For many, Christmas is an important landmark in the calendar. For some, it’s the culmination of a year-long planning process, and for others, it’s a last minute shopping trip to grab the Christmas essentials.
Whilst, we were all enjoying the BBQs, beach trips and summer activities this August, the people at the prestigious British department store Selfridges, were busy preparing their Christmas department; a whopping 145 days early; the earliest it has ever opened. Displaying decorations, Christmas trees and tinsel, the festive shop opened as an extravaganza of everything Christmas. Is this too early to start Christmas marketing, or is it an example of great marketing planning, attracting customers early? Well, according to Selfridges, you can never be too early. Last year their festive shop sold 1,000 baubles in the first week alone, simply down to tourists looking for a small memento to take home.
Here at TLC Business, whilst we were enjoying the summer evenings this August, Christmas wasn’t far from our minds. We believe that it is essential for companies to prepare and plan for the festive season, months ahead of time. It should be part of your yearly marketing plan. We don’t necessarily believe you need to get your Christmas products on the shelves at the height of summer, but having a plan of action for the year’s last quarter is a must.
It is not just retail businesses that benefit from this advanced planning. Many B2B organisations view Christmas as an unwelcome distraction that disrupts their business. Advanced marketing planning for the festive period is not just relevant for consumer-focused businesses. The period will impact on business of all sizes and across the majority of sectors. You need to be in tune with the needs of your specific customers. In our opinion, it’s never too early for companies to start preparing for this potentially lucrative season, to ensure they maximise the marketing opportunities that surround it.
This is especially relevant for online retailers. Adding new features and festive graphics to your website will be appealing to the eye; however, don’t neglect less obvious areas, such as ensuring your site is prepared for the surge in festive traffic. Online retailers should be reshaping their email, SEO and pay per click campaigns to benefit from the Christmas boom period. Now is the time to ensure that your site is robust enough to deal with Christmas demand, in order to satisfy your customers, instead of damaging your brand value with a poor performing site.
With consumer lifestyles changing, more and more people are turning to the web for their Christmas gifts. With more brands then ever competing for business online, it is important that SMEs establish their Christmas marketing ideas early and incorporate them within their yearly marketing plan, ready for implementation months in advance.
Christmas may be a holiday for most people, but to many businesses it’s a prime opportunity to increase turnover and meet your financial objectives for the year. You may not be a big business like Selfridges, serving consumers, but that is no excuse to avoid planning your festive season’s marketing early, to maximise sales and get the results you require.