December might seem far away, but the stores will be in full holiday mode starting in mid-October (whether you like it or not), and that’s less than 90 days away. Since there’s not much worse than trying to rush a marketing campaign during the busiest shopping season of the year, July is the perfect time to start turning the wheels on how your business is going to make waves this year.
While you have time to get the details together, here are five things you can get started on today:
Talk to Your Team
It’s no secret that some of the best ideas can come from your staff. Your team members interact with your customers, they know your products (and your competitors) and they have their own buying experiences. They can be a treasure trove of ideas. If you don’t have a large or heavily engaged team, consider incentivizing ideas by rewarding those employees who submit the ideas you decide to implement.
Set Timelines and Deadlines
Even if you’re not into promoting the holidays before Halloween, your competitors might be. Consider the best time to roll out your individual holiday promotions and work backwards from that date to make sure you have everything ready to go without rushing. Make sure your team is aware of the timeline and make whatever schedule or project adjustments are needed to meet those deadlines. Also, if you are taking holiday orders or selling items online, be sure to set “to receive your items by Christmas…” timelines for your last-minute shopping customers.
Start Working on Custom Imagery
Great marketing starts with great images, which might mean hiring a graphic designer. Put together a list of all the places the art or image(s) should appear, including print marketing materials, your website, social media posts and cover images, and anywhere else you’d be sharing content around the holidays. Make sure you have catchy, but matching, imagery for every platform. Even if you aren’t ready to pull the trigger on exactly what you want included the art, it helps to find a designer early and give them time to brainstorm. Also, if you have products that are specifically holiday themed (see the next bullet point) be sure to get great images of those items for your promotions.
Plan for Custom Packaging
Getting custom holiday packaging is something you’ll want to think about sooner rather than later, because you’ll need to design and order anything you want available for the holiday shopping season. This can mean something simple like ordering shopping bags that add some holiday flair alongside your logo, but it could also be things like holiday-themed gift certificates or or deliberate holiday packaging, especially for smaller items you’re able to turn over quickly. Bonus points if your designer can help with this too, but don’t wait – you have to order that packaging early to be able to get it into place in time!
Consider Creating Gift Bundles & Offering Extras
People are in a hurry and gifts can be difficult to buy. If you have popular, smaller items that can be bundled into a gift set, or if you are able to offer something in addition to a gift card (like a mug or product samples), it may be the incentive your customers need to buy from you rather than order something somewhere else. By the way, speaking of order, adjust the prices of your products to be able to include free shipping as needed. With retailers like Wal-Mart and Amazon offering free shipping, customers no longer see free shipping as an incentive. Since adjusting prices, creating bundles and putting together promotions for those bundles can take time, this is something you’ll want to starting working on early.
If you need help with marketing your business – during the holidays or year-round – contact your local Growth Coach for help: https://thegrowthcoach.com/find-coach/.