It’s officially September and summer is giving way to fall leaves—which means the holiday season will be here before you know it.
It’s not all turkeys and gifting, however: For most businesses, quarterly sales figures are one thing, but year-long totals carry the biggest impact, making Q4 a classic crunch-time period. To boost holiday sales, the time to start planning is now.
According to AdRoll, a full 40 percent of consumers begin their holiday shopping by Halloween. The firm explained, “Your campaigns should launch by mid-October. This not only lets you take advantage of the Thanksgiving rush, but it also spreads awareness of your brand for Cyber Monday and the rest of the holiday season.”
Here are three marketing tips to help you get the most out of your holiday sales strategies:
Arm Yourself With Knowledge
A golden source of market intelligence is last year’s holiday campaign and sales figures. A quick analysis of your communications outreach and sales activity can help you uncover what products were the most popular, and what techniques had better ROI (Email? Calls? Display ads?). Before doing anything, it is critical to determine your highest-performing channels and customer targets, so you know where to place your marketing dollars. Make sure your office phone system is up-to-date as well, so you can take advantage of omnichannel communications with your customers (including email, text, social, chat, fax and of course voice).
Social Media Is Not Optional
In today’s millennial-driven age, opting out of using social media is the kiss of death. Outlets like Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram are brand-awareness channels of course, but using links, special discounts, channel-specific sales codes, vibrant images, and the right calls to action can drive big click-through rates—along with real, measurable sales. Also, consider some lesser-known channels. AdRoll reports that Pinterest, for instance, drives a higher average order value than any other major social platform, including Facebook and Google. A full 59% of Pinterest users have bought something during the holidays that they saw on the site.
Through the wonders of technology, it’s possible to personalize your campaigns—and according to AdRoll, close to 90% of marketers plan on doing so. The trick to successful personalization is audience segmentation. Again, call logs and customer interaction histories can help you determine who’s ripe for an up-sell, who may be up for a renewal or refresh, and who has a budget. Demographics (often provided via CRM integration) can help you target even more narrowly, to offer appropriate messaging and special offers.
It may seem early to start putting together seasonal messages that focus on snow and fireplaces, but marketers can’t get an early enough start on their plans at this point. Armed with these marketing tips (and the right business communications system) the holiday season can be a gift to your business.