With the holiday shopping season under way and about to get in full swing very soon, small business retailers better have had their marketing plans written, gift wrapped and delivered long before now.
For those, however, who are like some of us who wait until Christmas Eve to do the bulk of our holiday shopping, there is still time to wrap up some ideas to pull off a winning 2011 holiday retail season.
With 2011 having been a difficult year for many small businesses when it comes to their return on investment (ROI), ending the year with a bang when it comes to holiday sales can cushion the blow or even save a difficult financial year.
If your business is looking for some assistance from Santa’s helpers to make your marketing efforts even better, keep these things in mind:
- Don’t get caught up in the political correctness game – First and foremost, you may be wondering whether you should market the season as Christmas or the holidays. Plain and simple, there is no requirement either way. You are not being offensive if you stick with the old standby of Christmas despite what some may say. If you feel more comfortable using the generic “holidays” term, by all means go that route. Either way, don’t spend hours and countless dollars trying to appease everyone;
- Stand out from the crowd – Everyone and their brother has Black Friday sales and specials, almost to the point where it gets too cluttered. Put your marketing hat on and come up with something that will make you different from the competition;
- Put social media to work for you – With the various social networking sites at your disposal like Facebook, Twitter and others, make sure you use them to the hilt. While it does take some effort, using social media is essentially free and the rewards can be quite beneficial. Make sure you tweet and share with customers and potential customers the different sales you have available over the holiday season;
- Go mobile – More and more consumers are using their web-enabled phones to shop these days, so that means you need to have a presence there. While the individual may not actually purchase something right then and there, you can influence their decision if you have specials and sales streaming to them over their phones;
- Remember your customers – Hopefully by now you have already ordered whatever correspondence or little gifts you had planned for your favorite clients. By taking just a few minutes to send a card and/or gift, you’re reminding them how much their business means to you throughout the year;
- Work with the local media – If your marketing events are really newsworthy, make sure the local press gets wind of them. While making contributions to a local charity during the holidays may not seem like big news to most, it will put you in a better light with the local community. Make sure, however, to schedule out such events weeks in advance as the media will not just drop everything if you’re doing a local charitable event that day;
- Market with the past in mind – As you market over the holidays, think back to recent campaigns over the years and what did and did not work. If you keep trying to market something that has failed to pick up steam in previous attempts, you will be left spinning your wheels again this year. Hopefully you have carefully crafted a holiday marketing campaign that will bring you some gifts in terms of a positive ROI heading into 2012.
As the owner of a small business, the holidays can oftentimes make or break your year.
Make sure your marketing efforts this time around are geared to keep your current customers happy, bring in some new customers, and give you the momentum you need to make 2012 an even better year.