If you don’t already have a plan, you might be too late.
Oh sure, if you work hard and fast you can get it out there. I’ve seen businesses still brainstorming ideas for specials and Christmas deals as of just a few days ago. However, it’s high stress and without the big payoff a more carefully considered plan could render you.
How can planning help you?
Imagine this scenario:
Laura owns Divinity Cupcakes. She knows the holidays come around the same time every year and starts to plan out her Black Friday specials in October. Via social media like Facebook and her e-newsletter, she wets the appetites of her customers with hints of something big coming in November. Laura is not just offering a special bulk-holiday cupcake coupon, but she’s also unveiling a new flavor! By early-November she’s posting pictures of the new recipe she made, encouraging people to guess the flavor.
By the time Laura posts the actual special in mid-November, she’s got a group of raving fans eagerly awaiting her offer! Because Laura prepared and promoted ahead of time her customers and prospects spread the word and she came off as cool, professional and something to look forward to.
Laura is excited about her progress for the holidays and continues to promote her new recipe through December and January. She plans on making next year an even bigger success.
Now imagine another scenario:
Frankie owns Good Boy, a dog training business. She hasn’t really planned any promotions when suddenly she remembers Thanksgiving is only two weeks away! She frets over it and finally develops a Holiday Training package to offer her customers – spamming it quickly and intensely over the next two weeks. Her message gets lost in all the other similar messages which are clogging every possible marketing platform during that time.
Her customers, some of which only visit her monthly, never even know about it or have already made other plans for their holiday wish lists. Even when Frankie adds a special goodie bag with her package for free (Complete with a clicker, healthy dog treats and a ‘How to help your pet through the holidays’ guide) she gets little if any response.
Frankie tells her friends that small businesses can’t make money with the holiday hype and feels like she wasted her time. She might not even bother to try next year.
We’ve all been Frankie at one point. Sometimes marketing just gets away from us because we’re so busy fighting fires we forget to deal with the quieter but also pivotal parts of our business.
When should I be planning, and how?
The latest you should be considering is mid-October. You might remember better by realizing when you start to see Halloween stuff out in the stores, you must be making a decision and getting purposeful with your plan.
Don’t just think about discounts either. Think about creating a special package that would make a great gift to family and loved ones. Think about offering something never before done by you. Consider a new CD, mp3, video, eBook, guide, email program, product or service combination perhaps. Brainstorm with customers, friends and family if you’re short on ideas.
That’s great, but I can’t use this until next year!!
Au contraire, my friends.
Now is the PERFECT time to be planning for New Year’s promotions. The “New Year, New _______ (You, Life, Body, Car, Dog, etc)” concept is a truly excellent excuse for a marketing campaign. Bonus? You can start advertising during the Christmas rush and maybe get a few holiday bites from that as well!
Next year? Next year if you plan ahead, no one can stop you and your holiday marketing success!
Looking for more help? We offer a great “Easy Marketing for 2015” coaching package that can get you in gear for all of your 2015 promotional planning. Schedule a free get acquainted call today!