With the temperatures heating up, the holidays are probably the last thing on your mind. However, if you run an online retail business or sell products across channels, planning for the holidays now is a must. It's a way to come out on top with your target audience.
Here are of some of the reasons why you should start thinking about and developing your holiday marketing now.
Cover All Bases
Now more than ever, consumers are shopping online before and during the holidays. As such, a significant amount of marketing needs to be directed at both online and offline sales opportunities. That means doing more preparation, tactics, and message development. You may even need to conduct additional market research. This will help you understand new customer segments or trends.
Hit the Ground Running Before the Competition
Each year, it seems like holiday shopping starts sooner for some consumers. At some point, you may be rolling out holiday campaigns in July if this continues.
By planning early and gathering information, you'll be able to launch your marketing campaigns to target consumers sooner. That could put you well ahead of your competition. Plus, you'll get in front of new customers who are already searching for new brands and ideas for holiday gift giving. By being there first, they'll be able to see you rather than try and find you in the crowd.
Generate Higher Quality Content
Content mills pump out a high volume of content in a hurry. But, that doesn't mean any of it is good or will truly engage your audience. Writing and creating visual campaigns like video content or gift guides that influence and connect with your audience take time. Research, creative, draft and refine is not something that can be done quickly.
Again, by starting early, you have the luxury to continue tweaking content until you have reached a specific quality standard.
Build Flexibility into the Holiday Marketing Process
By getting the majority of the work that goes into holiday marketing done in advance, you'll have more time to make changes later on. Plus, you can accommodate more personalized approaches during the holidays.
While other companies are trying to develop their marketing strategy from scratch in the midst of holiday madness, your team has the time to look at existing data. From there, they can provide on-the-fly additional content and can address anything else that may come up during the season. This means that the great planning you did will more than likely lead to great performance.
Discover New Tactics or Insights
Starting early also provides the ability to review existing data from previous holiday periods. Assessing what this data means can lead you to new insights and even change your marketing tactics to align with what your audience really wants. For example, you may realize that certain customers have specific payment preferences or ways of shopping.
You'll have more of an opportunity to explore these new tactics and approaches during slower months. That way, you can add them to your holiday marketing strategy quickly if they are important.
Thoughtful planning well in advance of the timeframe also helps ensure you spend less money on your marketing initiatives. There are no extra costs to do all the work on a quick turnaround or to remedy mistakes because everyone was rushing. Certain aspects of your marketing can be completed during those slower months where vendors might be willing to lower prices because they prefer the business.
That better pricing can stretch your holiday marketing budget farther. Also, costs for your holiday marketing efforts can be spread over more months by starting early, helping cash flow and providing a way to ensure other areas are still covered throughout the year.
Reduce Pressure and Stress
The holiday period doesn't have to be hectic when you start planning months in advance. Knowing what your campaigns will be, having a set schedule, and being ready to roll everything out means you can feel relieved. The pressure is off everyone on the marketing team. This makes it a much enjoyable -- even festive -- experience.
Create a Holiday Marketing Planning Process
It's important to build a holiday marketing planning process that allows everyone on the team to collaborate. This planning process should be the framework for checking off work as it is completed and for reviewing after the holiday season is over. Using a cloud-based platform is one way to achieve this objective because it is accessible to the entire team and provides a way to store campaigns and data necessary for preparing for holiday marketing.
As the saying goes, it's the early bird that gets the worm. And, in the highly lucrative world of holiday shopping sales, you'll clearly want to be one of the first to hit all channels with your holiday marketing messages, guides, and promotions.