In the spirit of Oprah Winfrey’s favorite things and the twelve days of Christmas here’s a list of classic favorites for marketing during the holiday season. Big business knows that Christmas is a big season for sales. It’s the chance to get those finances in the black and clear out inventory for the next year.
It is no different for small businesses. But true to the spirit of the season, the Holidays are a great time to connect on a deeper level with our customers. You get the chance to leave them with a good feeling and good impression of the soul and the service of your company. And that’s good for business! So here’s our list:
JR Griggs, author of 10 Ways to Put Yourself Out of Business suggests that you “send out Christmas Cards instead of emails. People will hang a Christmas Card but they will not print and hang an email.” This way your business remains in front of your customer all season long. As for that email, it’s discarded before the next business day.
Create a holiday atmosphere on and off-line. For brick and mortar companies, consider playing Christmas music and giving away seasonal treats. It sticks in your customers mind, and that’s the goal, to be the top thought for whatever the service or product that you provide. As for web based companies consider adding a little Christmas to the site. You could spruce up your header or banner. Or create a special Holiday page. Use it to connect with customers. Conduct Holiday themed surveys, promote Christmas discounts or any Seasonal newsworthy events on that page.
Yes, we are talking about marketing, so that we can raise our funds. But in this case, let’s focus on the season and give something away first. Cait DeStefano, owner of Cait’s Classic Designs uses fundraising to support a cause that she believes in. This same action also promotes her business. She says, “It puts my companies name out there for a good cause and brings me in sales and new customers. Right now I’m doing fundraisers for the MS Society and Philabundance. They already have a large marketing campaign in place and add my name to their lists of ways people can help out. I look at it as free marketing.”
Provide the giveaway item at the next party or local event, and make sure the gift items are tastefully branded with your company and contact information. Barbara Wells, SVP, Staples Promotional Products, says that “according to the Promotional Products Association International (PPAI), 52% of recipients do business with a company after receiving its promotional item.” I know it works for the cake ladies in my community. They provide baked goods for our annual October youth event, and receive orders throughout the entire holiday season.
“Coupons are a winning strategy holiday season or not,” says J.W. Arnold of PRDC, a public relations and marketing company based in Washington, DC. “Times are still tough and while consumers will spend more during the holiday season, they are still very cost conscious and will jump on a coupon offer.” Make sure that it:
- promotes a product that clients will respond to, and
- is time sensitive in order to encourage a prompt purchase.
Most of these tips are classic, Christmas marketing tools (some of which can be used all year round). Consider this your Holiday reminder. And although we are already in the season, you can implement these quickly. The best marketing plan is the one that you actually implement.