Christmas marketing for SMEs: dos and don’ts

Christmas marketing

The Christmas shopping season is upon us. For most B2C companies this is the busiest time of year. You’ve planned for this season for the entire calendar year, increasing your stock levels and ensuring you have the resources to meet consumer demand and maximise your takings. For B2B companies, the reality may be very different. However, all companies can potentially benefit from Christmas through the creation of seasonal marketing campaigns.

DO plan ahead

It’s never too early to start planning your Christmas marketing campaign. If it’s too late to create an effective marketing push for this Christmas, start thinking about the new year. Draw up a plan that states what needs to be done, and when it needs to be done by. This should cover everything from hiring additional staff to printing out leaflets, or even adding a Christmas-themed landing page to your website. Successful marketing campaigns are drawn up in a strategic, organised manner across several different platforms.

DON’T go over the top

You know your target market – and that not all of your customers will necessarily be relishing the thought of Christmas. Don’t let your Christmas marketing campaign drown out all other elements of your marketing strategy. You’ll alienate customers who couldn’t care less about Christmas, and perhaps even lose their custom if your Christmas marketing campaign is particularly relentless or intrusive.

DO be careful with promotions

Every B2C company will be trying to get the attention of their target market in the weeks leading up to Christmas. While generous discounts may tempt customers to make a purchase, as a general rule customers are usually willing to spend more in the build-up to Christmas than after it. If you do offer promotions prior to Christmas, try to stay away from significant price discounts. Use cross-sell promotions or offer discounts based on spend. This will encourage customers to spend more in order to secure offers.

DON’T abandon your brand

Christmas may be a fun and jovial time of year, but if your brand is deadly serious and ultra-professional, you shouldn’t overlook these values in order to fully embrace the Christmas spirit. Work within your brand. If your company sells high-end products to wealthy businessmen, use your marketing campaign to promote classy Christmas corporate gifts and high-end presents. Don’t dress your staff up in Santa hats and tinsel to appeal to this clientele.

DO use social media

Again, the battle of the brands on social media will intensify over Christmas. Consumers will soon become tired of brands that constantly use social media as a sales platform. Use your Tweets to create dialogue with your followers and build customer loyalty. It’s fine to occasionally direct followers to your website to take advantage of seasonal deals, but as a general rule you should use social media to create a buzz rather than to bother your customers.

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Ian is the founder of Opportunity Marketing marketing, with over 18 years of experience in successfully setting up marketing departments, creating marketing strategies and implementing these strategies across a wide number of SME companies in both the B2B and B2C sectors through a variety of channels.