Are we in the midst of the holiday season yet? If you were to ask someone in the general population, they’d likely tell you “No, the holidays are still 6 weeks away”. But if you were to poll some marketers, the answer you’re likely to get is “Yes, the holiday season started several weeks ago. Where have you been?!” Like the eager neighbors who drag their Halloween decorations out in early September to ensure the longest possible period of lawn awesomeness, marketers are starting their holiday campaigns earlier and earlier to take advantage of the mind-boggling amount of shopping that happens every year for the holidays.
And, unbelievably, the amount of holiday shopping just keeps growing. The 2016 holiday season is projected to generate $90 billion in revenue, compared to $69 billion in 2015. Yes, as in, 30% higher. Think about what you can do with 30% more revenue for your business next quarter.
Holiday spending doesn’t just affect large department stores either. The Internet, that universal equalizer, has made it just as easy to purchase a gift from your local small business as it is to purchase from Macy’s.
Sure, you might not come up with one of the greatest holiday commercials of all time. But having a marketing campaign for the holidays is absolutely crucial for your company’s bottom line.
Consider these holiday marketing statistics:

  • 37.2% of annual online sales happened in the 4th quarter of 2015.
  • 59% of retailers started their holiday promotions in September. This should give you a hint as to how much retailers value the return on their holiday campaigns. Plus, your competitors may already be beating you to the punch!
  • 76 percent of people used online means to do at least some of their holiday shopping in 2015
  • 30 percent of shoppers researched and made a majority of purchases online
  • Cyber Monday was the biggest day in U.S. online shopping in history last year (1)

Every business is different, so we won’t try to tell you what your holiday campaign should involve. However, consider these general holiday marketing best practices:

  1. Start early. Holiday promos are no longer starting in December. To get the most mileage out of your campaign, start planning your holiday promos now, and start executing early in November.
  2. Decide on an angle. What product or service category are you going to try to sell, and how can you tie it in with the holidays? You may want to consider creating some holiday specific landing pages to help with your promotions.
  3. Leverage your mailing lists. 70% of people learned about holiday promotions through email marketing in 2015. Get the word out early to your followers so they can keep you in mind as they plan their holiday gift buying.
  4. Take your offline customers online, and vise versa. Connecting your online and offline marketing efforts can actually generate results that are bigger than the sum of their parts.
  5. Adjust your campaign as the holiday season progresses. As the holiday season wears on, shoppers do experience deal fatigue, so start off with smaller promos and escalate the deals from there.
  6. Adapt to purchasing habits. Last-minute buyers are primarily shopping for gift cards. The week prior to Christmas has 72 percent more searches for gift cards than the first week of December. When the time comes, change your strategy accordingly to capitalize on this particular demographic.

All of this holiday marketing activity can get a little overwhelming. If you need help creating and implementing a holiday marketing strategy this year, get in touch with us!
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