Do you make more or less money at Christmas? Do you spend a chunk of your time trying to engage with your customers and encouraging them to choose you and your services more than, say your competitors?
If so then a Christmas marketing strategy should be on your to-do list; it isn’t just for retailers.
Consumers are becoming much more digitally savvy, in both their professional and personal lives. We can now have days that people are most likely to do their shopping online to make sure their gifts arrive by Christmas.
If you don’t think that ‘savvy’ or think having an understanding of the way the digital landscape’s changed our behaviour does not affect your business, then you’re going to fall behind.
This shift affects every brand. Once John Lewis and Amazon have cracked how to connect with consumers online then undoubtedly every other brand needs to start doing the same thing. It’s the same for banks, supermarkets, hosted services, professional services, builders, bakers and candle-stick makers! My point is, the consumer is interacting with most brands remotely via their devices, so why should their digital experience be different depending on what they’re buying or connecting with?
A recent survey backs this up. It says that the brands that are the most digitally advanced are the ones who will make the most money at Christmas.
Capgemini discovered that online spend in the first two weeks of December was up from £3.7 billion last year to £4.6 billion this year. It’s a massive increase and it’s coming from every kind of digital device including smartphones and tablets.
A separate survey says a tenth of your customer’s spend – a tenth – in the whole of this year will come from online. Can you really afford to turn off a tenth of your customer base?
You might be looking at these figures and your own books this Christmas and be shaking your head, but there’s still time to make a change.
Make it your 2013 new year’s resolution to engage with your digital customer. E-commerce and click and collect aren’t just for retailers. Say you’re a design company and you send marketing material to your customers – wouldn’t it make it easier for them if they could browse and buy designs directly through your website? The designs that they found using social media? And that they can always keep you informed of any changes they might want with hosted Exchange emails on the move?
So even if you’re selling a service rather than a product, there is always a way for you to view your clients as consumers and shift their online experience to better fit in with this digitally savvy online approach that is making such a difference to the big brands and retailers.
A few tips;
Understand what your customers want. Do the research – use a hosted survey package to ask them a few questions about how they work online and how you might begin to fit this in come January. Use the results of this to feed into your approach.
Make a consumer friendly website that is easy to navigate and find out about what you do and what you sell. Make sure it is compatible to work on different digital devices from a smartphone to a tablet.
Stay in touch with your clients – hosted platforms often offer an e-newsletter service, allowing you to keep clients updated on what you’re selling and how they can buy from you.
Keep social – discovering the platform that is right for you, be it Twitter, Pinterest, Tumblr or Facebook, you need to be ‘out there’.
So whether you make more money or less during the festive season, it will certainly pay off to be armed with all the digital tools to head into 2013 more prepared than ever – no matter what you sell.