Christmas starts in the summer for marketers, but if you haven’t planned your marketing strategy yet for the holiday season then now is the time to do so. William Joseph has created nine tips for you to focus on when developing your 2014 Christmas marketing initiatives.
- Target markets. Christmas is an interesting time of year where you need to really focus on who your target market is. At this time of year your target market is not only your typical demographic but others that wouldn’t regularly purchase from you but will do so for gifts. This means your strategy may have to be two fold to capitalize on both revenue streams.
- Plan ahead. Developing your strategy far in advance ensures you have the time to properly execute. Not only does creative take time to design, but traditional magazines needs to be booked with camera ready creative months in advance. Also any content that you publish on your website, blog post or video now will only turn up in search results in November or December.
- Add value and convenience. At the busiest time of the year sales will sure to spike if you make the purchasing process easy. Ability to buy online, free postage and free gift wrapping can sway a purchaser to your products vs your competitors even if your price is more. Time is money!
- Add urgency. Using key phrases in your marketing like, “2 weeks until Santa comes” will ensure you target audience to sit up and take notice. By increasing urgency and tying it to a weekend promotion at your store is sure to show results on the bottom line.
- Online: Tablets were one of the top Christmas gifts for the last few years and are increasingly the device of choice for online shopper with reports from Adobe showing that tablet users spend twice as much as smart phone users when purchasing through their device. To take advantage of this, you need to ensure that your website is both mobile and tablet friendly and that your shopping cart process is easy and straightforward.
- Timing: Ease your customers into the Christmas spirit gently. eg. In October post 20% festive content, in November, 30% and 50% in December. Don’t forget to keep ‘Cyber Monday’in mind when planning your schedule as this is deemed as one of the busiest online shopping days of the year.
- Business to business. When your customer is a supplier or key business partner, be sure to provide them a gift that matters. A generic Christmas card or fruit basket says you put almost zero thought into their gift and was done as a holiday obligation. This is the time to set yourself apart from your competition and shine. Design a custom Christmas card that people want to share around the office when they receive it. For a gift, give them a sample of your product to induce trial. This way they can experience what you are all about in a non-selling atmosphere.
- Creativity with Purpose. Ensure that your brand andstory stands out from the Christmas clutter of Santa Clauses and Christmas Trees. A great example of this was the Christmas Miracle by WestJet. This Canadian airline made you believe in Santa with their experiential marketing campaign. Travelers were able to chat with Santa in real time and share their Christmas wishes, while more than 150 WestJet employees gathered the presents, wrapped them, and left them for the unsuspecting recipients at their arrival destination.
- Share. Social media is huge in helping you deliver your message to thousands of potential buyers for relatively low dollars. Giveaways are a great way to create exposure and a buzz around your product or service. Take advantage of this and design your promotion to be shared by users. Encourage entrants to tweet or post their position to their Facebook profile for extra points or entries. The more they’re involved, the more others will participate. Come up with your own Twitter hashtag for bringing people together. For example #MyStoreNameChristmasPromo. Give your followers great hints and tips for getting the best out of Christmas. Film something relevant to your industry and put the videos on YouTube. Christmas food and drinks recipes are great if you’re in leisure and hospitality. If you’re in retail you could film a “what’s in this season” feature.
From strategic planning to brilliant creative, this is the time of year to secure your existing client’s business and acquire new customers. Now let’s make the most of your holiday marketing program.