The new holiday season has arrived, and you still don’t have a marketing plan to reach out to new or existing customers. Wondering why the same holidays seem to sneak up on us every single year? As we try to prepare ourselves for own family, shopping, gift giving and travel, it’s no wonder we often forget about our businesses marketing during all the holiday chaos.
It’s quite common for business owners to freeze their marketing efforts over the holiday season with the notion that they’re going to start strong in the new year; little do they know, however, just how many opportunities have passed them by.
The holidays can be the best time to bring in new business and reconnect with current clients and customers. The holidays are not just for brick-and-mortar stores; it can also help your business by boosting revenue and customer loyalty before the end of the year.
Here are the top five holiday marketing mistakes businesses make:
1. No Plans. Your holiday marketing plan should have been planned at the beginning of the year, but now it’s the holiday season, so what do you do? Take some time today to decide what you are going to do and offer for the rest of the holiday season. If it’s just too late, then start planning now for the next holiday. Also establish the habit in 2010 to set a marketing calendar at the beginning of the year that can serve as a blueprint for your marketing plans year round.
2. No Communications. Although the Christmas holiday season is frantic for most, for some businesses it’s actually the slowest and the best time to pick up the phone and make a call for their business. Many business owners mistakenly think that offices are closed or people are too distracted or busy to be bothered. If you choose not to follow up with leads or customers because it’s a busy time of year, you’re making excuses. If it’s not this holiday, it’ll be the New Year, or Valentine’s Day or Spring break, then summer. Now is the best time to market precisely because so many of your competitors don’t.
3. Zero Holiday Offers. Remember any product or service can be repackaged with a holiday offer or theme. Search online to see what other companies are offering; it might spark an idea or two for your business. People, for the most part, love the holiday season; they like to focus on gift giving, vacations and family time. So if you don’t provide a holiday special or offer that helps them with their needs, you are missing a great opportunity.
4. Not Sending Holiday Greetings. Take a few hours out of your day and hand write a holiday greeting card. There are automated systems such as SendOutCards.com where you can design your own card (to add a personal touch) and you can even send a gift with the card, this service will put the postage on the card and send it for you, saving you a trip to the post office. AT the very least send out an email card. Your customers have been loyal, bought from you and supported your business year round; you need to let them know that you are not only thinking about them over the holidays but that you are grateful for their business.
5. Customer Surveys. How are you going to know what worked and didn’t if you don’t ask? Find out what worked and what didn’t, look at your systems and your marketing, and then make improvements and enhance your current offerings. Aweber.com has great online survey templates. Offer a free gifts or discounts to customers who take the time to complete your survey. If you keep doing what you have always done, you’ll keep getting what you’ve always gotten.
Bert Martinez is an International Sales and Business trainer. Martinez specializes in building businesses worldwide using the power of proven marketing and business strategies.