It isn't even Halloween yet, but many retail stores are already starting to put out Christmas merchandise. But retailers aren’t the only ones who stand to benefit from getting ahead of the holiday game. It’s time for small businesses to start thinking about your end-of-year holiday marketing too.
But, how can your business stand out in the sea of holiday marketing materials and events? The Small Business Administration recommends starting by thinking outside the end-of-year box.
Most of your clients will be hosting and attending parties every weekend night in December, consider getting ahead of the game and hosting a party around Thanksgiving that will not only stand out from the pack but serve as a thank you for their business.
There are other stand-out timing options. Consider picking your own Black Friday a week or two after the traditional Black Friday for your clients, making your special more special than the rest. Emphasizing the fact that you are closed on Black Friday can also reap surprising benefits. Last year, REI’s #OptOutside campaign focused on their decision to close all their stores, headquarters, and distribution centers on Black Friday so their employees could enjoy a paid day off to spend time with their families outside helped remind people of the brand’s core values and mission.
Another option is to give out coupons for the new year with holiday purchases to encourage customers to patronize your business again.
The season of giving can also be the season of giving back. Getting involved in a food drive or gift drive for local food banks and charities by hosting a donation drop-off at your store or office will remind clients of your community focus and potentially bring future clients in the door.
Or consider partnering with a local charity whose mission aligns with your own and run a holiday campaign together – for instance offer free financial planning sessions for a local charity who helps those in financial jeopardy and highlight them in your newsletter or on your website with a link to donate to the organization. Or allow customers to buy two of whatever they are ordering and donate the second item to a local charity partner. UK retailer John Lewis does this with their holiday campaigns every year in a big budget way, but the overall idea behind the campaign can be replicated on a much smaller scale.
Above all, remember that the marketing tactics that work for you from January to November are still likely to work in December. There’s no need to throw out your overall strategy, just add a few seasonal decorations.
If you would like assistance with planning a holiday strategy, contact us at www.BuddinghAssociates.com.