Wednesday, 2 December 2015

Be Prepared: Making The Most Of The Festive Spending Boom

 

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The festive and New Year period is always a stressful time for any company. If you are consumer-facing you often find yourself under a great amount of pressure to entice new consumers, encourage existing consumers to keep buying from you and generally keep on top of orders and get a piece of the festive spending boom pie.

On the other side of things, if you are business-facing you can find yourself in one of two positions. Either you are being put under increasing pressure from your clients to get work finished in time so that they can make the most of the festive spending spree. Or you find yourself stuck with clients who are too busy to communicate with you to help you get the work they have commissioned you to do done, only for them to be on your back at the start of the New Year asking why the work has not been done.

So Where Do I Even Start?

Regardless of which situation you find yourself in, often the best approach to succeed and make the most of this high pressure period is simply to be prepared. You have probably heard this phrase so many times it has become irritating, however, it is true that preparation, especially during a high pressure, stressful period will go a long way to help you get through it. Although we will be discussing the festive period in this post the same rules apply for any high spending period your business may face. For example if you are a company who specialises in bespoke personalised chocolates, hampers and gifts you will have a range of high spending periods throughout the year including mother's and father's day, valentine's day, Easter and the graduation period as well as the festive time.

But Isn't It Too Late?

Yes, it is true that the further in advance you can prepare the better, but it is never too late to implement new procedures to capitalise on these high spending periods and make the most of new potential consumers and clients coming to your business. Ideally we would recommend starting preparations at least 2 months before your high spending period. This allows you to lay the groundwork with existing/past consumers to encourage them to repeat buy with you. This can be done in a variety of ways including:

  • Sending out newsletters to subscribers during the build up to the high spending period reminding them of the products and services which you offer.

  • Send out promotions or offers to past clients.

  • Run competitions or prize draws through your social media to start getting a buzz around the upcoming high spend period.

Remember whatever form of contact you opt for you can do more than one, providing that you can keep on top of it and offer this form on content marketing activity the time and dedication that needs to make it successful.

So How Can I Capture This Market?

There are a variety of ways to capture your market during high spend periods such as Christmas and although it is ideal to start this communication during the build up before the festive period it is never too late. In particular with online consumers, spending habits are less fixed and in fact many consumers now hold out until the last moment in the hope of picking up a deal in the sales or until their Christmas pay-packets come through. In fact it is now a common trend for people to save a significant amount of their spending until after Christmas waiting for the Boxing Day and January sales to make their larger purchases. So what else can you do to make the most of high spending period booms?

  • Create tailored content on your website targeting the festive period. For example during Christmas why not add a 'Christmas' tab to your menu, you can build on this further by adding additional categories/pages such as 'Gifts for Him', 'Gifts for Her', 'Gifts Under £25', 'Secret Santa Gifts”

  • Get a buzz going using your social media - consider running competitions or prize draws and offer seasonally suitable gifts as the prize.

  • Create great educational and informative content to entice new customers or reward existing clients You can include a festive spin but why not mix it up and create some non seasonal content to prevent festive overload.

  • Where possible try to incorporate a form of data capture into every marketing activity you do. Although this will not necessarily be helpful for you to use during the current high spend period it will make a significant difference to any future marketing campaigns allowing you to tailor your marketing communications and offers to each client/consumer. This data will also give you insights into any marketing and consumer trends, who are your key demographic, are there any new spending habits, what products are most popular?

  • Tweak your website, social media and newsletter designs to reflect the high spend period. For example during the festive period why not add some snow, Christmas trees and other Christmas related images to your marketing communications.

  • If you are a business-facing company why not get into the festive period by sending your top clients some festive cheer such as a hamper of goodies for them to share during their office Christmas lunch or put money behind the bar for their office Christmas night out?

  • If you don't already, consider offering add-ons such as free next day delivery, gift wrapping, gift receipts or gift certificates/cards or even extend your shop's opening hours.

These are only a few suggestions so don't be afraid to get creative and come up with your own spin on things. Whether you are a consumer or business-facing company there is always something you can do to capitalise on these high spend periods even if it is just to improve brand perception through customer relationship management or build your consumer database.

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