Although we're currently in the height of summer, it's not too early to begin preparing a holiday marketing strategy. Whether you're a B2B company or a retail operation, a large portion of your revenue is likely generated between Thanksgiving and New Year's Day.
Thanks to growing wages, stronger employment, and higher consumer confidence, the forecast for the 2018 holiday shopping season looks to be promising. While our improving economy will be a contributing factor to holiday sales, we can expect that businesses will also develop new marketing strategies to drive engagement and boost holiday sales.
If you want to ensure that your business finishes the year strong, it's in your best interest to get a jump start on your holiday marketing efforts. As you begin the process of putting together a holiday marketing plan, here are some areas that you need to be thinking about:
Regardless if you're a B2B or B2C organization, the last few months of the year bring a whirlwind of activity for your customers. While your target customers are trying to plow through their own "to do" lists during this busy time of year, they're also being bombarded with marketing messages from your competitors.
Waiting until the last few months of the year to forge new relationships and bring them across the finish line is a mistake. To make your business stand out during the holiday marketing season, you need to start cultivating relationships much earlier in the year. Summer is the ideal time to work on relationship building and update your CRM database. If you make building relationships a priority in August, your marketing campaign will be a well-oiled machine by the time November arrives.
Consider a Path Less Traveled
What can you do to make your marketing message different from the hundreds of other messages that your audience will be confronted with this holiday season? Your customers have become immune to seeing the same types of holiday marketing campaigns year after year. Since you have several months before the official holiday marking season kicks off, now is the time to plan a campaign that breaks the traditional mold and captivates your audience.
To give you an example, it's no secret that American consumers have become disgusted by the businesses that try to capitalize on Black Friday sales by opening their doors on Thanksgiving Day. However, rather than join the masses and offer early access to Black Friday discounts, businesses like REI chose to tap into the public displeasure with the pseudo shopping holiday in 2017 and remain closed on Thanksgiving Day. This #OptOutside strategy worked particularly well for the famous outdoor equipment co-op as it aligned with REI's branding and what the company stands for. Even though REI remained closed on Thanksgiving Day 2017, the business still reaped the benefits of the holiday shopping season, perhaps even more so than its competition.
Implement a Phased Approach
Instead of waiting to implement your holiday marketing strategy once Halloween ends, find a way to roll out your campaign in stages. Yes, it's only August; however, you can use this time to start developing a narrative with your marketing efforts that will blossom at the height of the holiday season.
By implementing a phased approach to your holiday marketing strategy, you can align your messaging to distinct stages in the buyer's journey. Use this time during the summer to inspire interest in your brand and build awareness of your products and services. Once you plant the seed, you can put your foot on the gas a little more with your messaging as you approach the holiday season.
Holiday Marketing is Crucial for B2B and B2C Organizations
Much of the hype around holiday marketing is related to the retail sector thanks to Black Friday and Cyber Monday. However, a successful last few months of the year is also crucial for B2B organizations to be able to raise the roof on end-of-year numbers.
One reason why B2B organizations need to make the last quarter of the year a selling season is that a lot of companies have budgets that need to be spent by the end of the year. Taking the time now to develop a strong holiday marketing campaign will help give your customers the push that they need to take action and purchase by the end of the year.
Another reason for B2B organizations to focus on marketing to businesses during the holidays is that the end of the year is when many executives are making key decisions for the following year. If you're offering a product or service that will help companies enhance the way that they operate, promoting what you have to offer during the last few months of the year will yield you more sales.
Creating the right holiday marketing campaign for your business takes time, and you need the right partner with the expertise to help you craft a well-implemented strategy that will allow you to end the year strong.
Our team at New York Ave has what it takes to help you put together a personalized digital marketing strategy that will make your business more memorable. Contact us to learn more about how we can help you put together a winning holiday marketing campaign that will allow your business to stand apart from the competition.