The coronavirus has fundamentally destabilized most business operations. More than 60% of small businesses have experienced a decrease in revenue since it was declared a global pandemic. This change in cash flow, coupled with a reduction of foot traffic in physical shops, has made it necessary for businesses to adapt their marketing strategies.
With the holidays coming up, how can you effectively reach your customers? How can you adjust your marketing strategy to fit these challenging times? Here are 5 effective holiday marketing tips to keep you afloat during the pandemic.
1. Create Offers and Incentives for Holiday Shopping
Your customers are well aware that businesses are competing for clients and are on the lookout for offers and discounts. This is the perfect time to create a marketing strategy that will attract them to your store. How? Make every Friday a Black Friday during the pandemic.
Keep in mind that you can only have so many people in your store due to social distancing rules at any one time, so create your own offers and incentives for holiday shopping. You could also have a series of different mini-campaigns that culminate into one mega campaign to keep your customers coming back for more.
You can never go wrong with holiday discounts!
2. Be Grateful for the Existing Opportunities
Don’t forget to be grateful for the opportunities that still exist. Despite what many people feared, there are still many marketing opportunities, even though old marketing forms have been rendered ineffective.
People are spending a lot of their time online and on social media platforms, so capitalize on the new normal by creating social media and other online ads to help you reach more people.
Be creative when coming up with products and packages because even though people have extra time now, they also have less money to spend. Come up with new products or adapt your products to fit your customers’ changed profiles, while also considering the government restrictions.
3. Be Sensitive to Your Customers
Some of your customers are going through a tough time with the loss of jobs, failing businesses, and losing their loved ones. This is why you should be careful with the messaging you pass to your customers by making sure it is sensitive to those that have been affected negatively by the pandemic.
The pandemic also provides you an opportunity to connect with the customers and show them that you are with them during this hard time. Highlight shared experiences in your marketing messages and share messages of support and hope.
Most consumer decisions are emotional. By connecting with them emotionally, and being sensitive to their feelings, you will make your products more appealing to them.
Understand the customers and give them the best support you can without affecting your business negatively. Customers will remember the companies that provided discounts and payment extensions after the pandemic is over.
4. Offer Gift Certificates
If you’re looking to create lasting relationships with your customers, don’t give them the gifts you think they’d want; allow them to make that choice themselves. Consumers love gift cards because they are a convenient payment method, and they empower them with the choice to get what they really need.
Gift cards are also a great way to keep your band atop the consumer’s mind during the holidays. They are a cost-effective marketing tool that drives high levels of consumer engagement, and the best part? You could also use them to increase store traffic and collect vital user data.
Research by the National Retail Federation identified that 62% of customers prefer to receive gift cards over anything else. Start by identifying an affordable gift card supplier and partner with them to create customized gift cards and ensure you acquaint yourself with the available gift card laws.
The most important step, however, is advertising them. Nobody will purchase the gift cards if they are not aware that they exist, so make sure you market them aggressively.
5. Send Thank You Cards to Past & Present Customers
There’s a reason why thank you cards always work: they are personal and show the customer that they are an important part of your organization. Admittedly, you wouldn’t have made it this far if it weren’t for your past and present clients.
The holidays are a jolly time, and there’s no better time to show customers your appreciation. Besides, it helps you stand out from your competition. While other businesses are sending template-based SMS and emails, you will be taking the time to personalize your appreciation.
Thank you cards also help you cement relationships with your customers, and satisfied clients are a business’s best asset. They tend to become brand ambassadors who bring in more businesses through referrals.
Your customers are probably going through a rough patch due to the pandemic, and some may not be able to afford your products or services this year. That simple thank you card could make all the difference.
To make the cards more personal, ensure you personally sign them. You could also send handmade cards, complete with a personalized message or exclusive discount. The customer may not make a purchase now, but they will definitely remain loyal to you.
Successful Holiday Marketing Strategies
The holidays are almost here, and unlike the past ones where you could predict consumer trends, the pandemic has altered consumer behavior. Yes, business is slow, but this is the best time to create a sense of normalcy and nurture customer relationships. Give your customer incentives to visit your store, exploit the available marketing opportunities, be sensitive to them, and offer them gift cards, and thank you notes.
This is also the perfect time to start preparing for the holiday season, and you only need to be armed with the right marketing strategy.
We’d love to help you make the most of the holidays. Contact Geary for a free marketing audit, and let us show you what opportunities there are right now for your business in both traditional and digital marketing.