With Black Friday fading into memory once again, shoppers are expected to have dropped in excess of £3bn in the UK alone by close of business today (I write this on Monday 30/11/15).However, even this seems like a drop in the ocean compared to the total £16.5bn that is expected to be spent in the run-up to Christmas.
Combine this with the significant investment that is normally required to celebrate New Year in an appropriate manner and come January, the coffers are sure to be looking a little depleted for the average person.
This sets a challenge for marketers. When people don’t have much money left and are no doubt getting anxious about those credit and store card bills landing on the door mat at the end of the month, the last thing on their mind is more spending.
However, it’s not impossible and people are still willing to be persuaded to head online once more and pick up a few deals. So, let’s start planning to help them beat those post-holiday blues, as we take a look at how to win at winter marketing.
A Time for Reflection
After the holiday chaos has finally died down, you are presented with a fantastic opportunity to look back and objectively assess your business’ performance. This is a great thing to do before you go into any marketing plans for the post-Christmas period.
Did your company perform as well as expected during the Christmas period? Don’t just think about this from a revenue point of view, but think about all aspects of the business. Was every customer treated as you expected them to be? Did they leave satisfied with their experience with your business? Or, were your staff too tired, flustered of stressed to provide the kind of service that you normally strive to provide?
All of these questions can help your business move forward. If everything went well and every customer left thoroughly satisfied, then you know that you’re on the right track. However, if things went badly, then you can look at what needs to change in the new year.
A Time to Convert Latent Opportunities
Over the Christmas period, it is very likely that you had a lot of new faces and usernames wander into your business. You may not have realised it at the time, but these faces can provide you with business opportunities, post-Christmas and beyond. Always try and get an email address from visitors to your business (even if they didn’t purchase anything).
Now what you want to do is reach out to all of those people who visited you over the holidays. Welcome them to your company and thank them for their support over the festive period. Ask them to join your mailing list and offer them some small gift or discount to show your appreciation. Be sincere, and tell them that you look forward to creating a long-lasting business relationship with them.
Do the same for anyone who bought a gift card from you. They have given money to spend with you alone to someone as a gift – so offer them a little something to show your appreciation.
Send out thank you cards to your regular customers. Once all the Christmas cards are in the recycling bin, a simple non-festive greeting card is sure to make an impact. Also maybe think about including a small gift or discount to sweeten the deal.
A Time for Timing
If you want to come out on top of the post-Christmas marketing battle, then (as always) timing is everything. You need to really sit down and think about your customers and what their needs and wants are during the post-Christmas period. For example, they are less likely to be on the prowl for big-ticket items during these times, but may be more receptive to smaller treats to alleviate the post-holiday blues.
The time for gift ideas has likely passed in the minds of your customers, so capitalise on that and look at the sorts of things that they may be looking for now. Lots of people are going to be looking at the New Year as an opportunity to start new things and plan for the upcoming year, so look at the ways in which your business can assist them with this.
Also think about what the next holiday opportunities are. Once Christmas is done and dusted, Valentine’s Day is not far off and Easter lies just beyond that, so look at the ways in which you can begin preparing for them.
A Time to Stay Motivated
The most important thing with all marketing efforts is to keep moving forwards and not take your foot off the gas just because you are in the post-Christmas slump. Look at how you can switch your efforts from focused and transient season-specific campaigns to how you can promote longer-lasting relationships with your customer base.
If your business is in fitness, then you are going to want to think about how you can capitalise on New Year’s resolutions and make sure that new customers stay with you when that initial burst of motivation dies down. If you sell books, then come up with reading lists that will keep your customers entertained one great read after another. Inspiration is key – so long as you can keep inspiring your followers, then you can look forward to extended periods of high sales until the next big date lights up the calendar.
Look at what has worked in the past and what hasn’t, and sculpt your efforts to fit. Keep engaging with your customers and providing them with what they want and need and you will find that you can keep that holiday momentum going well into the New Year.
How do you keep winning at winter marketing? Let us know in the comments below!