Ho Ho Oh No: 5 Ways To Know If Holiday Marketing Is Right For You
Snow is on the ground. The wind is cold enough to turn your face into a chapped, dry mess. Your neighbor’s snowblower woke you up an hour early.
Winter’s here again.
Despite what the endless Christmas commercials might imply, it’s not always the season to be jolly. Christmas and Thanksgiving can be a bit of a bummer. And it can be a bummer for marketers, too.
Many marketers look at their calendar, realize it’s December 1 and, to acknowledge the holidays, Photoshop a reindeer into their ad about swimming pools, office equipment or whatever. These are usually accompanied by some last-minute attempt at catchy copy writing. (“Santa’s having a big sale on filing cabinets! Ho Ho Ho!”)
This, rather obviously, is not the way for marketers to present themselves uniquely during the holidays. Everyone will see right through your half-hearted attempt at appealing to the Black Friday crowd.
So what’s a marketer to do? How do you create content that artfully (and tastefully) approaches the holiday season? Here are five tips to get you started:
How Do You Fit?
Let’s say you’re in the business of selling tea. You’re in the shower one morning and it hits you: “herbal tea” rhymes perfectly with “Christmas tree.” Perfect! You dash off to work and tell your marketing department to make a swath of ads with your stunning new revelation.
And after the ads are published, you see minimal changes in sales. So what gives?
As Joel Klettke details in his article for iAcquire, the problem with season-specific marketing doesn’t lie in the season itself, but rather marketers’ approach to it. Don’t try to fit the season into what you do – rather, fit what you do into the season.
Before conducting any holiday marketing efforts just because it’s the right time to do so, think it through:
- How does what you offer help people experience or express the season?
- Do your customers’ pain points or attitudes toward what you offer change?
- Do your customers expect you to have a stance on the season? (The Fourth of July would be different for a flag manufacturer than a spray paint company, for instance.)
Match Your Buying Cycle
If you call up a swimming pool installation company in January and request a quote for a new pool, chances are they don’t have a whole lot going on. (Heck, they might even be able to come out to your house the same day.) But if you call the same company for a quote in May or June, they might be too busy to pick up the phone.
Many products, especially in the B2C universe, have a window of time where more consumers are interested in purchasing for a variety of factors. While Christmas would be a good holiday for a snowblower company to acknowledge and market, it wouldn’t be as snug of a fit for a swimming pool company.
Know when your customers are most interested in purchasing. Then, if appropriate, utilize the holidays around that time period.
Anticipation vs. Procrastination
Take a stroll through the candy asile of your local grocery store a few days after Halloween. You’ll notice that the sweets – once valued and purchased at a premium mere hours earlier – are 50 to 75 percent off. What does this tell marketers?
Great seasonal content is intrinsically just that: seasonal. If you’re dedicated to producing marketing content for the season, make sure to approach it well ahead of time. Procrastinating on seasonal content only makes you seem like a bandwagon jumper.
Be Personal and Simple
The holidays (referring to Christmas, Hannukah and the like – less so Columbus Day or National Hot Dog Day) require a special reverence. They’re important religious holidays, and their importance can’t be understated.
If the need to address the season is important to your company, but you’re stuck on figuring out exactly how to do that, just be warm, personal and grateful. A Facebook post, a short video or a picture of your team celebrating the holidays might be enough for your company. Sometimes less is more.
Don’t Acknowledge It
My parents wrap our Christmas ornaments in old newspapers – and some of them are getting close to 30 years old. I always get a kick out of reading the comics page, which is full of jokes and pop culture references that made sense in 1988.
When you publish something online, it’s there forever. Eventually, years from now, someone wanting to learn more about your company will stumble across your post. And the best way to keep that content fresh is by eschewing any timely references at all – including the holidays. (Some marketers refer to these references as “time bombs.”)
Sure, you run the risk of appearing like a Scrooge, but with the deluge of every other company squawking incessantly about Santa, the North Pole and Reindeer, you avoid the problem entirely. And by January 1, will anyone remember anyway?
Photo courtesy christigain
How does your company market for the Holidays? Let us know below!