If you’re a marketer, advertiser or entrepreneur who’s ever written a 12-month marketing plan, you’ve likely started by outlining the plan month by month — taking into account the usual vacations and holidays. Look back: have holiday marketing efforts been a part of your strategy, or just a holiday from marketing?
5 Reasons to Ramp Up Your Holiday Marketing
Traditionally, marketing efforts “slow down” during spring break/Easter break, summer vacations, Thanksgiving and the December holiday season — unless you’re in retail, of course.
“Once again, we come to the Holiday Season — a deeply religious time that each of us observes, in his own way, by going to the mall of his choice.” — Dave Barry
With those last two holidays in mind, many marketers don’t even bother planning any tactics during November and December. Whether you’re going to do more or less during these busy months, you’ll want to take a look at these five things every marketer needs to consider during the holidays:
1. Competitors cutting back on marketing is a golden opportunity for your own holiday marketing.
Any time your competition is out of sight and out of mind for your target audience, you have the chance to grab their attention. And let’s be real, even the most committed family members still do work-related things on their smartphones during holiday gatherings.
Few of us completely “disconnect” — so why not reach out? You never know when a prospective customer, full of holiday cheer, might read your email or social post and decide to learn more about you.
2. Budget priorities change during this time of year.
From bonuses and raises to holiday parties and bills due by December 31, end-of-year costs can add up. Plus, with next year’s budget plans staring people in the face, budgets can become a fearsome opponent.
So maybe you should develop some special offers, discounts, referral rewards programs, or any other kind of cost-saving opportunity. You just might be perceived as an empathetic friend or even a hero — as well as someone worthy of a new customer.
3. Your holiday marketing might help people deal with the added stress of the season.
Many people are dealing with a lot during this time of year, especially on a personal level. They’re shopping for presents, preparing for family visits, traveling through crowded freeways or train stations or airports, etc. How can you help them?
Perhaps you’ve already made plans to help with special savings offers, like we mentioned in #2. But what can you do beyond financial incentives? Here are some thought-starters:
- Something fun (and silly) like adding a page to your website with a holiday-themed game — remember Elf Bowling?
- If you have a physical location, hold an informal “open house” with free refreshments — and maybe even a masseuse giving 5-minute massages/shoulder rubs — providing a much-needed “escape” for your guests.
- Or keep it simple, with a cheerful, personalized email message with holiday greetings to lift their spirits.
4. It’s the season of giving.
So it’s definitely a good time to start new charitable efforts or increase your existing ones. There are so many great causes out there — whether it’s local, regional, national or global — that it might be hard to narrow it down! A charity that’s related to your industry, your community, or something personal (like a health issue that you or a loved one has dealt with) is always a good idea.
And give yourself a little credit for doing something nice — do a little PR for yourself! Letting your audiences know that you’re committed to helping the less fortunate helps to build your brand in a very positive way.
5. Understand that there are a LOT of holidays this time of year.
Of course, Christmas is the most commonly celebrated holiday, but there are others to consider as well — especially if your target audience is more international. Here’s a list of some of the holidays that take place every December:
- Christmas Day (Christian)
- Hanukkah is usually in December, but goes by the Hebrew calendar (Jewish)
- Kwanzaa (African-American)
- Boxing Day (Australian, Canadian, English, Irish – secular)
- Three Kings Day/Epiphany (Christian)
- Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe (Mexican, Catholic)
- Lucia Day (Sweden, Norway, Finland – Christian)
- Omisoka (Japanese New Year’s Eve)
While the vast majority of people agree it’s not offensive to say “Merry Christmas,” it’s very much appreciated when you acknowledge other religions and cultures.
Wrapping It Up
During this joyous season simply focus on giving. With savings opportunities and discounts, fun events, and charitable seasonal needs such as gift and toy drives, be there! And stay in front of customers to say that you’re here for them. Jump into holiday marketing and make it a thing that you do, rather than a holiday from marketing.
I’m thankful to the good folks at Rocks Digital for giving me this forum, and I hope my posts have been interesting and a little bit educational. I wish you the happiest of holidays and a wonderful new year!
Do you have any holiday marketing tips? Feel free to share your ideas in the comments below. And please share this blog with your social networks if you found it interesting!