The absolute number one rule for a successful marketing year is to plan ahead. We really encourage a year long marketing plan. If you’re feeling stressed about the current holiday season, make next year feel like a breeze by being prepared. Plan, schedule, design and produce as much as possible during the lulls throughout the year, so you don’t have to think about marketing efforts during your busy seasons.
Mark Your Calendar
A good place to start is with a calendar marked with major holidays. Well known shopping days, like Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday are also perfect for marketing opportunities. VerticalResponse provides a pretty complete list of holidays and events to keep in mind and this guide gives you an idea of how to schedule around the events you want to focus on.
Multi Touch/Multi Channel
More and more shoppers are making online purchases to avoid the crowds. Even if they purchase in store, chances are that they’ve done online research or installed an app to help them find the best deals. Customers are looking for your deals; making multiple touches through a variety of marketing channels will ensure that they notice you early on and keep you in mind right through your sales event or throughout the holiday season. All of these efforts can be made ready ahead of time, most can even be scheduled out, so they just fall into place at the right time.
Send a “save the date” early out to introduce your event and follow up with a few reminders. Build your list throughout the year; encourage online sales and email opt in by offering an exclusive deal.
Your competitors will be advertising all over social media. Hit it hard to stay in front.
Facebook – Set up targeted ad campaigns and/or schedule eye catching posts – one early on and more frequently as the event approaches.
Twitter – Same idea as Facebook..keep promoting your event more and more as the event get’s closer.
Pinterest – A must for retail businesses! Many people use Pinterest to gather gift ideas, making this the perfect platform for your products.
Online coupon and deal sites
Consumers looking for a deal are being driven more and more to sites like Retail Me Not and Fat Wallet for online and in-store coupons. If you’re not there, you may lose the purchase to someone who is.
The simplest, cheapest form of marketing…post signs on your door, at your register and around your shop or
restaurant to let your current customers know they should return for the upcoming sales event. Ask to post your event details at other local establishments; small businesses tend to support one another.
Reporting will be available for most of your digital marketing efforts. Don’t forget to go back after a week or so to review how they worked, so you can adjust your strategy for next year. Once you get started on a cyclical marketing plan, the process will become easier and more efficient.
If you’d like help developing and/or implementing a marketing plan for the new year, we’d love to hear from you! Contact us today.