Whatever your sector, the Christmas period can be a great time to promote your business with an effective marketing strategy.
Here are our 12 dos and don’ts for marketing success at Christmas
1. DO have a strong campaign
The best results a Christmas comes from brands that utilise strong campaigns across all online and offline channels. From advertising and promotions to the product itself, if you have a strong campaign you can focus all your energy into one place.
2. DO have a clear outcome
And this also means don't just piggy-back on to Christmas marketing because it's Christmas. Think about what you want to achieve. Is it an increase in online sales or an uplift in bookings? Or is it to improve brand awareness and exposure? Make sure you have a clear outcome in place and your using the right metrics to measure whether or not your Christmas marketing strategy has had the desired effect on your business.
3. DON’T forget to engage with your customers
Social media provides a great space for connecting with existing and potential customers. Factor one or two posts a day, on social networks appropriate for your business, into your Christmas campaigns and take the opportunity to show the personality behind your business.Build relationships first, and the sales will follow.
4. DON’T delete negative reviews
Some businesses see a sharp increase in activity over the Christmas period, and an increased strain on resources along with it. Should your company receive any negative feedback, make sure you deal with it appropriately. Deleting bad reviews can be very damaging to your business, and further infuriate unhappy customers, whereas addressing them publicly will show that you genuinely care about your customer's views, and may even help others experiencing similar problems.See last week’s blog for more tips on handling online complaints.
5. DO have a clear message
With hundreds upon hundreds of other businesses jostling for space and customer attention over the Christmas period, your brand message needs to stand out. Focus on what makes you different and always keep your goals in mind.By remaining consistent across all of your on and offline channels, you provide a seamless customer experience, resulting in a greater impact, stronger trust, and higher ROI.See our blog on brand consistency across multiple channels.
6. DON’T make the customer think
Attention spans are short and users don't expect to be made to work hard when interacting with businesses online.If you want to increase conversions on your website, think about the customer journey - have you made it easy for them to do what you want them to? Similarly, if you're interacting with customers offline, don't keep people waiting and always keep it simple.
7. DO tell a story
This can be especially effective at Christmas, as evidenced by John Lewis Christmas advert launches becoming events in their own right, because they sell an experience, not just a product.Every business has a story to tell, and if you tap into people's imaginations and feelings, you'll make a lasting connection, not just a sale.See our blog on marketing the experience.
8. DO add value
Christmas is a time for giving, right? Give your customers a little something extra and the small gesture will go a long way.Retailers, you could offer free gift wrapping. It's cheap, very much appreciated and gives you the chance to chat to the customer and further build upon the relationship. In hospitality, a free glass of bubbly will put a smile on most faces, and if your business offers a service, consider giving out vouchers for next year.These thoughtful touches come at a low cost to the business, but contribute greatly to a memorable customer experience that will result in repeat business.
9. DO utilise email marketing
It instantly reaches your customers, it's targeted, easily measurable and boasts a high ROI. Need we say more?
10. DON'T forget about your existing customers
Christmas can be a great time to expand your customer base, but can also be the time your faithful brand advocates are somewhat forgotten about. Don't let it happen. Ensure that existing customers are looked after, after all, it's much easier to preach to the converted.
11. DO aim for repeat business
For all the new customers you do obtain over the season, be sure to give them the best customer experience possible. You want the customer to be for life, not just for Christmas! Offer them an experience that will keep them coming back.
12. DON'T forget to enjoy yourself
The best marketing campaigns come from the heart and if you're just in it for the cash, people will be able to tell. Be genuine and passionate and it will shine through, not to mention it'll be enjoyable for yourself and your team.At the close of the year, make the time to take stock of everything the business has achieved. Be proud of the past 12 month's successes, and show your customers, colleagues, suppliers and business partners your appreciation for all their help.
Here's to 2015!