During the holiday season we are all asked to break through the noise of our competition and other market segments to get the attention of our customer base. This is harder than ever to do in both traditional and digital marketing channels. My assertion is that the results that you get during the holiday season are a product of what you have been doing all year to create a relationship with your customers. People are smart and many have less disposable income than ever. Whether or not they spend some of that hard-earned cash with you is dependent on the value they have been getting from your product lines throughout the rest of your relationship with them. I think this is real meaning of a “holiday bonus”!
So let’s assume that you have been working diligently all year to create value, educate your customer on product benefits and differentiate yourself from the competition. Now is the time to reward those loyal customer for their patronage. Well constructed promotional offerings across all channels can gain you the most benefit with your base while also using this time as an opportunity to acquire new customers. This is the cheat sheet of things I’m trying to remember as I navigate through the season and make plans for 2012:
1. Take Risks – It’s time to shake things up. Offer deeper or different discounts; introduce new products alongside the existing lines and don’t be afraid to ask your consumer base what they like and want. Online polling options can be easily integrated into your existing site – use them!
2. Make Promotions Simple & Understandable to Your Consumer – Consumers do not like being confused. You do not want your offerings to read like the small print on a credit application! Stick to offerings that can be easily communicated in your creative materials.
3. Don’t Forget a Call to Action – Activating your customer base is not just about getting them to make purchases. Cause related commerce allows your brand to do something worthwhile in the world while making your revenue numbers. Select something that is on message and that your own team can get excited about.
4. Know Your Competitors & Be Different – Hopefully you’ve been doing competitive analysis all year-long but if you haven’t now is the time to sign up for your competitors email blasts and review their sites and social media channels. You can’t differentiate yourself if you don’t know what they’re doing!
5. Make a Cohesive Connection Between Holiday Offerings and Your 2012 Planning – This may be the time of the year when your site gets the most traffic. Find a way to engage those lurking on your site for your future campaigns. If you make the connection between a call to action, cause related offering or continued loyalty programs you can acquire customers long past this holiday.
Each market segment is different and there are many ideas out there.. This is just my take on what is required to break through during this season. Enjoy!