One of the most challenging times to market your business might just be during the holiday season. Most businesses—especially retailers—ramp up their marketing efforts throughout the holiday season in an attempt to cash in on the huge influx of holiday spending. After all, this is the time of year that retailers typically get out of the red and into the black; hence, Black Friday.

Many a business goal is to dazzle and delight customers to open their wallets and either buy products or services or support a local or national charity. So how does a business traverse through this territory and stand out amongst all of the noise, chatter, and bell ringing?

One way to market your business in November and December is to take an other-than-self approach. Advertising messages that offer humor, hope, peace, and a back-to-basics approach are growing exponentially. Perhaps one of the earliest successes of this approach is the Coca-Cola Corporation, who for years has been bringing us messages involving building bridges with peace and harmony or a smile. And we certainly can’t forget those delightful polar bears that make their annual appearance during each holiday season.

American Express is one example of a back-to-basics marketing approach with their Shop Local Saturday campaign, which takes place each year on the Saturday after Thanksgiving. Their campaign took off like a rocket in its inauguration and has maintained increasing popularity ever since.

Yet another example of a simple approach is REI’s debut of its Opt Outside campaign during the 2015 holiday season. REI’s approach involved closing all of its stores and corporate headquarters and encouraging its employees—and the general public—to head outdoors instead of to the stores.

So to get started, the first key to holiday marketing is to start planning early. Don’t just formulate an idea on December 1st. Start planning in the third quarter of the year so that your campaign has been well researched and is ready to launch before Thanksgiving. And remember that many people begin their holiday shopping before Halloween, so you may want to start planning even earlier.

Ultimately, business marketing around the holidays still falls under a What’s In It For Me method. At Karismatic Marketing, we always recommend that you market with your consumer directly in mind.

Here are a few holiday marketing strategies to get you on your way:

Give them the DEAL of the year! Customers are tremendously savvy shoppers today, with the world literally at their fingertips. Don’t be shy about slashing prices. Doing something drastic and unexpected to get customers through the door or to your website often pays off.

Make it personal. Don’t you just love feeling appreciated? Well, your customers do too. So send them a personal note, launch a loyalty program, create an online marketing video or throw in something extra with their next purchase. Whatever the method, you want your customers to show up at your door or at your website to purchase with emotion. Create an experience they’ll remember. And when your customers feel special, they’ll surely remain loyal!

Give them what they want. Dive into customer feedback and solve that long-nagging problem before the holiday season hits. When your customers realize that you take the time to listen and take action, they’ll feel valued and will be more likely to commit to some spending action in return.

Finally, a few more ideas to whet your holiday marketing whistle:

  • Create holiday-specific landing pages.
  • Create holiday email campaigns.
  • Schedule your holiday season social media posts.
  • Ensure that your website is mobile-friendly.
  • Analyze your marketing data each year so you know what works.

Karismatic Marketing is your business marketing partner during the holidays and all year long. Give us a call and discover what we can do for you!