Start Holiday Marketing Plans Now!

If you’re in retail, you know that holiday planning is crucial to your entire year’s success. After all, 20% of companies’ annual sales are generated during the holiday season. If you’re a small or mid-size company, this can be up to 40%. What steps should you take to maximize your holiday sales opportunities?

  1. Start planning now.
    The official start to the holiday shopping season is Black Friday, November 25, 2016. While this may seem like a long way away, it’s really not. Holiday marketing needs to start now. Especially if you’ll be creating a multichannel campaign. There are only a few months to strategize, design, and execute all phases and channels of the campaign and ensure that everything will go smoothly.
  2. Create a special offer unique to your business.
    Everybody is offering deals and discounts around the holidays. What unique approach will you take?
  3. Don’t wait until Black Friday to send your first pieces of mail.
    While you may want to drop Black Friday sales promotions a few days ahead of this “super shopping” date, consumers start their Christmas shopping well in advance. Even if they don’t actually open their wallets until Black Friday, they are planning their holiday spending earlier. Get your holiday ideas and promotions in front of them. If you wait until they start spending money, it might be too late.
  4. Send a consistent message.
    Just as you are planning to take your share of the pie during the holiday season, so is everyone else. Inboxes and postal mailboxes are flooded with messages this time of year. It will take a consistent message to be seen and heard. Inconsistent messages are forgettable. The more consistent—and persistent—your message, the more it will break through and be remembered.
  5. Reinforce, reinforce, reinforce.
    Use multiple channels to connect with people where they are, when they are shopping, and on the devices or using the media they prefer. Some people like getting a printed piece in the mail. Others respond to targeted ads on Facebook. Others want to get alerts via text.  Whatever channels you use, according to a study by SDL, 90% of consumers expect their customer experiences to be consistent across channels. 
  6. Invest in your data.
    When was the last time you did a data clean up? De-dupe? Do an “enhanced” NCOA (NCOA is enhanced with third-party data)? Run deceased suppression? Also consider doing a data analysis to find out who your best customers are by sales, by frequency, or by longevity. This will help you craft tailored messages based on their relationship with you.
  7. Include outdoor displays and in-store signage.
    Go big and get seen. It’s hard to ignore large, colorful sidewalk signs, in-store posters, and banners waving in the breeze. The “out of home” industry continues to show strong growth, and it’s easy to see why. You can click out of an email, but you can’t choose not to see the 20-foot banner right in front of you.

Looking for more ways to invest in your holiday marketing? Let’s brainstorm. The time to get started is now!

1 U.S. Census Bureau

2 National Retail Federation

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