Ahh, the holiday season. A time for family, friends, and of course, shopping. For businesses, the holidays can be a make-or-break time of year. Get your marketing strategy right, and you could see a huge boost in sales and brand awareness. But get it wrong and… well, let’s just say you don’t want to be on the receiving end of a lump of coal.
So when should you start your holiday marketing? The answer, unfortunately, is not as straightforward as most would like. It depends on a number of factors, including your product, your target market, and your budget. But there are a few general guidelines you can follow to make sure you’re starting your holiday marketing at the right time.
Holiday Product Marketing
First, let’s look at what kind of product you’re selling. If you’re in the business of selling items that people traditionally give as gifts (think jewelry, clothing, or home decor), then you’ll want to start your marketing earlier than most. Why? Because people generally start their holiday shopping well in advance of the actual holidays. In fact, a recent study found that 43% of shoppers start their holiday shopping before October. This gives shoppers time to browse and make their purchases.
So if you want to make sure your target market is seeing your product when they’re in the early stages of their shopping, you need to start your marketing early too. We’re talking late summer/early fall, at least a couple of months before the actual holidays. This will give you time to run ads, create social media content, and do any other marketing activities you have planned without feeling rushed.
Of course, starting your holiday marketing early comes with its own set of challenges. The main one being that you risk your marketing getting lost in the noise. After all, everyone and their mother is trying to sell something during the holidays. So you need to make sure your marketing strategy is well-thought-out and able to cut through the clutter. But we’ll get to that later.
Another factor to consider when deciding when to start your holiday marketing is your target market. For example, many people, especially adults, look for gifts for their kids, nieces, or nephews, like educational toys for 2 year olds as their Christmas gifts.
How do you know if your target market is composed of early or late shoppers? The best way is to simply ask them. You can do this through surveys, social media polls, or even just casual conversation. Once you have an idea of when your target market does their shopping, you can start to plan your marketing strategy accordingly.
Online Marketing or In-Store Marketing
You also need to consider what type of store you are. Are you an online retailer or a brick-and-mortar store? The type of store you have will impact when you need to start your holiday marketing.
If you’re an online retailer, you generally have more leeway when it comes to when you start your marketing. That’s because shoppers can purchase items from you at any time, day or night. So even if you start your marketing later than other businesses, shoppers will still have plenty of time to make their purchases. Just keep in mind that the closer it gets to the actual holidays, the more competition you’ll have from other online retailers. So starting your marketing early can still be beneficial.
On the other hand, if you’re a brick-and-mortar store, you need to start your holiday marketing earlier. Why? Because shoppers need to physically come to your store to make their purchases. This means they’re limited by your store’s hours and by how much time they have to shop. So if you wait until the last minute to start your holiday marketing, there’s a good chance shoppers won’t have time to come to your store and make their purchases.
In short, if you’re a brick-and-mortar store, you need to start your holiday marketing at least a month or two before the actual holidays. This will give shoppers plenty of time to come to your store and make their purchases.
Overall, when you start your holiday marketing depends on a number of factors, including your target market, what type of store you have, and how well-thought-out your marketing strategy is.
If you’re not sure when to start your holiday marketing, the best thing to do is simply start early. This will give you the best chance of reaching your target market and making sales. Just make sure your marketing strategy is strong enough to cut through the clutter.