If you’re a retailer reading this and have not thought about what your holiday advertising will be, the first thing you should do is STOP reading this and start working on it! (If you’re a BLM client rest assured, you’re in good hands and can keep reading but if you’re not, give us a call and we can help you get in front of the right eyes and ears). The holidays are right around the corner so below are some tried and true tips we’ve seen work to help you finish your 2019 strong:
Pick Your Messages and Advertise MORE
At BLM we firmly believe if you want to grow your business you need to be advertising 12 months out of the year. We preach this because you need to be top of mind each month of the year for the longevity and consistency of your business. For example, if you’re an independent jewelry store and someone is ready to buy your product in December, are they going to remember your TV ads they have been seeing all year that are baked into their sub-conscious or the annual Kay’s holiday ad they have been seeing for one week? There are always outliers, but in our experience it’s the former. All of that said, if you want to be competitive this time of the year you will most likely need to spend more dollars to advertise more. Give your fourth quarter budget a 20-30% increase from other quarters in the year and plan ahead so it’s not a shock to your bottom line.
Don’t Throw a Party…Throw a FUN Party!
Let’s face it, not everyone loves holiday parties (the time commitment, obligation to go, it’s already the busiest time of the year, small talk etc.…) but who doesn’t love a FUN holiday party?! Every year we tell our clients throw a holiday party, worry about making it fun, with your customers in mind, and the sales will take care of themselves. What do your VIP’s like? Cater the party to them because they are the ones who got you to this point and will carry you into 2020. Do they respond to discounts? Then give them discounts! Other than the obvious amenities like delicious food and boozy beverages what will be fun for everyone? Maybe it’s a simple game like Bingo with assorted prizes, maybe it’s a raffle every hour, maybe is a theme party like a “Last Minute Shopping Luau”, maybe it’s having a card game competition (thinking more like Cards Against Humanity here than Gin Rummy), or maybe you even hire a local band. The point is make it FUN and in the future years to come you’ll have to limit how many people you let in the door and the sales will always be there.
Get Your Sales Staff Going
You could have the best marketing in the world and it could bring in herds of people every day but if your sales staff aren’t holding up their end of the bargain it will all be for naught. How are you motivating your sales staff? Do they have holiday goals? Are you highlighting individuals who have done a stellar job? Do you have PTO schedules finalized? Are they clienteling and calling your top customers? Just like your VIP’s you should be thinking about what your sales staff respond to, to make sure they are properly clienteling and on top of their A-game when it matters the most.
Doing Well by Doing Good
It’s the time of the year to give back and what better way than to partner with a reputable charity that you believe in. However, you plan to be charitable, don’t be shy about it! You can help the charity raise awareness through your advertising, donate portions of sales to the cause, or work on creative partnerships where both parties can benefit. Everybody can win!
Good luck to all the retailers out there this fourth quarter and remember…..by failing to prepare you are preparing to fail.
– Dane Vanderkaay