Developing a Holiday Marketing Strategy? 12 Points For Businesses To Consider

The right marketing strategy can propel a business to new and exciting heights. While many leaders tend to focus primarily on product or service development, taking the time to reflect on potential marketing strategies is equally as important, as it can help establish brand identity and effectively reach a target audience.The holidays in particular mark a time for giving, and customers are especially eager to learn about brands that may provide the gift they’re looking for. Crafting a well-thought-out holiday marketing strategy in advance ensures a business remains focused, thereby increasing the chances of successfully engaging prospects and converting them to bonafide customers.To help leaders create effective plans, 12 Newsweek Expert Forum members each share one essential base to cover when developing an annual holiday marketing strategy for a business, as well as why these elements are important.1. Connect With Your Target Audience Year-LongHoliday marketing strategies allow businesses to reach target demographics while demonstrating cultural awareness and reaching business goals. One essential base to cover when developing an annual holiday marketing strategy is to establish a track record throughout the year. Holiday campaigns that show up just in time to cash in on the holiday rush can do more harm than good with savvy customers. – Lillian Gregory, The 4D Unicorn LLC2. Tie Your Offerings to Personal ConnectionsMany families are struggling right now in this economy with their high mortgage payments, car loans, credit card debt and student loans. Family is extremely important during the holidays. The holiday season is not just about the gifts, it’s about being with your friends and family. If it won’t be a stretch to link that with your product or service, go ahead. – Zain Jaffer, Zain Ventures3. Focus on the ‘Why’Take the time to truly uncover the “why” behind it and what you hope to achieve. Who are you trying to reach, for what purpose and why now? During the strategizing process, be deliberate about getting as much feedback as possible from a diverse group of people. This will ignite insights that will strengthen the inclusivity of the strategy as well as encourage meaningful, authentic conversations amongst teams. – Leah Marone, Corporate Wellness Consultant4. Center Your AudienceAn annual holiday marketing strategy involves audience segmentation and personalized messaging. Consumers are bombarded with advertisements, so personalization stands out. It demonstrates to customers that a brand pays attention to their individual preferences and values their business. Audience segmentation and personalized messaging leads to increased sales, loyalty and overall brand success. – Britton Bloch, Navy Federal5. Assess the TimingFor any holiday marketing strategy, timing is everything. Many people are tired of retailers pushing present shopping on consumers by starting Christmas too soon. Don’t be that person! Wait until after Thanksgiving when your message will be received with warmth and interest instead of shunned as “commercializing on Christmas.” – Laura Kasbar, GemIIni Systems6. Be Authentic and InclusiveAuthenticity and inclusiveness are key. There’s a wide range of holidays featuring a wide range of people, preferences and priorities. Ensure your marketing campaign addresses the diverse needs of your diverse audience in an authentic way. Aligning your mission, your message and your marketing is the path to creating loyal customers and brand champions. – Karen Mangia, The Engineered Innovation Group7. Include Emotional Marketing ConceptsOne important base to cover when you are developing an annual holiday marketing strategy is to include emotional marketing concepts in your plan. Holidays have an emotional component, so invoking those emotions will help people remember your brand. You have to connect your brand and product to all that’s good about the holidays like tradition, family, fun and laughter. – Baruch Labunski, Rank Secure8. Aim to Understand Your AudienceAs the holiday season nears, marketers must remember to intimately understand their audience. Dive into the prior year’s data, noting successes and misses. Craft campaigns that will resonate with your demographic’s evolving tastes. In festive chaos, pinpoint precision is pivotal. A laser-focused strategy not only stands out, but also maximizes ROI. – Joseph Soares, IBPROM Corp.9. Conduct Cultural Sensitivity AuditsGiven the diverse nature of holidays around the globe, a misstep from your establishment might be costly. Review marketing campaigns to ensure cultural relevance, inclusivity and respect. This will enhance your brand authenticity and lead to sustained brand loyalty, which is very important in an era where most consumers prioritize genuine engagement. – Dr. Kira Graves, Kira Graves Consulting10. Prioritize Customer Wants and NeedsA key thing is knowing what your customers truly want and need. This will help you make promotions that feel genuine, authentic and personal, thereby creating greater trust. This trust leads to a genuine connection that will ultimately drive business growth. – Anna Yusim, MD, Yusim Psychiatry, Consulting & Executive Coaching11. Focus on Distinctive Qualities and BenefitsHolidays are competitive for earning attention, so you have to stand out. If you are selling gifts, you are competing against anything customers could buy for other people, not just similar products. Focus on what makes your product unique and the benefits. Build marketing materials that really stand out to earn attention in this competitive time. – Krista Neher, Boot Camp Digital12. Be Willing to Leave Your Comfort ZoneThink outside the (gift) box! It’s easy to copy what others in your space are doing. With so many brands jumping on the same bandwagon, you need to ensure that your marketing stands out. To succeed at this, you’ll need to be willing to leave your comfort zone and make your own playbook. If you create something unexpected and memorable, your audience will reward you. – Gergo Vari, Lensa
Uncommon KnowledgeNewsweek is committed to challenging conventional wisdom and finding connections in the search for common ground.Newsweek is committed to challenging conventional wisdom and finding connections in the search for common ground.

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