If you’re in the business of marketing by now you will surely have realised that it is all about Christmas this time of the year. You understand that great campaigns are not something that you can create overnight and hence the importance of planning ahead.
We’ve already covered some of the most successful campaigns of 2013, some of the funniest ever Christmas advertisements and also given you some tips on how to engineer a successful marketing campaign, so on this occasion we want to give you a few tips on what NOT to do if you really want to make the most of the holiday season.
So, in no particular order, here they are!
Last minute “strategies”
Avoid procrastination at all costs.
Yes, the Christmas holiday is still far ahead, but you will need to start preparing your campaign in advance if you want to achieve anything.
Create a Christmas marketing plan as soon as possible and make sure all the elements are in place when the time comes for a strategic deployment.
If you have results from your previous campaigns, it’s time to analyse them and see what worked and what didn’t and put that knowledge to good use. If you don’t have them, make sure you collect those details this time! Your future campaigns will greatly benefit from it.
Playing the same old song
If you keep selling the same products using the same messages and tactics year on year don’t expect this year to perform better than the last. It will most likely perform far worse!
Not long ago marketers set the “rules of engagement” when it came to dealing with customers, with only a few channels to choose from. In today’s super-fast paced digital world you’ll have to keep your eyes peeled and meet your targets where (you have set your targets, right?) they decide to be, be that blogs, Facebook, Twitter or anywhere else.
You’ll need you understand what they want now, not last year, how they want it and where they’ll look for it, and tailor your message, strategy and tone of voice from there.
Remember that the 4 Marketing P’s (product, price, place and promotion) are now the 4 C’s (customer wants and needs, cost, convenience and communication) and you’ll be in a much better position to start working.
Forgetting the old friends
Yes, we understand that you’re eager to get all those new customers into your store, spending their money on your fantastic products. And there is nothing wrong with that, really.
However, many business owners forget that there is a collective of people who we know more about and with whom we already have a relationship: our previous customers.
Don’t let the opportunity slip – use the “excuse” of Christmas to reach out to them, remind them that you’re there and, if you can afford it, perhaps offer them a discount or incentive thanking them for their loyalty.
Chances are that, if they were happy with your product or service, they will be inclined to buy again.
Doing it once and for all
So you have already created a fantastic ad that you’re fully satisfied with and you have reached out to your audience with a spectacular offer. Now you can sit back, relax and collect the profits at the end of the season.
For marketing, as with direct sales, it takes a few contacts with a customer to make a sale. Statistics show that it takes an average of 6 points of contact for a sale to close, so you’ll have to be ready to reach out over and over again for your audience to remember and engage with you.
Don’t be spammy, but make sure your prospects remember you or somebody else will eat your piece of the pie.
Proactive or reactive?
As for most things in life, we can take one of these two approaches for our marketing and I guess since you are a strategic planner (see point 1) you have already made your decision.
So: what’s it going to be? Proactive or reactive
The correct answer is “both”. And no, I’m not contradicting myself.
See? Of course you have to plan your marketing campaign ahead of time and set up your goals and the tactics you will use to achieve them.
However, you’re not playing this game alone – there are another gazillion people out there competing with your business, so you’ll have to keep watch.
Keep a close eye on the competition and analyse their strengths and weaknesses. See what they’re doing and be ready to step in should they leave any holes in their defences or fall back if their counter-attack has breached your defences.
You can be sure sure your competitor will.
The DIY campaign
No, I’m not talking about powertools here. I’m talking about marketing DIY.
Let’s imagine you graduated in business and marketing school and after a while decided to open a grocery store. Nobody is saying that you don’t know your marketing, which you probably do! At the end of the day, your business would be most likely closed otherwise.
However, creating a successful marketing campaign can be a very time consuming task and you will require more than one set of hands, brains and eyes to see what’s happening.
While you’re looking at your business from the inside, you are probably more knowledgeable about your business than any marketing agency out there. However, unless you have a dedicated marketing team inhouse, it’s always better to rely on professionals to create a marketing campaign.
They will provide the tools, the expertise and, overall, a more detached perspective, which can make a huge difference in the way that things are done.
At the end of the day, what mother doesn’t think her baby is the cutest?
Hijacking the wrong theme
As a business owner it’s understandable that being Christmas, that time of the year when everybody is willing to spend their hard-earned cash buying presents for the whole family, you want to get out there like everybody else and sell your stuff. Because it is good stuff and people love it!
And there is nothing wrong with that.
However, with Christmas, as with any other “themed” marketing campaign, you will have to be mindful of the relevance of your offer or your marketing may look amateurish, off-topic and absurd.
What do I mean by this? Simple: there are things you would not give as a Christmas present, so don’t try to get others to do it!
Could you imagine something like “Give your children orthopaedic shoes this Christmas. The present they deserve” having any success?
Save your marketing budget for a more relevant occasion.
So, don’t waste one more minute and start planning your Christmas marketing campaign right now. It’s still August but “winter is coming” (sorry I couldn’t help the lame joke…) and you’ll need some time to make it watertight.
If you avoid the above mistakes and follow our blog tips on how to build your campaign effectively, you’ll be on the right track. We cannot promise that it will be flawless but… remember point number 6?