We all know that many businesses close down for the Christmas holidays. It could be just for the public holidays or it could be a longer shutdown for two to four weeks. This raises an interesting dilemma for business catering to the B2B market …
“Is there really any need to bother marketing to my audience over Christmas?”
Here are a few worthy considerations:
Avoid speculating on Christmas absenteeism
Are you 100 percent positive, without a shadow of a doubt, that ALL of your clients and prospects will be down for the count for an extended period of time in December/January?
No? Then yes, you need to continue marketing to your audience over Christmas.
Maintain your marketing rhythm
Do you appreciate consistency from the businesses you deal with?
Yes? Then you should take a leaf out of their book and maintain consistency in your own business’s marketing. Your audience will still expect to receive your newsletter or read your latest blog posts. They’ll still be looking forward to engaging with you on social media and chances are, you’ll be conspicuous in your absence!
December is a marketing opportunity, not a marketing wasteland!
In the weeks leading up to Christmas, you may well be feeling as though there are lean times ahead. “If no one’s around to buy from me, how will I pay my bills?” It’s a valid point but therein lies the opportunity. How about marketing now to secure clients whose invoices will be payable before the 25th December or upon their return?
Christmas marketing is really about timing and shifting back and forward your usual strategies.
Set up incentives to do business with you now
- Offer a 5 to 10 percent discount on services booked and paid for in full between now and 25th December.
- Add value to your usual offering for clients who book your services or buy your products between 25th December and say, 6th January.
- Provide gifts with purchase.
- Create irresistible deals that your clients will want to sign up for.
- Set up a viral Christmas campaign that spreads your offer far and wide.
Does your business offer a product or service that can be upsized at this time of year?
Think about what your customers need most in the lead-up to Christmas: more corporate massage; assistance with their own marketing; greater quantities of packaging; gift ideas for staff, customers and prospects; suggestions on where to hold their festive events; social media assistance.
Be prepared for different results than last year
Don’t take it for granted that Christmas will be a quiet period for your business. Even if last year was deathly silent and your phones barely rang, that doesn’t mean this one will be the same. For starters, you can apply different marketing strategies than those you employed last year to boost sales. Secondly, the 2011 economy is not a duplicate of the 2010 economy. Depending on the kind of business you’re in you could be run off your feet or spending days cold calling.
Let people know you’re open for business
Are you going to be around and working over Christmas? Even if you’re planning to take a couple of days off, you should send out an email campaign, a letterbox drop or make some phone calls advising your existing clients that you’ll still be around if they need you. And if you’re planning to take an extended trip, let them know that too. You might be surprised how many clients will want to hire you or buy from you before you escape!
What are your plans for Christmas? What marketing strategies have you put in place to avoid the business doldrums? Enter your comments below.