The holidays are finally over. Now that your customers’ purchases have been safely delivered, wrapped and unwrapped again, you’re probably wondering how to keep their attention and maintain your marketing momentum, or maybe you’re wondering if it would be all right to go into hibernation until February or March. This time of year, it’s more important than ever to keep up your efforts, although the slowness gives you a chance to review the success of your most recent campaigns and offers.
In this relative downtime you can, and should, be preparing for your next move, maybe putting the finishing touches on your big spring campaign or upcoming summer blowout. Beyond that, there are a couple tricks to keeping your commercial spirits up in this cold season beyond crunching numbers and reviewing metrics and materials over again.
Move Interest, Don’t Lose Interest
This could be an excellent time to shift your attentions a little, moving away from flash-in-the-pan campaigns into more long-term plans for your customers. Keep yourself and your business motivated by finally getting going on that brand new customer loyalty program everyone has been looking forward to. Keep your audience interested by taking the time, now that the frenzy has passed, to build more thoughtful, personal content for your consumers.
If you’re not sure what to do, no matter the reason, try opening a dialogue with your customers. Send out surveys and find out what people liked from the last year, what they would like to see more of, and what they rank low on their interests. Talk to your employees about what they want to see in the upcoming year as well. All input is valuable, use this slow season to pick up whatever you can without being invasive, and use it in your planning for the coming year.
Keep Time on Your Side
When it comes to surviving the post-holiday slump, timing is instrumental. Using the data you’ve collected in the last year, do your best to get to know your clientele and their seasonal spending habits. Understand what they need, or what they don’t need, and market to the appropriate niche until the cold season has passed. In instances where you may have noticed a spike in small-scale purchases or contracts the previous year, hold off on the campaigns based on high-dollar tickets. Instead, try an offer on similar small-scale sales, adding value to small purchases to bring up your final profits and customer engagement.
If you’re new to your business and don’t have data from the previous year, tracking the data you do have can make a huge difference. The key is to make the right offers and marketing decisions at the right time, when your audience is most likely to respond. Look for popular themes for this time of year. Where last month it was all holiday cheer, this month it may be more about yearly planning supplies and opportunities and a slow phase from winter-themed merchandise into spring. For retailers, don’t forget to let your customers know when your holiday merchandise gets put on clearance. Many shoppers take this opportunity to prepare for the upcoming holidays well in advance for peace of mind. Being first in line to make those offers can go a long way to maintain customer loyalty.
All in all, the dreaded post-holiday marketing slump can be a boon to a well-planned business with a clear target and audience. If you stay active, attentive and engaged during the downtime, your customers are sure to stay right there with you. Play it smart and keep your people happy, and you’ll make it through the winter just fine.