How to avoid the December drop-off period
It’s the festive season and whether you celebrate Christmas or not, things are about to get very weird indeed in the commercial world. It’s the time of year when everyone seems to have a special Xmas offer on the cards: a December sale, a brilliant gift idea, an un-missably good deal. Businesses you don’t usually hear a peep from are suddenly out there giving it large. So do you leap in and join the fray or sit quiet until the madness is over?
Do you shut down your marketing altogether ’til sanity returns?
The insurance industry tends to hang up its direct marketing hat altogether between late October and week 2 January, when everyone comes back to earth with an unpleasant bump to face life’s realities. It simply isn’t worth spending money trying to get people interested in insurance when we all have our holiday heads on.
If like many B2B businesses you sell goods or services that can’t be given a Christmas focus, you might decide it’s best to save your marketing budget for the New Year instead of wasting it because your message gets lost in all the seasonal media noise.
What if you do sell seasonal or related stuff?
It’s a difficult one. Obviously you want to make the most of a time of year when everyone spends like the end of the world is nigh. But so does everyone else: your competitors, big brands with deep marketing budget pockets, local and national businesses, the whole damned lot of them, are all coming out of the woodwork with messages of festive cheer. The buggers.
Planning ahead gives you a better chance
If you’ve left it until now and forgotten to plan ahead, it’ll be scarily easy to blow your marketing budget for November and December with not much – if anything – to show for it. But there’s a secret weapon in your pocket… and it’s called inbound marketing.
The perils of seasonal advertising
You could advertise, but unless your budget is a whopper you might not get much attention compared to big ads by big brands. You could market yourself into a frenzy but the closer Christmas gets, the less attention people pay to the ‘real’ world. At this time of year you need to target your marketing messages as tightly as possible, which means talking to people directly, personally and 100% relevantly. How? This is where your customer and prospect database comes in handy.
Email marketing and newsletters
There’s an awful lot of seasonal email marketing going on, but at least email marketing lets you into people’s inboxes where they can’t totally ignore you… even if all they do is delete your message unread. On the other hand you need to make a better job of it than ever at this time of year. Whether it’s an emailed newsletter or just a short festive sales message, excellence is your aim if you want to get heard and enjoy a profitable Xmas period.
Alternatives to festive marketing
You might decide it isn’t worth trying to out-compete your entire sector this Christmas. You might feel the festivities are irrelevant to your business and it isn’t worth the bother marketing your wares until January. If so, what can you do to keep up the marketing momentum? Here are some ideas:
- Stack up a series of blog posts in advance, buying yourself loads of time by scheduling them to go live throughout January.
- Take a long, hard look at your website and carry out any vital updates and upgrades between now and the New Year.
- Use your marketing time differently, dreaming up fresh ideas for 2015: stuff like creating a content plan, planning a New Year sales push, developing a new product, service, special offer…
If you’d like some help generating ideas for future marketing projects for your small business, we’re really good at seeing things clearly with no preconceptions. Let’s think outside the box together!