The internet and the growth of smartphones and tablets that have defined our generation all combine to create ever greater degrees of connectivity. This growth also creates a lot more noise that businesses have to fight through in order to get their message heard. How do you keep your customers engaged this Christmas when everyone else is trying to do it?
Here are five top tips that help you stay on message this festive season.
To know your customer is to love them. First of all you need to get the basics right. It may have worked in the past to send out a blanket email with a one size fits all communication but things are rapidly changing. Marketing now has to be more targeted and it pays to know your customers as intimately as possible. There are various ways you can do this with a good content relations management system or CRM and making the effort to find out those little quirks about your customer make all the difference.
Have a plan Stan. Your strategy of communication needs to begin long before the Christmas ads start on TV and people start putting up lights and dusting down their artificial trees. You have to have a plan of what you are going to be selling, who it is aimed at, and, hopefully, a timeline of when communications are going to be sent out. It’s best to do this in the cold light of day well before the Christmas festivities begin.
Time is an illusion. Its official, not everyone leaves their Christmas shopping till the last minute so why not plan a list of special offers for people who buy early? Yes, quite a few people wait until the last week before they start surfing or shopping in stores, the crowds in our malls are a testament to that, but for others buying for Christmas is a longer, more coherent strategy. Another option may be to start something like a Christmas club where people can opt to put money aside for the Yuletide season to spend at your store.
Use your imagination. It pays to step back and view the world the way your customer sees it. Many organisations send out a whole raft of emails during Christmas to try and get people to visit their site and buy their products. Amongst the deluge from other businesses these can be lost or ignored or even end up in the spam folder. Using a little imagination like sending Christmas ecards for business rather than a straight advertising mailshot can often keep your company in the mind of customers at a very busy time of the year.
Be sociable at Christmas. If you’ve built up your social media presence, which is something that should be top of your marketing list nowadays, then it’s a good place to promote your Christmas provision. Being less pushy with your sales can make all the difference, especially at this time of year. Instead of running a product promotion, run a competition instead that gets your social media followers on Facebook and Twitter engaged. Invest in a great prize and a fun competition and you could easily find yourself going viral.
There’s no doubt that Christmas can be a hectic time for both customers and businesses, so a little forward planning can go a long way to making sure that things run as smoothly as possible and you don’t, like some of your competitors, get lost in the crowd.