Part of our #HereComeTheHolidays Series
Getting Ahead With Your Christmas Marketing
With the arrival of October, we’re in for a new season of falling leaves and cosy evenings. Now is the time for pumpkin spice, spooky parties and… planning for your Christmas marketing?
We know—October has barely started. But no matter the industry you’re in (and especially in retail), the holiday seasons are some of the biggest events in business. Not many companies will have started to gear up for the Christmas push, but us small businesses need to be prepared for when they do. This is months in advance, and in any other situation, thinking so far ahead would be considered jumping the gun. But the season has so many wide-reaching opportunities that it deserves—and needs—your focus, especially after a year of lockdowns and pent-up spending money.
Companies use every tool they have on their belts to edge ahead of the competition at this time. It’s a free-for-all, a frenzy of festivity, and it starts early. If you’re putting off your holiday events to November, you might want to read on—your timing is everything.
In our #HereComeTheHolidays series, we’ll be showing you how this multi-pronged approach can help small business to generate more leads and sales, and make the most out of the festive season, so you get your holiday marketing off to the best start.
1. The Goldilocks Month: Not Too Late, and Not Too Early
Have you found yourself frustrated at the Christmas products seemingly arriving early and earlier in the supermarkets? (Would you believe we saw the first Christmas products of the year two months ago?) If you have, then you’re experiencing over-saturation, and much like most other people in the shops, it can seriously diminish your appetite for the holidays. (Besides—it’s not even Hallowe’en yet!) In order to minimise this effect, we don’t recommend starting your preparation for your chosen holiday any earlier than three months previous. The holidays can still be special: everything, even for Quality Street chocolates, needs to be in moderation after all.
For the holiday season in the later months, October is the Goldilocks month—a perfect middle so you can lighten the pressure for your future self. This is the time for devising campaigns, organising events, booking your parties, and creating content. Get the groundwork in place so you can build on and implement your content in the big run-up to the holidays. Plus, you can tick off a few tasks in the process—and make sure you’re not rushing to get everything done at once.
2. Keeping Your Christmas Marketing Plan Simple
Putting that groundwork in is very important, but a good base needs to be manageable to. The more ways you market, the more this applies.
Having everything in one place can be a massive help, which is where using a CRM comes in. Here, you’ll have your contact lists and all the information you need to send it to the right person. This is the springboard from which everything is organised, and you can refer back to it to check progress and direct you on what to do next. All this clarifies your sales process, which in turn will increase your sales conversion rate.
As with any campaign or sales process, having a visual reference will clarify and simplify just what it is you’re putting out there. In popcorn’s sales pipelines, you can progress your leads along so you know who needs what.
Keeping things central is a big part of simplifying your contact lists, but it’s an approach to apply across your holiday marketing planning, too. It’s best to keep everything in one place, and keep it consistent. Most importantly—don’t overload yourself! Everything in moderation, and you’ll see achievements all the way up to the big day.
3. Setting Your Targeting for Your Christmas Marketing
One of the perks of having a joined up CRM is being able to see, in real-time, who’s engaging and why they’re responding. Your contact lists are a boon, and organising them at the right time will streamline your holiday marketing experiences. This is because your data is dynamic; you can easily respond to your customer’s needs when it happens. Your response rates will say as much—being responsive, not static, could increase your response rates by up to 60%!
Tag your contacts with relevant information over the progress of your relationship with them, so you can build up a picture of the sort of messaging they’d be interested in. When it comes to setting up campaigns for the holidays, you’ll have a good idea of who should be targeted. Targeting can make a massive difference to your customer acquisition—and what better time to benefit from your hard work than the busy holidays?
4. Feeling Festive
In the UK, the biggest business event by far is Christmas. It’d be a miracle if you missed it. There is also, of course, Hallowe’en, Bonfire Night, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day. But we can also celebrate all the holidays around this time—e.g. Diwali and Hanukkah—and integrate that into customer communications.
Though this article is skewed towards Christmas, this guidance is absolutely applicable for any big holiday that is soon to be celebrated, no matter what time of year it lands. Springtime encompasses Passover for Jewish observers, for example, and May and July have Eid celebrations for Muslims.
Depending on your audience, you can adjust your planning for how central you make a particular holiday. If Christmas isn’t a thing for your customers, feel free to swap the month of October for any third month before an important date. What matters is that we celebrate, and do so proudly!
Unwrapping Your Christmas Marketing
Following these steps should give you the best head start available for your marketing plans. That way, you can show off what you’ve been able to achieve and how you did it. You can also show this off in front of your customers. It pays off to approach the conversation around your holiday campaign like a present: get your customers excited about a present (marketing) they know they’re getting, have the big unveiling and then when the dust is settled, talk about the present they received. It’ll keep all eyes on your successes, and remind them of what you can achieve.
Remember, if you give yourself plenty of time and keep everything central, you will ensure the whole process is as low-risk and low-pressure as possible—and you can keep giving your audience a stellar customer experience throughout the year!