In the busy run-up to end of year, many businesses fail to strategically leverage the Christmas season as a potential branding and sales opportunity. Christmas is a great time to touch base with your clients, business contacts and prospects. It’s also the perfect opportunity to get inactive clients reacquainted with your brand. Interactions should be warm and friendly, building on the festive Christmas buzz to help foster rapport. Decide what you want to achieve with your Christmas strategies. Spending is in overdrive throughout December and early January, so it’s important to be visible to your customers as they’re making their purchasing decisions. But whether you plan to run a complete revenue-generating campaign or a more low-key goodwill promotion to improve customer retention and brand awareness, don’t miss the opportunity to remind prospects and clients that you are around, and what your business offers. Even simply thanking your customers for their business and wishing them well for the holiday season carries great value at this time of year. Whatever approach you decide to take, make sure you get the most from your Christmas marketing efforts by ensuring your communications and promotions are correctly targeted, relevant, and memorable enough to make you stand out from the crowd. Here are a few ways to spread the Christmas cheer for maximum impact and effectiveness.
- Keep it personal: Make your clients feel special with personalised Christmas cards and/or small gifts, both of which offer great branding opportunities. Get into the giving spirit by sending out gifts bearing your logo. If possible send merchandise that represents and reflects your business or service. Alternatively, think about items that will keep your brand name hanging around in offices and on desks well into the new year, such as branded notepads, mugs or USB keys. Always personalise the messages on accompanying cards and tags to ensure the recipient feels valued.
- Busy, busy, busy: Christmas is the season of good cheer but the lead-up to the big day can be a stressful and busy time. Capitalise on your customers’ sense of urgency with last-minute hot deals and limited-offer Christmas promotions. Get the word out via Facebook or email shout-outs for campaigns with immediacy and impact.
- ‘Tis the season of giving: Think about ways to build the Christmas goodwill across your customer base in tandem with boosting sales – donate a portion of December sales, or sales of a particular product to a charity, for example. Be sure to align with a charity that resonates with your target market.
- It’s also the season of spending: According to the Commonwealth Bank, Australians are set to spend $17.8 billion between 1 December 2014 and 6 January 2015. Give them reasons to splash some of that cash in your direction by targeting special offers around what customers are looking for at this time of year: e.g. guaranteed turnaround times, free postage or complimentary gift-wrapping.
- Propel the goodwill into the new year: Don’t let your marketing momentum come to a halt when Christmas is all wrapped up. Include special offers for 2015 in your all Christmas communications and keep your business blazing right through the summer break for a cracking start to the new year.
And as my marketing Christmas gift to you, till the end of December, I am giving ABN members our mini e-guide, 12 Ways of Christmas, absolutely FREE. Filled with ideas and strategies for unwrapping the marketing potential of the festive season, this guide will help you prepare to kick off your marketing early and start blazing trails in the new year. Click here to download your FREE e-guide