for marketers to put together and keep within a holiday budget just as consumers do when it comes to shopping. Keep in mind that both e-mail marketing and social media marketing are a pair of avenues that do not cost a great deal and typically produce a very large return on investment.
Leverage social media – Although some businesses have failed to completely understand the dynamics and power of social media, you need to leverage all you can out of it. Sites like Facebook and Twitter provide great forums for reaching out to both current and potential customers.
According to a study from Frank Magid Associates, consumers utilize Facebook more than television between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. While many people are at work, home taking care of kids, telecommuting or at college, it is a great time to reach out to them with your marketing efforts, showing them the various bargains out there for them during the holiday season.
Tap into mobile users – With many consumers on the go, it only makes sense that you market to them over their mobile devices. While the emphasis is not on making a purchase right then and there, providing customers and potential customers with product and/or service information, coupons etc. while using their mobile apps can lead them to do business with you and/or your client;
Review the past year – It is important to look back at the previous year and see what worked and did not work with your holiday pitches. Remember that some of the things may not have worked due to timing, the economy, etc. so consider rolling them out again this year if circumstances permit. Also look at what return on investment (ROI) you received with last year’s holiday marketing efforts to determine your goals for this season;
Target key dates – It sounds like a no-brainer, but make sure you promote what should be some of your busiest days of the holiday season. Black Friday (day after Thanksgiving) is pretty much a given, but do you know how many potential shoppers there are on Christmas Eve Day? How many people do you think typically shop the last full weekend before Christmas? What about the turnout the day after Christmas when you can find bargain hunters looking for buys? Memorize the important dates so that nothing slips by you;
Get creative – The holidays are all about fun and excitement, so make sure your marketing efforts prove just that too. Consumers are not only looking for savings during the holidays, but campaigns that catch their eye. Break away from the standard marketing and advertising ploys and push the envelope. Just as in television commercials during the Super Bowl, people may like or dislike the advertisement, but advertisers and marketing professionals want a message that consumers remember. Make your holiday marketing efforts stand out.
Merry Christmas and Happy Holiday Marketing!
Dave Thomas writes extensively for B2b lead generation online resource Resource Nation that provides expert advice on purchasing and outsourcing decisions for small business owners and entrepreneurs.