ARE YOU WINNING THE 4TH QUARTER

Winning Customers

The Christmas creep is once again upon us and Pumpkin everything is being taken over by early Black Friday sales. Businesses are keying in on how to drive sales, increase consumer interest and create limited-time offers. Where in the mix is Thanksgiving?

If your company is looking to take advantage of seasonal marketing ideas, it’s best to look at some of the biggest brands in your space to see what they do to drive sales and pique consumer interest in your own business. Small businesses can compete by delivering unique products, outstanding customer service and using hashtags in posts that will pop up in social media when consumers are searching.

1. Look for easy seasonal hype
One of the easiest ways to jump into seasonal sales around the holidays is to prepare for and participate in Black Friday sales and holiday shopping days such as Small Business Saturday, which encourages people to shop locally. These days are already ingrained into people’s minds as shopping events, so it’s an easy way to jump on the bandwagon. When plugging into the seasonal sales events be sure to hashtag your social media postings.

We recently worked with a hair salon to help them plan the remainder of the 4th quarter. This included a food drive collection, special pricing on gift cards, bundling of unique products for sale on Small Business Saturday, and posting holiday hours well in advance to ensure clients were able to get their services done. Branded social media images can help increase awareness days and prescheduling posts can save time and eliminate the pressure of last-minute planning.

2. Develop an annual marketing plan
How are you incorporating monthly awareness events and fun days into your social media plan? For example, we worked with a mobile dog groomer and in her social media plan, incorporated “National Cat Day”. Restaurants have “National Taco Day”, “Chocolate Day”, etc. Think about how you can align your business. Did you know in November that it’s Military Family Appreciation Month, Men’s Health Awareness, National Hospice Month, National Literacy Month to name a few? December brings about Cat lovers month, Write a Business Plan Month.

If you are a B to B or a B to C – aligning with some of these causes and adding hashtags will help to increase your brand awareness.

3. Capture Emails and Go from Seasonal to Subscription or stay in touch with news updates
By increasing your email list, you can touch your “fan base” with news, offers, and discounts. Use the list to create a subscription service. For example, restaurants may have a VIP wine club that members pay a fee to belong. What does that get them?  Perhaps access to specialty wines nonmembers can’t experience, wine pairing events, as well as other perks.

If you are a B to B, we utilize a given process to increase your newsletter subscribers. Why is that important? It keeps your company top of mind to supporters and people who you want to do business with. For our construction clients, we share news on new projects, project updates and community involvement.

4. Plan your own seasonal sale
It’s planning ahead to take advantage of one-off discount days. Where I see businesses fall short is they lack the advanced time to promote and plan. Think about your celebration and consider offering this on an annual or quarterly basis.

We work with an eye doctor and they have an annual back to school sale. Every year in August and September they promote this sale. Their customers know it is coming and they are booked solid. They don’t discount prices throughout the year, only at this event.

The holidays may be right around the corner, but by planning ahead, your business can create its unique holiday promotions that will help you increase sales, grow brand awareness and connect with customers. Need help in pulling a plan together? Email us or call 724-612-0755 and ask about our Business Marketing Planning Package.

About the author: Autumn Edmiston is the CEO and owner of the Edmiston Group. The Edmiston Group is a multifaceted Pittsburgh based marketing consulting firm providing senior-level marketing management services to businesses and non-profit organizations on a short or long-term basis. Core areas of service are business development strategies, website creation and management, social media management, marketing, strategic planning, and public relations. The Edmiston Group has consistently delivered and implemented real-world, proven business marketing ideas and strategies for business.

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