Is December a good time to start Marketing your Business?

Yes it’s busy!

Christmas is always a busy time of the year.

It’s getting colder.  Family start to show up. Shopping and baking and decorating.

All these things add to the long list we already have.

So, now you are thinking about adding to that list. Some type of holiday marketing strategy for your business. Everyone is spending money, so why not get your share.

Is it too late? So close to Christmas, do I have time to do any type of marketing.I believe there is always time for marketing. And if done right, what you do today, and in these days leading up to Christmas will pay off throughout next year and even further.

First, make it easy. Now is not the time to start an in depth marketing campaign.

Second, make it targeted. Choose something that will work with your highest potential prospects.

Third, make it personal. At this time of year you want to connect directly to your clients and prospects.

Finally, tie it to future marketing. What you do today and in these days before Christmas should be connected to the marketing campaigns for the new year.

So here are a few suggestions that may work for you.

Direct contact with a personal message.

This may be a little bit of work, but it can pay off huge.

There are a number of ways you can do this. You could pick up the phone, send out an email, or connect via social media. You could even do it with Christmas Cards if done early enough.

I like to keep it short and sweet. I usually draft up a template that includes a sweet product offer. Possibly something related to the holiday season.

Then for each person I send it to or talk to, I customize the message to personalize it. Add in something about them, your relationship, or some other personal item to let them know you are thinking about them exclusively.

This works best with your closest prospects.  The people you do already have a relationship with.

It’s not about huge numbers, more about making a connection, that hopefully will result in a sale.

Holiday Event

Event marketing is always a win/win.  People love coming to a good event. And it seems to always drive new sales.

My advice is to keep it fun, simple and low cost.

You can do a lunch at a local restaurant. Or an early evening event with appetizers.

Include a presentation if your product is suited for it. Or simply have some fun activity for people to do, again try to relate it to your business in some way.

Contest

Creating a unique contest always seems to drum up new business. Make it fun, again keep the costs in check, and have it tied to your business.

Contests are a great way to attract new people to your business. But they can also be used for re-connecting with old clients.

I always suggest that many smaller prizes are better than a single big prize.

The holidays can be a great time to market your business, if done correctly.  And it will keep business from slowing down over this time of year. It will also set you up for a great start for the new year.  Whatever marketing strategy you decide upon, always include ways to gather contact information and keep your CRM system up to date with the latest information on your clients.

Marketing – Who has the Time

Marketing Specialist
Marketing Guru
Marketing Expert
Business Consultant
Entrepreneur
Business owner
Sales Trainer
Marketing Professor
Digital Expert
Web Designer
VP Marketing
Marketing Idealist
Business Advisor

I’ve had many titles over the years. More experience than most. More education and training than a lot of business owners.
But yet, I still have to learn every day, and I get overwhelmed.

Just this morning I was reviewing a nice concise download called Ultimate Marketing Toolkit. As a marketing professional I thought it was a good resource.

ultimate-marketing-toolkitOne section was the Definitive Marketing Checklist which had 5 different parts. Each of those parts had from 4 to 20 points in it. That was over 50 concepts, ideas, tactics and more that a business owner should focus on……

It then went in to 25 easy low cost marketing ideas.

Do you have time for for reviewing all that?

When you are involved every day running your business, monitoring, doing the hard work each and every day.

Do you have time to go over marketing checklists and decide on which low cost marketing idea to implement.

Let alone then actually DO SOME MARKETING!!!

Take a look at the picture of various marketing textbooks.marketing-text-books

These are a some of the basic marketing textbooks I used when I was teaching marketing at college. There each are a few hundred pages in each of theories and ideas.

And none of these books will tell you which strategy to use for your business, or how to implement that strategy.

So what do you do?

Would you not like to have Marketing with Ease…….

Let’s take the stress away.

Allow me to assist you with your marketing.

Worry Free, I will be there to guide you.

Print Advertising – Is It Dead?

I was in Canadian Tire yesterday, talking with a great girl who was doing product demos.

She had a great personality, really into her job.

She knew the product very well, and even helped me find what I was looking for at Canadian Tire.

I was very impressed.

As we talked more… she mentioned she had taken Advertising in school, but she stated, “Advertising is pretty much dead, no one uses newspapers anymore.”

Hmmmmm, that got me thinking….

Is print advertising dead?marketing-ads

While I don’t necessarily recommend print advertising to many of my clients, as I feel there is more economical and efficient methods for them to get their message to their target market, I do not feel that print advertising is dead yet.

Print advertising has changed a lot. Less people read the local newspapers. Digital has taken a big chunk of viewers away from print advertising.

You need to use it effectively, and have a good plan to make it work for you.

It is a slower return on your marketing investment.

I believe that if your target market is part of the demographic that continues to rely on the newspaper, then it can be a part of your marketing strategy, a very effective part.

Tammy from FearlessInk Communications states, “I think if a client is going to use their resources on print advertising it has to be very publication and stakeholder focused.  Very targeted.”

I totally agree, the right publication for your business. Your target market must be reading that publication on a continual basis.

A couple last thoughts, keep it simple, yet creative. Find a way to track your results. And keep your message very clear and to the point, have an actionable message.

Cross Promotions in Strategic Marketing

I was staying at a local Bed and Breakfast.

They had my room all ready, and along with things, they had an envelope that inside contained two passes for the Hot Springs.

This was an excellent example of cross promotions.cross_promotion

A cross promotion is simply when on business refers or promotes another.  It can be one way or uni-lateral promotions.

In this example, it was only one way, although it still benefited both businesses. The Bed and Breakfast could make their clients happy with free passes, and the Hot Springs could get new customers in their door.

Cross promotions can be very cost effective. By coming up with original ideas and including them in your overall strategy, they can bring in new customers that you may not be able to reach any other way.

Cross promotions are also very efficient. Other than the initial set up and possibly some printing costs, there is often very little other cost until you actually have a client in your business.

The best cross promotions are very targeted.  If you do not do your research and partner with the right business they can be much less successful. But when two businesses each have very similar target markets, they can be powerful.

A key to getting the most out of your cross promotions is to have a good follow up strategy. This includes getting contact information for new customers, or some other way to follow up with them.

Another important factor is to continue to build the relationship with the other business. Do not think it is something you can start and then forget about them.

Creating something original also can increase the effectiveness of a cross promotion strategy. This could be the marketing material, or it could be your offer.  Either way, it can make it more memorable to both your new customers and to your cross promotion partners.

Try out a cross promotion strategy, you may be pleasantly surprised at how much new business comes in the door.

Marketing … Really, Really Simple

Marketing is really pretty simple.
At its core, it really is communication.
Telling people what you do… telling the right people what you do.
That is it.

The strategies to do this can be complex or simple… and there are many different ways to do this.its-easy

But it all really comes down to telling the right people what you do.

So who are the right people?

They are the ones that want or need what you have to offer.

Pretty simple!

If you change oil, it’s someone who has a car and needs an oil change.
If you provide therapeutic massage, its someone with sore muscles.
If you sell ice cream, its someone who likes to eat ice cream.

Now… does that not make sense.

Someone who only rides a bike – an quick lube business does not need to talk to.
Someone who feels good and relaxed – probably not thinking about getting a massage.
Someone who doesn’t like ice cream or is on a strict diet… no need to tell them you have 199 different flavours.

So communicate – tell them what you have… tell the right people.
That is marketing.

And marketing is not evil or twisted or manipulative.

It is about communication… and good marketing is just about communicating correctly – as best you can.

If you are in a relationship, do you not think it is a good idea to learn how to communicate.
If you could learn more about communicating with your partner, and your partner could learn about communicating with you, and you could each better understand each other… is that not a great thing?

Well that is what good marketing is about. That is what a professional marketer will help you with… or that is what you can learn by reading books, taking courses, or talking to a marketing professional. How to communicate better with those people that want what you have to offer.

Marketing…. really really simple…..