It’s always the Season for Shopping. That was a good one from the Wall Street Journal, and it’s true: retailers have carved up the year into approximately 13 to 349 buying seasons.
Basically you and your MasterCard get Tax Day and Groundhog Day off from the retailing mania.
Seriously, that’s bullshit and really annoys me when I hit the stores; see also, playing the music of holiday cheer NON STOP before Thanksgiving. Not to mention as a small business or retailer, you could be leaving money on the table by thinking too far ahead.
Look at your marketing schedule and the promotional calendars to come up with your e-commerce strategies and do what fits you best.
If you sell outdoor living, have fun with Arbor day. For one client, I’ve done tie ins to other events like Super Bowl or Oscar watch. For another, it’s showing how their product is not just a summer item but has year-around uses.
More importantly, think hard about your products, your customers, your business.
Think beyond the holidays.
What can you do ‘THIS’ time that’s different from ‘THAT’ time?
That’s the question to answer as you decide what promotions to run for back-to-school or Christmas or Spring Break. Or forget the usual suspects, create your own seasons.
Your PR is built around relationships with stakeholders and target audiences; what’s beneficial to them is helpful to you. Don’t wait until your customers have a question or problem, reach out and solve it now. Fire up the old CRM goodwill generators and get some value out there.
- If it’s the slow season, offer quicker turnaround at no extra charge.
- If it’s a busy time of year, give a “patience esta une virtue” discount for those willing to wait.
- If you’re going after the B2B crowd, think of their spending schedules, look at the fiscal year and when budgets may be most flexible. When are your customers’ customers most demanding? That’s when you can step up, offer more support when they need it most.
And if you’ve waited this long, don’t jump on the first Johnny-come-Groupon that knocks on your email. Look at what you want now, what you can do later, and remember, the next ‘holiday’ season starts tom… -er, now.
Thoughts on holiday marketing, besides the crass commercialization of it all?
Photo credit: Funny comic by Pittsburgh Tribune Review cartoonist Randy Bish.