The holidays are going to be a little different this year, to say the least. Whether you're a retailer, a personal service provider or anything in between, your promotional strategy for this special time of year needs to be tailored to the unique challenges of 2020. So how do you balance sensitivity to the world's crisis with your revenue goals? The answer is not simple, but there are a number of ways to position yourself as a company locals want to purchase from during this special time of year.
#1 Let people know you're open for business
Everyone is confused. It's hard to keep track of which businesses are open. This is your opportunity to make sure not only your customers know how they can purchase your products/services, but other locals who may be interested in them. Whether you're sending a promotional email, newsletter, posting on social media or running display/email advertising through another trusted brand to reach new audiences, make sure this is part of your marketing message. If you aren't open, but have an online store or virtual services, this is also an important piece to communicate regularly.
#2 Show gratitude and say thanks
Show your customers your appreciation for their support not only this year, but over the years. If you're constantly asking your contacts to do more for your business, it can be off putting and become detrimental to your sales. This time of year is the perfect opportunity to put the spotlight on your customers. They will remember how great your gratitude made them feel the next time they're making a buying decision.
#3 Solidify your relationship with customers instead of hard selling
Many people have endured or are enduring hard times, and the holiday season may not feel as jolly as it once did. If all or most of your marketing strategies rely on hard-sell promotional messaging, you may come off as insensitive to the current crisis. On the other hand, empathizing with your customer base and creating campaigns that focus on engagement can help strengthen your relationship, even if your storefront isn't open.
#4 Multimedia is a must
Any time of year, but especially during a traditionally revenue-boosting season, it is vital to diversify your marketing mix. From research to purchase, there are many touch points along the customer journey. Ensuring your brand message is visible during most/all of these will make you top-of-mind when a customer is ready to make a buying decision. Creating strategic, integrated campaigns with strong positioning across a number of different channels (email, social, display, print, your website, etc.) will help nurture the customer lifecycle and create more opportunity for conversion.
#5 Play your local angle
Now more than ever, people want to support local businesses. They understand that times are tough and want to do whatever they can to ensure their favorite local establishments remain standing. Adding a personal touch, like a letter from the owner/manager also makes people feel appreciated and cared for. It also gives you an opportunity to update them on how your business is doing and how they can help. If you've done anything to give back during the pandemic, this is your opportunity to remind people of your community involvement as well.
#6 Start now
If you haven't started deploying your holiday promotional strategy, now's the time. With Thanksgiving right around the corner, people are starting to plan their holiday season. Seeing a comforting message from their favorite local establishment can help put their mind at ease and get one more holiday to-do item checked off their list.
Be Prepared, But Also Be Nimble
Having a successful holiday season is going to take some planning, but it also may require some flexibility and creativity. As we've experienced over the last eight months, times are unpredictable. So have a strategy, build your calendars, but be prepared to adjust on a dime.
Need help understanding how to reach local audiences most effectively? We can help you build a cross-channel marketing strategy to reach our large and loyal local audiences in Silicon Valley and the Tri-Valley.