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Marketing During the Holidays

Posted by: Today's Tip Contributor on December 10, 2010

With the holiday season upon us, there are many sales and marketing strategies that small business owners can leverage to expand revenue base and improve business. Here are a few tips to help ensure your business is in the best position to accomplish its holiday sales and marketing goals:

1. Up the bid. Consumers are much more likely to make a purchase during the holidays than at any other time of the year. That’s good news for revenue, but improved conversion rates can also fund an increase in marketing during December. This is particularly effective if your business is using online marketing tactics such as paid search, where spending can be adjusted on the fly.

2. Change the offer. During the holidays, consumers are usually shopping for gifts for others. This is a different shopping mindset that requires you to rethink what you are offering consumers. Positioning products and services as gifts, offering free shipping, and promoting gift cards are all great ways to succeed with holiday shoppers.

3. Timing is everything. The holiday shopping season lasts months, not weeks, and consumer behavior changes dramatically over that period. For example, women are much more likely to make a holiday purchase in November than men, while men are last-minute shoppers who usually wait until mid-December to make their purchases. As such, you should make sure you are focused on a female customer base for most of the season, then be ready to target and better engage a male demographic as the holidays kick into high gear.

4. Make it social. The holidays are a social time and businesses should capitalize on that dynamic. There are many ways to do this and the Internet makes it easier than ever. Consider leveraging group buying, one of the hottest dynamics in retailing, to offer customers discounted gift cards—but only if a minimum number of customers sign up.

5. Don’t forget the post-holiday season. Holiday shopping doesn’t end on December 24. In fact, a majority of consumers will make a purchase during the last week of the year, when they are shopping for themselves and looking for deals. As such, businesses need to adjust marketing and sales efforts yet again to capitalize on a second wave of shoppers.

Scott Albro
Founder and CEO
San Francisco

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