Once the calendar flips passed Halloween, the winter holidays are just around the corner. That means that it's time for many retail businesses to start their holiday marketing plans. In order to create an effective customer acquisition plan during the peak retail season of the year, it's critical that marketers start thinking about the needs of their customers early. As fall approaches, it's time to start the holiday marketing process and ensure that all the right tools are in place for 2017's holiday sales season.
Reaching All Users
Many marketers get caught up in holiday planning and forget that not everyone chooses to celebrate Christmas. Customers are looking for gifts and information for less mainstream holidays, too. Effective marketing professionals know that including Kwanzaa, Hanukkah, the Winter Solstice, and other key holidays in this season will allow them to connect more effectively with the broadest range of customers. Setting a strategy that includes segmentation for all of these holidays early in the planning season is the best way to ensure that the widest percentage of the customer base has been covered.
Checking Last Year's Stats
One of the most valuable tools many business owners have when the time comes to create a new holiday promotional plan is the data from last year's campaigns. Effective marketing professionals will take a look at last year's data and ask several key questions.
What strategies worked well last year? For example, social media posts that engaged customers in the previous year will likely work to engage customers again this year.
What strategies needed work last year? Did that Pinterest campaign fall completely flat? If so, that might be a channel worth skipping last year.
What areas need to be improved from last year's promotional efforts? Some companies may find that their email campaigns need work, while others will find that they need better content production to create better search engine ranking.
Designing the Plan
The middle of the holiday rush is one of the most difficult times for performance marketing teams to create their holiday marketing plan. While it's possible to pull off some spectacular campaigns at the last minute, effective campaigns are usually designed well ahead of the holiday season. Marketers should be sure that their holiday marketing plan includes:
Email strategy, including list segmentation and specific emails that are designed to appeal to customers and convince them that the store is an excellent choice for holiday shopping
Social media plans, including engaging posts that will help customers interact with and trust the company
Holiday-themed offers, from 12 Days of Christmas campaigns to Black Friday sales
Holiday-themed ads, including those repurposed from existing campaigns
Retail merchants also needs a campaign overview that will help tie it all together. Customers prefer to have the same experience each time they interact with a brand, especially during the holiday season, when ads are up and there are increased sales and other offers. By creating a campaign overview that includes a comprehensive plan to engage customers on all channels, marketers can help customers identify their business and set it apart from the crowd.
Preparing for Early Shoppers
Holiday shoppers don't start with Black Friday. In fact, some customers have their shopping done well before the Black Friday and Cyber Monday frenzy begins. For this reason, many companies will find that an effective holiday campaign includes preparation for early shoppers. Offering early deals, suggestions for gifts, and key content about upcoming specials will help many customers choose specific businesses for their shopping needs.
The holiday shopping season is on the horizon, and effective marketers are already preparing for the coming peak retail season. By starting early, retailers will find that they are better positioned to meet the needs of their customers when the holiday season arrives.