Tuesday 24 December, 2013

Seasonal Marketing – How the Holidays Help You Sell

What times of year are most important to your customers? How can you use them to sell? These are important questions that many marketers fail to ask themselves.

Seasonal marketing materials can only be used once a year, but like the plastic Christmas tree in its box in the garage, they can be trotted out year after year to boost sales.

Identify Your Market’s Seasons

Start by identifying the seasons your customers care about. Nearly everybody does something for the Christmas and New Year holidays. For Americans, Thanksgiving and July 4th are big days. If religious, your target market will care about spiritual times of year (make sure you include Muslims and Buddhists if they’re in your market). Spring break and summer vacation are important for college students, as well as back to school.

Think outside the box. Your customers may not care a great deal about Memorial Day, but they’ll probably have a barbecue. Try to figure out what your customers are doing at key times of year.

What Do They Buy?

Next, try to figure out what they buy during their particular season. For Halloween, there’s party stuff, costumes and creepy stuff. Anything that can be given as a gift is good for Christmas.

There may be certain goods associated with the time of year already, like school supplies in the fall, or you may have to get creative and think about things they need indirectly.

If your customers are traveling during Thanksgiving or the Christmas holidays, they’ll need plane tickets, travel deals, cheap gas, luggage and other travel goods. If your market is college students, your back to school goods may include party supplies. If you’re in the natural health niche, you may have products for customers who have over indulged during the holidays (nearly every holiday involves copious amounts of food).

It’s Beginning to Look a Bit Like Christmas

Timing is important in seasonal marketing. Each season has a turning point and you need to identify yours. We all make jokes about Christmas getting earlier and earlier each year, but it’s no joke for an online marketer. When people start gearing up for the holidays, you have to be there.

Researching Your Market’s Holidays

How do you know what holidays are most important to your market? You can come right out and ask them. If you’re connected to them on social media and listening, you probably already know. Another good way to get an idea is to see what your competitors are selling when.

Spread the Good Will

Figure out your market’s holidays and what goods they need, and then offer these goods to them well ahead of time at a good price. Don’t make the common mistake many make of trying to gouge your customers during the holidays. Offering low prices gets you more sales and also gets your customers to love you.

Bob Steele

Bob Steele is an entrepreneur, software developer, marketer, and author living in the Denver metropolitan area. He’s an avid outdoorsman who loves skiing, hiking, fishing, boating, and just plain having fun. His interests include games, space, technology, physics, cooking (well eating actually), economics, business, internationalism, and team sports. With over thirty years of professional consulting experience, Bob has been exposed to many diverse business models and has gained a sensible approach to life. Bob’s company, WaveCentric is focused on commerce, marketing, and entertainment related products.

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