The holiday rush is upon us. This is the time of year where many franchises see a spike in sales and a boost in customer loyalty – at least when the marketing is done right.
Here are seven ways you can prepare your marketing plan to boost sales this holiday season.
1. Create a Promotional Schedule
As the saying goes, what gets scheduled gets done. Holiday marketing for franchises is no different.
Plan your promotional schedule now so you don’t miss an opportunity. Some of the upcoming key days to plan for include:
Small Business Saturday (the Saturday after Thanksgiving)
The week before Christmas
New Year’s Day sales
Sketch out what promotions you plan to offer during that time to lure holiday shoppers into your store or restaurant, then put them on the calendar.
2. Plan Your Inventory
With your schedule in mind, you can anticipate demand. When that demand walks through your doors, you’d better have the inventory to make the sales. Stock up your inventory weeks in advance.
3. Start Conversations on Social Media
Customers turn to social media to find out about what’s happening and where they can get a good deal during the holidays. Start teasing upcoming promotions now so your followers can get excited about your holiday sales and plan to make a stop into your franchise during the holiday rush.
4. Target Loyal Customers First
Holiday promotions can fuel sales year-round when done right. Create ownership among your most loyal customers by offering them discounts first. Inspire others to become loyal customers during the holiday rush by offering incentives long after the holidays have passed.
5. Send Holiday Greetings
Your customers aren’t the only people you’ll want to market to this holiday season. Your vendors, business partners, and affiliates are equally important. Send some holiday cheer in the mail this year. Start planning your holiday greeting now so it reaches your key players in time.
6. Make Recommendations
Your customers are busy this time of year. Don’t expect them to connect the dots about what to buy from you. Make their lives a little bit easier by recommending gift ideas or holiday treats available from your franchise.
7. Keep Your Customers Current on Your Inventory
Don’t let your customers wonder if you have high-demand products in stock. Tell them by keeping them up-to-date on your inventory. Not only will this generate excitement but it’ll also inspire a sense of urgency, making your buyers more likely to buy before a popular item sells out.
Ultimately, the holiday season is about sending your VIPs cheer. Market with the idea of delighting your customers during a notoriously stressful time and you’ll generate happy, loyal customers all year round.
Susan Payton is the President of Egg Marketing & Communications, a marketing firm specializing in content writing and social media management. She’s written three business books, including How to Get More Customers With Press Releases, and frequently blogs about small business and marketing on sites including Forbes, AllBusiness, The Marketing Eggspert Blog, and Tweak Your Biz. Follow her on Twitter @eggmarketing.