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The Ultimate Ber-Months Marketing Guide

10 tips to kick-start your marketing plans

Photo by Giftpundits.com from Pexels

Ever heard of “the early bird gets the worm”? Well, in our case, the early bird, gets first dibs on holiday sales! Christmas is the best time to boost your sales since it’s the season of giving! Here’s how you can plan your holiday marketing:

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Photo by Negative Space | Pexels

1. The Irresistible Offer

What is your irresistible offer? What is your message? What discounts or freebies will you be giving to your customers that makes it irresistible for them to buy your product? Examples are: Free shipping, 50% off, 20% Cashback, freebies, limited time offers, mega sale (10.10, 11.11, 12.12). SM Department Store even offers free gift wrapping for items bought instore.

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2. Sell The Solution, Not The Product

Giving Tips to Your Customers:

The good thing about offering to help customers is the marketing is veiled and indiscreet. This method takes longer to bear fruit but it is the one that builds trust and loyalty among your customers, which leads to greater ROI in the near future. Take a little time to understand how you can offer tips and tricks that will simplify the daily life of your customers, or offer a solution to their problems.

Here are a few examples: If you are a toys and games store, you can blog about “Ten skills your child learns while playing board games with their friends.” A gym can write to their members “how to maintain your weight during the holiday season”. A coffee shop can write about “how to add a little holiday twist to your latte at home”. And finally, a department store can publish a video on how to wrap their oddly-shaped items. Offering tips and tricks establishes your authority in the subject, therefore allowing your customers to infer that you are an “expert” in the field, establishing their trust in what you say.

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Photo by Andrea Piacquadio | Pexels

3. Where Will You Promote?

Most people would wish that they can be seen “everywhere” but we all know that is impossible with the little budget we have.

Whether it’s print or online, think of where your customers usually spend their time in and promote there. If your smoothie business is inside the mall, it may help to target your ads to people who frequent that mall or live in the same vicinity of the mall. If you are a fashion brand that has a physical store but also sells online, then you can offer special online-only sales via email marketing, social media marketing, or even SMS marketing. It all really depends on your industry and the location of your target customers. Restaurants that used to offer dine-in specials, can create Christmas platters for delivery and share the ad on social media targeted to people in a specific city who are high-value or high-spend customers (yes, you can target that via Facebook Ads).

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4. Who Are You Selling To?

When making an offer, the customer should always be at the forefront of our minds. Who do we want to sell to? Are they godmothers and godmothers looking for gifts for their godchilds? Are they boyfriends looking for jewellery for their girlfriends? Are these couples who host Christmas dinners in their home? Are the buyers’ office workers looking something cheap for their Kris Kringle game? Is it a teenager looking to find the perfect Holiday outfit? How about a dad searching for plane tickets for the family’s Christmas vacation? How about companies looking to give gifts to their clients? Imagine the holiday activities that your customers will be participating in during Christmas, and what their interests will be, the more specific you are in your message the more your message with resonate with your target audience.

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Photo by Everymum

5. Timing Is Key

Now the common misconception is that Christmas planning can be done in December. If you reside in the Philippines, you know that BER-Months (October, November, December), mark the start of the Christmas season. Malls start playing the classic “Christmas in Our Hearts” by Mr Jose Mari Chan, and decorations are starting to go up on buildings, stores, and community centres. That should give you an idea on when you need to start promoting.

If you are a business catering to other businesses (B2B), your timeline started way before Ber-Months. Companies usually search for vendors ahead of the Christmas season. Products such as corporate collaterals, catering services, venue offerings for Christmas parties, giveaway, hotels and resorts for team building activities, etc. should be offered in July. Companies usually search earlier since they are busier in the last quarter of the month.

If you are a business catering to consumers directly (B2C), your planning should start around August-September, set up the campaigns by October, and go full blast promotions on November and December. Make sure our back end office is ready for the traffic and you have enough stocks to last you the season. Prepare all your holiday collateral design by September, then you can publish them on October. When the influx of customers come in, you want to be able to focus on them, so do what you can months in advance.

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Starbucks creates custom designs for their sticker promo.

6. Branding And Design

People tend to be more visual than text-based. So make sure that your design incorporates a great high-quality photo that will go along with your message. Incorporate Christmas Branding into your collateral. Marketing materials should look festive while still retaining your branding aesthetic and accents. You can even create limited editions of your products that incorporate the Christmas theme. A yoga studio may post photos of a class that uses red and green mats. Starbucks even creates limited edition Christmas Paper Cups for their coffees. A retail store can offer a free customized gift wrap or packaging with a purchase of any product. Some companies send out emails with a beautiful festive header and add mistletoe to their signature.

Be creative, some designs do not have to be explicitly depicting Christmas, some brands create a minimalist design that can symbolize Christmas. It is up to your branding aesthetic to see what fits well with your current design.

https://cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/181031130357-starbucks-holiday-cups-exlarge-169.jpg
Starbucks also creates limited edition holiday-themed paper cups every Christmas.
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7. Personalization

How do you avoid price wars with competitors selling the same gift items on Christmas? Personalize your items! Remember Coca Cola’s “Share a Coke” Campaign where people can add their names into the soda bottles? Or how about Baby Dove’s Personalized Baby Soap Campaign? When you personalize a common item, you are already offering something your competitors can’t, so you are free to name your price.

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8. Ride The Wave

Ever heard of 10-10 or 11-11 Sale? These are monthly e-commerce sale events that you should be co-promoting with. Have a monthly special, especially for November, since that is most likely when people will start buying their Christmas gifts! Create a bundle offer or package that is too good to resist on 11-11 and 12-12. The good thing about these sale dates is that people are already aware that there are sales in almost all major stores, so all you need to do is post your upcoming deals a week before to inform them and to hype them up. People are more likely to buy out of urgency, so make sure to indicate that your offers are for a limited time only.

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Photo by mentatdgt | Pexels

9. Reward Your Loyal Customers

There’s nothing like the holidays to give gratitude to the customers who have supported us throughout the years, especially this one. Offer a small token of appreciation or an exclusive discount to your shoppers to thank them for their support. The cost of customer acquisition is always higher than the cost of customer retention, so don’t neglect your current clients in favour of getting new ones. Repeat customers account for 40% of your sales, so it’s also in your best interest to keep them happy!

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@guillealvarez | unsplash

10. Your Brand Story

When you think of your holiday campaign, think about the culture, beliefs, history, values, and emotions of your consumers. When big brands highlight OFWs coming home, families gathering together, people experiencing loneliness working during the holidays, etc, these are the real stories that make the customer the hero of their story. This is how campaigns should be done when you focus on the message, rather than the product. So take a look at what makes your brand special (hint: check your mission statement), and try to create a story that is centred around the holiday theme. A good story has a good context, invokes emotion, and challenges your audience to take action. The best brands don’t sell products, they tell the best stories.

Christmas time is the best season to rack up last minute sales. Make the best out of this season by planning early and offering something irresistible to your consumers. If you do it right, you can sleigh this holiday!

Merry Christmas Everyone!

For companies who wish to make the most out of the holiday sales, our Social Media Management service will handle everything for you, including managing your ads that will drive holiday traffic to your websites, so you can focus on running your business and enjoying the Christmas season with your coworkers and partners.

Read the original post on our website here.

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Cristine Ongson
Written By

Inbound Marketer and Social Media Strategist who enables businesses to increase their online presence. Visit her website.

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