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Too early to think about Christmas?

by Alison Bradford

Post image for Too early to think about Christmas?

Do you know what your Marketing plan is for December yet? Are you going to be offering any special promotions? Will you be sending cards or even gifts to your best customers? How about a drinks and nibbles party for your customers to say thank you for their custom during the year?

If you haven’t thought about this yet then now is definitely the time to grab a pen and some paper and start pulling together some ideas to form your plan.

Even if December isn’t a significant month for your business, what other months are? Do you have seasonal peaks and troughs? Are there key events happening during the year that are relevant to your business?

As well as your usual monthly marketing plan and activities you need to be considering one off events that you can bring into your yearly marketing plan to help your business stand out.

Get a wall planner

You know the type of thing, a big calendar that you can stick on your wall and see the whole year at glance.

Mark on any significant times of the year for your business. These don’t have to be recognised national events – they be personal to you such as the anniversary of your business starting or even a family birthday.

Have a search on Google for national and international days or weeks. They seem to exist for lots of things now – did you know this week is national cupcake week?

Whatever stands out for you that you want to link your marketing activity back to, mark it on the wall planner.

Get creative

Now brainstorm different marketing activities and offers that link back to the dates you’ve marked out.

Get creative and try to keep it relevant to the event. For example, if you’re celebrating 2 years in business, may be you want to offer 2 for the price of 1 of a certain product on that day.

Maybe you want to give something away in prize draw.

How about a bonus free gift for everyone who buys something on your birthday.

There are stacks of things that you could do if you think about it so let the ideas flow.

Check they stack up

Now you’ve got all creative and are feeling energised with ideas, just take a few minutes to work through them and make sure they stack up.

What is your objective from each one? Is it to get more people on your mailing list? Make more sales? Delight existing customers?

This isn’t about just giving stuff away – you may want to tempt some new customers to buy for the first time, confident that they’ll return again. Or you may even want to fill up some quiet time in your business.

Spread the work

If you know you are really busy in a particular month, consider marketing activities that you can do to spread the work out.

For example, if you are really busy in Nov / Dec for the run up to Christmas, what can you offer in Sept / Oct as an incentive for people to order early?

Keeping in touch

An annual plan is also a great way to consider if there are key times that you want to communicate with your customers e.g. birthdays, Christmas, on top of your existing ‘keep in touch’ plan.

Maybe you can even include an offer in your Christmas cards – ‘to show how much we appreciate your custom this year, we’re offering you 20% off anything you order in January’ type of thing.

If you haven’t already, schedule in half an hour to spend on your annual marketing plan and you may be surprised with what you come up with!

Let me know how you get on by leaving a comment below.

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Alison Bradford

Alison Bradford is a business coach who works with smart, ambitious business owners to get clarity about how they can grow their business and increase profit. Sign up here to learn 6 easy ways you can boost profit in your business today.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Rosie Slosek September 26, 2012 at 12:32 pm

Really good practical post, Alison.

I plan on an annual basis as most people pay little attention to their record keeping until it’s time to do the tax return, at which point it becomes stressful and I get too much work at once!

Knowing what you want and when is important. As part of my planning I offer year round accounts mentoring and accounts confidence building as that helps my clients procrastinate less and know what they need to do more. It gets a lot easier then when the 31 January deadline starts poking its nose around the corner come April.

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Alison Bradford September 26, 2012 at 2:38 pm

Thanks Rosie.

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