This week starts the beginning of Fall. Cooler temps, football season, bonfires and of course, the holidays. The start of a new season is also a great time to sit down and plan out your promotions for the rest of the year.
For a lot of businesses, this is a make it or break it period. With back to school sales and the holidays, some strategic planning will allow you to stay on top during this critical time. Let’s take a look at some steps you can take that will help keep the registers ringing straight through to the New Year.
Create A Promotional Calendar
You will want to get an actual calendar to create a promotional calendar. It will make it a lot easier to see when you don’t have anything going on, and also if you are trying to put too many messages out at once.
The first thing you want to do is take a look at the next 4 months and outline all of your sales events and promotions. Come up with ideas on how you will share this information via your website, social media, email marketing, and any other avenues you’re considering.
Like everything in life, balance is key, and it’s very important when creating your calendar. You want to always have something worthy of your customer’s attention, but you do not want to overwhelm them.
To get started, here is a list of some events and themes that happen between now and the end of the year. This is a good place to start your planning:
- Columbus Day
- Breast Cancer Awareness Month
- Election Day
- Veterans Day
- Black Friday
Come Up With Goals For Each Month
For each promotion or event on your calendar, it’s good to come up with specific goals. What would you like to see happen in terms of sales, new traffic and any other metric that is meaningful to you? Once you have your goals set, the next step is to figure out how to make it happen.
For example, suppose you’d like to attract 50 new customers with your Halloween promotion. You choose to use a Facebook ad, Google Adwords ad, and Twitter and Instagram posts. Each of these channels will require a unique tracking mechanism; whether it be a coupon or discount code, or simply placing a tracking code on the website. This will allow you to see where all your new traffic is coming from. When the promotion is over, you will then be able to look at the results and see how each platform performed. This information will come of great benefit when you make budgeting decisions in the future.
Don’t Forget To Set Deadlines
You could have the greatest marketing plan in the world, but if you never use it, then it doesn’t do much good. Deadlines play an important role in creating your Fall marketing strategy. Be very clear on when all promotions should be launched on your website, social media, PPC and any other platforms you decide to use. The best time to promote a sales event is shortly before and during the event. When the event is over, any promotional material should be taken down as soon as possible.
After the event, create a firm deadline in which your leadership will present you with the results of the event analyzed. This is a great opportunity to discuss what efforts worked and which ones could use a little fine tuning. By your next event, you should have had enough time to adjust and implement better strategies. Good marketing doesn’t happen overnight, but constant improvement is what makes businesses thrive in what may be a very competitive or a very slow fourth quarter.
If you need assistance with your Q4 Strategic Marketing Plan, give us a call!