Develop Your Holiday Marketing Strategy Now

October is here, and before long, the holiday season will be in full swing. Last year, according to Business2Community contributor John Hayes, consumers spent over $53 billion between Halloween and Valentine’s Day – bookmarks of the holiday marketing period.

While there is certainly money to be made, this is also the most competitive time of year in the marketing arena, meaning that all brands will need to ramp up their efforts to make a memorable impression.

Holiday Ornaments
“Don’t let databases become cluttered and outdated.”

Of course, standing out in the crowd is easier said than done during a season of information overload for consumers across the globe. To help marketers get a leg up on the competition and ensure that their holiday campaigns start strong, here are a handful of tips that will put them ahead of the rest and yield impressive results.

Do some fall cleaning: With sales generally lagging in the summer months, it’s easy for retailers to let their marketing databases become cluttered and outdated. That’s why fall is the perfect time to start cleaning up these important lists for the forthcoming holiday season. Companies should scrutinize their databases to ensure everything is up to date and accurate.

Once the cobwebs (redundant entries, inaccurate information) have all been cleared away, a brand can then focus on generating new leads for the holiday season. With a well-built database of email and social media contacts, marketers should have no problem getting the message out to a wide and receptive audience.

Try new segmentation: A deep and varied database is not worth much in the holiday season unless it is segmented with precision and creativity, so marketers must spend the extra time necessary to target their messages before November arrives. This means scanning analytics reports and customer patterns to identify high-potential pockets of prospects. Ideally, this will help inform efforts in all aspects of the brand campaign, especially email.

Email marketing works at its very best when you send targeted campaigns based on previous purchases or engagements.The more granular you get with your list segmentation, the more success your campaigns will deliver,” explained Business2Community’s Hayes. “Always try to send the right message to the right person at the right time.”

Create a holiday calendar: The holiday marketing season is a pretty substantial stretch of time, so it’s best that brands plan ahead with a variety of events and dates to mark up their calendars throughout. The more consistent a brand is with coordinated campaigns throughout the holiday season, the more engaged its audience will be.

Remember, this calendar must encompass the first month and a half of 2016, which is where many retailers fall short. While there may not be many exciting events that take place in this period after New Year’s Day, a brand will surely stand out if it creates some compelling offers following the normal holiday peak.

As Hayes wrote in his piece for Business2Community, “keep those campaigns rolling out and don’t think about taking a vacation until after your last Valentine’s Day campaign has been sent.”

Turn up the volume: While pure quantity is never the way to go in digital marketing, the sheer volume and variety of promotional campaigns that run during the holiday season will necessitate a bit more frequency when it comes to messaging. Consumers are used to the holiday overload and will not be phased by increased volume, within reason.

As with any marketing effort, it’s important that brands balance distribution across channels, including email, social and mobile. An article from BusinessNewsDaily stated that native advertising will be hugely popular this holiday season, so no outlet can be overlooked. With a head start and plenty of tactics on hand, brands should be ready to make a major impact in the coming months.