Is it okay to say the C word yet? It is if you’re a marketer planning your Christmas campaigns.
This time last year I was recovering from the first of two major surgeries that would put me out of commission for most of my favourite time of the year. With the Christmas movies and adverts on television making up most of my festive cheer and decorating the tree being a mammoth task equal to running a marathon, naturally I am hoping to be able to make up for it this year. So from a personal and a marketing point of view, it is certainly not too early to talk about Christmas.
Life-threatening events aside, the most wonderful time of the year doesn’t fall into place without a little planning, which is why now is the time to start thinking about how you’re going to market your business over the Christmas season. There is no such thing as being too early or too prepared when it comes to what is the busiest part of the year for many businesses. In fact, the last thing you want to do is leave everything until the last minute – while your competitors leave you in the dust.
Why should you prepare for Christmas early?
Many consumers begin their Christmas shopping early in order to spread the cost at what can be an expensive time of year, so you’ll be doing your business a great favour if you make yourself available to these people as early as possible. (Plus, some of us are just excited about the holiday season and already keen to start our festive purchases.)
Black Friday and Cyber Monday may also be important retail events in your calendar that you may need to prepare for – customers have come to expect great deals on these days. Put together, these retail days and Christmas all mean November and December are busy months. It’s advisable to get a head start now so that when the time comes all you’ll need to do is execute your plan. Starting early also means nothing needs to be rushed – you can take your time and get your marketing strategy just right.
How can you begin preparing for Christmas?
Before you prepare, you need to know what you are preparing for. What do you want to achieve? It’s likely you’ll want sales over Christmas – whether you’re running a restaurant, managing corporate events, or selling toys, clothes, other gifts, holidays, and so on. As with all marketing plans, you need to know what you want before you can get there. So consider who you’re targeting, what products or services you want to push, and what your targets are, such as revenue, bookings or sales.
Once you know what you want, consider how you’re going to get it. Where will you reach your target market, how big is the budget you can use for your Christmas campaign, and what will you need to do differently during this time? Maybe you’ll be stepping up your email marketing efforts, concentrating on paid advertising, or putting some more budget into social media marketing.
Next, what do you need to have in place for this strategy? Think copy, images, ad text, landing pages and so on. What will your angle be; what is the theme of your messaging? The more of this you can get this ready ahead of time, the better. It will be far more beneficial for you to analyse the effectiveness of your campaign when it’s running and decide how you can optimise it, rather than spend this time still scrambling to get your collateral ready for the next phase of your plan.
Speaking of analysing, you should also consider ahead of time how you will measure the success of your campaign and what you’re likely to need to adjust while it’s running. How are you going to monitor it, improve it and learn from it for next year?
Christmastime isn’t business as usual for most companies, and your marketing strategy will need some serious thought if Christmas is a busy time for you. But by breaking it down and really considering what you want to get out of your marketing and how you’re going to achieve it, you can put a plan into action early on, get ahead of your competitors, and improve your chances of achieving success – whatever that may look like for you.
If you would like some help with getting your digital marketing strategy underway ready for Christmas or Black Friday, contact SilverDisc on 01536 316100 or contact us online.