Do This Quick Process Now to Make Planning Holiday 2018 Marketing Easier

Do This Quick Process Now to Make Planning Holiday 2018 Marketing Easier

Was your holiday season hectic?  Were you so busy orchestrating your holiday marketing and processing demand for orders that you were burning the candle at both ends?

Here’s a great exercise you can do now that will help when you are ready to make your Q4 plans in 2018. 

Take out 4 sheets of paper.  Label one sheet as “repeat.” The next sheet should be named “reduce.” The last two are “borrow” and “position.”

If you followed the instructions in my post from November, you saved Q4 marketing examples from your business, your competitors and companies you admire.  It’s time to pull up those files now.  You should also open up your reporting on your own Q4 email and overall marketing results.

Look at the marketing your own business did in the last quarter. What were your best products and your best performing offers – and why do you think they performed well? If you did split tests, what kind of results did you draw? Look at everything you consider a good success about your holiday programs and list them on the “repeat” page.  Then star the top 3-5 you must do again next year.

What didn’t work so well? Did you have a product you overbought? A campaign that fell flat? A marketing spend with a poor return on investment?  A promotional channel that acquired contacts who didn’t convert to customers? Did you work on a campaign that simply took too much of your time for the results it returned? List these on your “reduce” page. Star the top 3-5 you must be sure not to do again next year.

Now look at your competitors and other brands you admire. What did you like about their marketing? Did they show up well in retargeting or on certain keywords? Did they email a campaign you were envious of?  Mark the ideas you liked and put them on your “borrow” list.  Be careful to keep in mind that you probably don’t know the results of these campaigns. You can only guess if they did well. Star 3-5 you’d like to look at modifying in your own marketing next year.

The last list can be a little more challenging to create.  For the “position” page you want to identify how you might position your business better against the competition next year. Did you offer better shipping rates or faster shipping?  Was your product more likely to be in stock? Could you play up a strength in customer service, or a guarantee? What is a way you can differentiate your company from the competition that you should be emphasizing? If you have a value besides price that puts you ahead of the competition in a buyer’s mind, be sure you design next year’s holiday campaigns to emphasize that strength and clearly position your business.

These four lists--repeat, reduce, borrow and position--will help you focus on where to begin and where to put your energy when you sit down to start planning ahead for a strong 2018 holiday season.  Get organized now and save yourself time planning. It will be easier to get started planning in June or July when you’ve taken the time to make these lists now, while the 2017 results are still fresh in your mind.