The benefits of planning ahead for the holiday season

DATE:August 23, 2018

‘Tis the season when the summer heat starts to slowly fade away and the cool breeze begins to pick up. We may not like to admit it, but fall is on its way, meaning the holiday season is just around the corner. It may not be time to get the snow blowers out, but it is time to get started planning your holiday marketing strategy.

From a Constant Contact report, 31% of small businesses believe that you should start planning your holidays from two or three months in advance. It may be only August, but we are firm believers that more time to plan is never a bad thing. Be sure to keep the following five points in mind when you begin planning your holiday campaigns.

Time is everything

According to Accenture, about 23% of shoppers begin their holiday shopping before Thanksgiving and will have their lists completed by the end of November. The time period during which you begin your advertising is extremely important; consider carefully when choosing. If you start too soon your shelves may stay full and sales stagnate. However, if you start too late you miss out on the early shoppers and sale opportunities. Our recommendation is to stay alert when your customers are talking about the holidays. Staying up to date with their consumer actions will benefit you in knowing when you need to start stacking your shelves.

What is your campaign strategy?

When thinking about your campaign strategy, you’ll want to consider all the major holidays of the season: Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukkah, and New Year’s. You will also want to think about all of the shopping days that have become popular: Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Once you distinguish the best way your company can utilize these holidays you can begin strategizing your campaign.

Keep your holiday marketing budget in mind when strategizing your campaign. How much are you willing to spend during the season and where do you need to spend it? Another element to think about is your targeted audience’s interests. What kind of ads spark the most interest during the holiday season? How can you implement these ideas into your campaign? Crafting goals and objectives for what you hope to achieve with your holiday campaigns is a great way to stay focused on your company’s goal for the season. All of these things will be a great help when you are looking.

Strategize for more than Christmas

It can be easy to focus in on Christmas as the most prominent holiday of the season. When you only plan a Christmas season marketing campaign, you are limiting the audience you reach.  With the variety of holidays for a variety of cultures happening through the months of November and December, it is important not to single out one holiday. Stay inclusive and think about your audience: which holidays might they celebrate? Choose the holidays you acknowledge based on this.

Consider themed offers

Get into the holiday spirit with a few themed offers or discounts that are centered around your overall marketing theme. Then advertise them on in-store signs, posters or banners, on your website and social channels, or with a postcard direct mail campaign. This marketing effort has the ability to increase in-store traffic, online engagement and sales.

Plan your social media

Planning your social media posts makes it easier for your company to create all the content and then schedule it out ahead of time. This way you can monitor how each post is reaching your audience and what type of content they like to see on your social channels.

When you start planning your holiday marketing campaigns early, you are spending valuable time and energy making each shopping experience one that your customers will remember. Once these holiday campaigns are planned, Imagine! Express will print them but our expertise is not in planning them. Give us a call today!

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