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The Time for Holiday Preparation is Now

The Time for Holiday Preparation is Now

The Time for Holiday Preparation is Now

You’re still snacking away on Halloween candy (or maybe that’s just us) but suddenly every store and site has decked the halls for the holiday season. Even though Thanksgiving is still weeks away, consumers and businesses alike are looking ahead to the most wonderful time of the year. While you don’t need to decorate your Christmas tree quite yet, every organization should prepare and implement holiday marketing ideas sooner rather later.

Establish Goals

You have data that tells you how email, social, SEO, and other marketing campaigns performed during previous holiday seasons. Examine those numbers and set goals for the coming months. These numbers will guide as you prepare detailed, well-informed strategies with clear-cut directives for executing tactics. With these plans in place, you should be on track to meet, maybe even exceed, your business goals for the holidays.

Double Check Everything

When did you last update security protocols on your site? Have you recently tested your website for optimal speed and performance? The busiest time of year often coincides with when tech issues arise. Take precautions beforehand to make sure payment systems, websites, social channels, and so on are updated and functioning properly.

Make a Schedule

There are a lot of important dates in between now and the end of the year. Schedule everything sooner rather than later, from your content delivery dates to employees’ shifts. With everything clearly scheduled far in advance, there are fewer chances for excuses and missed deadlines.

Create Campaigns for Special Dates

Days like Black Friday and Cyber Monday are rapidly approaching so plan ahead for promoting any discounts or sales. Outline which channels you’ll use to inform existing customers while enticing new ones to shop your business instead of your competitors. Instead of haphazardly slapping together a plan at the last minute, create unique and interesting assets to convert window shoppers into big spenders on these red-letter days for sales.

Use Data for Personalization

Shoppers aren’t spending money on themselves as much as they are buying for those on their holiday gift lists. Holiday marketing campaigns should examine data to note changes in shopping behavior during the holiday season. For instance, if you have a shopper that only purchases mystery novels from your e-commerce site January through October but starts browsing for children’s book in November, you can personalize offers on these specific products.

Incorporate Social Media

Research shows that 51 percent of millennials and 36 percent of Gen Xers would be likely to make a purchase over social media. Today, social media is more than posting about products available. To engage customers via social platforms, you have to use the marketing and retargeting tools available. Consider the demographics of your target audience to inform the campaigns you build on sites like Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest so your messaging reaches the right people.

Focus on Customer Service

With more people visiting your store and site, make sure all employees are trained to handle customer service tasks. Review policies so your entire staff is up-to-date and can address any questions or concerns that come up. Mistakes are bound to happen but if your team is ready to lend a helping hand to stressed out, busy customers, that will make all the difference in their shopping experience.

Think About After the Holidays

From returns and exchanges to purchases with gift certificates, shoppers will keep your business busy well after January 1 has passed. Keep extra stock on hand and make any policies for merchandise returns or exchanges clear throughout the holiday season to diminish any confusion.

For B2B Organizations

Yes, the majority of shoppers aren’t looking for organizational software, data analysis services, or any of the other B2B products or services your company offers. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t prepare for the season. Most likely in your case, holiday preparation entails scaling back major campaigns when everyone takes off for two weeks at the end of the year.

Also, keep in mind that December 31 is the end of the fiscal year for many businesses. Again, look at your clients’ spending behavior to see if they are making purchases before the year is over. If so, focus campaigns on end-of-year messaging rather than holiday hooks.

While this may not be the busy season for your business, you should still embrace the holiday spirit by wishing clients and leads all the best during this festive time of year. Greeting cards, social messaging, and cheerful emails are small gestures that make a big impact.

Unsure of how to prepare your business for the holiday season? The marketing experts at Alt Creative are available now to help you get ready for the holidays. Contact us today!

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