3 secrets for success this holiday season

holiday marketing ideas for small businessAll marketers know that the holiday season is a make-or-break time of year, especially for those in the retail industry. With more than $53 billion spent last year, companies across sectors must seize the opportunities of the season, according to Business2Community contributor John Hayes.

Of course, this will require brands to shore up their marketing strategies with more volume, variety and originality.

Simply put, companies need to make a major effort to stand out this holiday season, and it all starts with marketing. Here are a few key tactics that can help any brand make a positive impact on audiences as November comes closer.

[icon name=”tree” class=”” unprefixed_class=””]  Clean contact databases: It has been nearly a year since companies last geared up for the holiday craze, and since then, a great deal of information in the customer database has grown stale or outdated. Brands should take the time to reassemble any lost details and ensure that they have an accurate picture of their target audience moving forward. After all, the average email address lasts 18 months, according to Hayes.

Don’t only focus on repairing the database, of course. There is still time to grow this list bigger using campaigns that build anticipation for the holiday rush. Planting the seed of thought early will inspire shoppers to plan ahead with their gifts and keep those brand names in mind when it comes time to make a purchase.

[icon name=”tree” class=”” unprefixed_class=””]  Use smart segmentation: Every brand understands the power of segmentation, but the holiday season presents plenty of opportunities to target new and interesting pockets of the customer database. Marketers have the chance to bring up data such as browsing history and past transactions to recommend new products and promotions. While this concept can be applied to direct mail, it also leads to big results in the digital arena.

“Email marketing works at its very best when you send targeted campaigns based on previous purchases or engagements,” explained Hayes. “This means you should take the time to segment your lists. The more granular you get with your list segmentation, the more success your campaigns will deliver.”

[icon name=”tree” class=”” unprefixed_class=””]  Prepare for the long haul: While most brands are quick to get started with their holiday marketing efforts, a much smaller contingent remain consistent throughout the entire season. Marketers must remember that the holidays are more of a marathon than a sprint, and they may want to map out a detailed calendar of events and dates that will help them allocate funds and ideas. From a retailer perspective, the holiday season lasts much longer than one might think.

“The holidays don’t end with Christmas and New Year’s Day. January remains a buoyant sales period, presenting a great opportunity to clear stocks and move end-of-line items,” concluded Hayes.

Smart marketers are already refining their game plans for this year’s big-ticket holiday season, and with these tips in mind, they’ll be sure to make an unforgettable impression.

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