It’s that special time of year again … your inbox has a few more solicitation emails, your social feeds are really pushing some of those products you showed interest in, and the newspaper at your grandma’s house is a lot heavier than it was back in October.
Oh, and your co-worker with the sniffles is a little less friendly, while your significant other seems to run out of patience with you more frequently and a lot easier than they used to. And did you notice traffic? Good Lord, does no one work anymore?
Welcome to the holidays … hopefully you’re not annoyed at the lengthy setup and will continue reading to learn just what your business should be doing to maintain or even grow your top of mind awareness in a hectic and distracted marketplace.
The quick answer here is as always “it depends…”
If the holidays are a critical revenue generating period for your business, then your best strategy is to join the choir by singing loudly (and often) to your potential customers. It might be a good time to expand your PMA a bit, make an aggressive offer or better yet, go directly after your competition in this space. Beat them on price, beat them on customer service, and take advantage of the grunion running mentality of free market capitalism.
But what about the rest of us? The orthodontists, lawyers, IT companies, real estate brokerages, hair salons and marijuana dispensaries that rely on a steady stream of new customers to keep our growth metrics in proper order.
Do we slow down our marketing efforts given that we are speaking to such a distracted audience? NO, I say … what you should do of course depends on the details that would make this blog more of a book. Because I have a party to go to this weekend, here’s a handful of marketing tips that help make the holidays more cheerful for all.
1. Be Charitable – The holidays are a good time to put your community support efforts front and center. People are in a giving mood and appreciate companies who display civic responsibility.
2. Be Extra Present – Remember that grumpy co-worker? The holidays are stressful for EVERYONE … So make sure your customer service agents are full of hot cocoa, peppermint, and extra smiles for everyone.
3. Pull Back a Bit – In certain circumstances (and under the guidance of a well-trained marketing professional), you can pull your marketing efforts back a bit knowing that you will be hitting things hard again in 1st Quarter.
4. Analyze Your Year – How’s it going? No really, are you hitting your KPI’s? Are you posting to social media on a regular basis? Are you doing everything you could be doing to ensure the maximum growth of your company? It’s a good time to run a year over year analysis on your revenue, your expenses, and your profitability.
5. Give, Give, Give – Every business can point to people as the reason for their success. Whether they be clients, employees or vendors, use the holidays as a time to show appreciation for what people do to make you successful all year. Be generous with both praise and gifts to those that are most critical to your success.
6. Recharge Yourself – The holidays are a great time to take some extended days off. Do what you can to make these days as restful as possible. For many businesses, it’s one of the few times you can disconnect without it costing you.
7. Entertain New Platforms for Outreach – The holidays are a good time to read up on the latest trends in media. You might also look at what stations or platforms you are buying to make sure that you are not putting forth the same old message to the same old audience. Look forward to the coming year of trying a different radio station or perhaps incorporating a new social media platform in your outreach efforts.
8. Review Your Ads – Like what you see? Good, but know that your message might be getting a little stale. Nothing wrong with a little dust off. Use the slower holiday season to review your ads to make sure they still resonate with your potential customer and evoke a positive consumer action.
The holidays are a fun and exciting time for all of us. Business owners are no exception. Take the time to follow some pretty simple steps to ensure that your company is not missing a beat or starting the next year off in a hole. If you own a business and feel that perhaps you weren’t quite as ready for the holidays as you should have been… send me a holiday message.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR – Ed Olsen is the president/owner of ReThinc Advertising. He has lots of opinions on all things marketing. To read more of them, click here.