Ready to “Deck the Halls” for Holiday Success?

holiday business peopleCan you believe this is Thanksgiving week?  Thanksgiving traditionally marks the official beginning of the holiday season — although in recent years it’s been gearing up before Halloween which is an entirely different subject.   Anyway, when I landed this week at my home airport from business travel, it was fun to see the entire place decked out for the holidays.

Decorating for the holidays isn’t just for our homes, it’s also important for small businesses to “Deck the Halls”.  It’s a perfect time to let the holiday frenzy work for you by focusing your marketing efforts and connecting with your customer base.  Here are a few ideas.

  •  Get Going.   As I mentioned earlier, businesses started marketing for the holidays before Halloween.  Personally, I think that’s pushing it a bit.  But now’s the time to get going if you haven’t already started. Social media can be your  key to success.  Creating an online buzz is an excellent way to get your customers excited about the season ahead. Get into the spirit by giving your logo a unique holiday twist. Use your holiday- themed logo across all promotion platforms helping to make your business more festive, memorable and ultimately more profitable
  • Price Sensitivity.  During the past several years, we’ve seen customers become more and more price sensitive.   This year will be no different.  It goes without saying that keeping these price-centric shoppers in mind is imperative during the holidays.  Leverage your social media, email and mobile marketing strategies to make sure your holiday deals are easily reaching your market.  Catering to these consumers doesn’t necessarily mean a huge hit to your bottom line, or that you must have door busting sales on all of your latest products. Sometimes it’s as simple as offering free shipping or a small discount for purchases over a certain dollar amount that will give your customers the confidence to purchase instead of price shopping with your competitors.
  • Community Presence.  The holidays offer an excellent time to connect with your community.  Consider hosting an open house and collect donations or items for a local charity.  One year my company collected lightly worn or new shoes to donate to a worthy cause.  Don’t forget about social media too with these efforts.  For example, offer to donate a can of food to a local food pantry for every new “like” on Facebook or follower on Twitter.  A local television station is offering to provide one year’s worth of food and care for an animal at a local pet rescue shelter if they reach 200,000 likes on Facebook.
  • Don’t Neglect Your Online Customers.  The majority of consumers are “omni-channel” shoppers; which means they will be shopping just as much online as in traditional brick and mortar stores.  (In my case, much more.) Although the internet can be a lucrative sales opportunity, its non-personal nature means consumers have the power and convenience to shop anywhere and everywhere with a simple click of the mouse.  So how do you engage your customers online?  Keep your content fresh, relevant and interactive.  Make sure you make it easy for your customers to do business with you.   And don’t forget to provide information about how they can contact you offline.  Sometimes people just want to talk to a live person.  Of course, once again social media can play a huge role in engaging your online customers.  Make sure your website has information about how to connect with you via social media for more information and “hot-deals”.
    Happy Holidays!!