As we enter the second half of August and come closer to Summer’s end, it’s officially time to start thinking about and planning how to promote your brand’s products and services for the Holidays. That’s right, we said it – it’s time to start planning for the Holidays!
As a somewhat unspoken rule within North America, many marketers and consumers consider the moment that Halloween ends as the moment that Christmas Holidays have officially begun. After all, there’s nothing like buying some 75% off candy on November 1st while doing some online shopping for Grandma, right?
With many promotions beginning in early November, that means your company really only has 2 months to get prepared and get the most out of the 2019 Holiday season. Our marketing strategists have pulled together the below Holiday marketing plan timeline. As always, the earlier you start planning, the more likely things will run smoothly.
Throughout the summer months, you should be planning the type of products and services you want to display and promote during the holidays, working with your suppliers on orders, media planning including booking any billboards or newspaper ads you see fit and creating any gift guides that you want to use to attract potential customers to your site and/or store.
One of the most important reasons you do this part of the planning early on is to ensure that you are stocked by early to mid-fall with enough products that you will be promoting since shopping activity will begin to increase around that time.
Another tactic to consider completing during the summer months is if any videos or photos need to be taken, the shoot should take place mid-summer. This gives the photographer and video editor enough time to properly edit the images and piece together clips to create the best video possible.
Early Fall Planning
Now that you’ve decided what specific products and services you want to advertise and you’ve determined any special promotions that you will be running throughout the season, it’s time to start working on your marketing communications plan for the Holiday season. This is where the DT team comes to the rescue.
It can be quite overwhelming trying to plan everything, and with it being so far in advance, it’s pretty easy to just keep telling yourself you will do it tomorrow. Until tomorrow is December 25th and you haven’t done any marketing…
During these months you should be creating your overall marketing strategy including your calendar of tactics and promotions, refining your messaging, digital marketing strategy including social media and Google Ads, and beginning the creation of visuals staying consistent with your brand and chosen messaging.
Having this time in advance to create and ready all holiday marketing content and campaigns ensures that nothing is rushed and everything has been thoroughly planned out to properly represent the brand and appeal to your target audience.
As we mentioned earlier, November is the key month to start implementing your holiday marketing strategies. Some companies choose to wait until after Remembrance Day out of respect and go full-swing into holiday mode starting November 12th.
A key marketing strategy that should be utilized early on is email blasts to your customer lists. You can start these as early as October with just bits and pieces of Holiday teasers included but not being the main focus of the email yet. Once you hit the mid-November mark, that’s when you strike while the iron is hot and focus heavily on Holiday content promoting your deals with a Christmas theme.
There are always those last-minute shoppers who wait until December 24th to go shopping (we see you Dads across North America!) but for the most part, consumers start the act of holiday shopping from mid-November to mid-December. Those 4 weeks are considered the sweet spot where your messaging won’t get burned out and consumers won’t feel what we call shopping fatigue.
Don’t forget, as soon as you start promoting your holiday deals, whether it be in-store, traditional marketing, or digital marketing, to update your website as well to reflect those deals.
We’re not saying this needs to happen on December 26th, especially since many brands choose to extend their Holiday campaigns until January 1st, but it’s important to never stop planning, even after the holidays are done and the campaign is over. Now is the time to look back at your results and see what you could have done differently and possibly better. After that, well it’s time to do it all over again!
Marketing is a never-ending, 365-day-a-year, 24/7 strategy for your brand. It’s never too early to start planning. In fact, we highly encourage it! If you haven’t already started your company’s planning for the 2019 Holiday season, now is the time and Design Thinking is here to help. Contact us today to get started for the happiest holidays yet!