Summer may be winding down but now is the perfect time to start your holiday marketing planning. Not only does the fourth quarter of the year often have the biggest impact on your annual results, but doing so will help you create consistent and evolving messaging to drive your business results.
While marketing planning can be arduous, it doesn’t have to be. Here are three quick and dirty marketing planning hacks to get your small business ready for the most important time of year.
1. Keep it Simple
A marketing plan for your holiday campaigns does not need to be much more than a single document where you layout basic marketing components. Clearly define the objectives you hope to reach for your holiday campaigns so you can make sure your plan will achieve it.
Next, define the target for your holiday campaign. Maybe you traditionally target young mothers who go to yoga two or more times a week but for your holiday campaigns you want to broaden that to young women who consider themselves yogis.
Finish the page with an overview of your product/service offering, pricing, distribution method and, of course, communication. This is where you’ll put most of your time but keep it simple. What do you want to say? Where will you say it so your target sees it? Consider exploring what key messaging will trigger the right emotions in your target customer.
If you have been following our annual plan to better marketing, you can incorporate some of what you’ve learned in your formal learning and experiment into the tactics you’ll need to reach your audience and motivate them to action.
2. A Real Budget
As a small business, you may be tempted to short change your marketing plan. That would be a mistake. Instead, invest in marketing that will better position you at the intersection of where your target will go to research the products and services you provide and where they go to make that purchase.
That investment may not be small but necessary to be successful. In such a dynamic environment and with such fierce competition, under-spending on marketing at such a critical time in the business cycle will only hurt your bottom line.
Once you’ve identified a realistic budget that you can afford and that will meet your defined objectives, add it to your one page document.
3. Improve Your Website
Regardless of your small business, your website is a critical part of any small business marketing planning because it’s how your audience will find you before they call or visit. There are always improvements to be made to your website, some critical for your success. And by starting this planning process now, you have time to make the changes you need to improve the experience and make it easier for your audience to buy.
Marketing planning doesn’t need to be more than simply identifying the basics of a marketing campaign, creating a realistic budget and improving your website.