The web is already weaving its artful seductive solicitation of the important holiday spend. The news broadcasts constantly remind consumers that they must buy their holiday gifts now to save disappointment later, due to supply chain issues with multiple product lines. Is your business in the starting gate and ready to run its finest 4Q race ever?
Seasoned PR/Marketing specialist and strategist Nikki Alvin-Smith offers a few tips to help prepare for peak performance:
You Don’t Have To Be First Out Of The Gate To Win The Race But It Helps
Figure out the line you wish to take for the holiday season before you load up your social media/newsletter campaigns and website content. for example, does your product line lend itself to BOGO offers to outshine the competition or is a straight coupon discount a better option.
The Other Horses In Your Race
Evaluate your competition carefully for clues as to what their 4Q marketing approach entails. Sign up on their websites for their deals and follow their social media channels. Copy cat or go it alone policies both work but keeping a good eye the techniques your neighbor in the starting gate is planning by watching their prep for the race can be helpful in providing inspiration for new marketing ideas.
It is also smart to look outside your own industry for ideas on marketing strategies. While every horse is not running the same race, making the finish line in good soundness and winning the prize of high sales numbers is a common goal all business owners share.
Use Reverse Psychology
Remember there are a myriad of marketing techniques and offering big discounts is not always the best way to run the race. While keeping a nose ahead of the competition can help sales there’s not much point if profit margins are bogged down in bad footing.
Increasing the sales price of products is common business practice for holiday sales. And of course if you build the price before the season hits it gives you room to offer discounts for special dates like Black Friday, Small Business Saturday.
Digital Marketing A Must
The umbrella of digital marketing includes:
- Email Marketing
- Content Marketing
- Social Media Marketing
Which is the most important? All of them! But don’t just throw money at it. You need to ‘make the book’. What’s this and how do you accomplish it?
As defined by the site Investopedia: “The term bookie is short or slang for “ bookmaker.” A bookie is someone who facilitates gambling, most commonly on sporting events. … The bookie’s goal is to maintain balance in the books by adjusting the odds as much as possible so that there’s an even amount of people betting on a win or loss.”
In marketing terms you adjust your pricing and sales strategy to leverage your advantage in the marketplace to garner more sales by instigating a marketing plan. As the plan evolves, consistent fine tuning or tweaking is enacted to ‘follow the money” by carefully monitoring the metrics and ROI (return on investment) from the advertising spend.
Don’t Overlook Cause Marketing
PR is more than a two-letter word. Cause marketing is especially well received during the holidays when the proverbial season of thanks and goodwill is upon us. Some creative PR alongside a noble cause marketing campaign can bring free press (and everyone loves that), plus you are actually helping to keep your business sound for future races. Consumers remember companies that ‘give back’ and it helps brand your business.
Creative Content Creation Is A Must
4Q is the busiest time of year for sales and many businesses rely on the money made during the holiday season to see them through the year (if that’s you by the way you need to address this because it doesn’t need to be the case).
No doubt your customer service team, sales and shipping and all management personnel are at their busiest too. Who is going to create engaging fresh content?
Websites, email blasts and newsletters, blogs and copy aren’t going to write themselves. Consider employing a remote content writing professional as an adjunct to your team to help deliver the consumer to your sales funnel.
For example, I offer short term packages of 3 or 4 month duration for the holiday season that bring an extra level of support to your existing marketing infrastructure. The advantage of hiring an experienced content writer to complement or to lead your marketing efforts is obvious.
An added bonus to a remote hire is the fresh perspective that new eyes and mind bring to your messaging. Just as race horse trainers often switch jockeys to someone with more experience than their usual rider for a special horse race, business owners can give a leg up to their sales numbers with an experienced professional writer in the saddle.
If you are business owner that is also trying to manage the marketing side of the business, this can be a great way to ensure your product gets to run the best race possible leaving you free to focus on troubleshooting the usual holiday melee that is slow shipping services, damaged packages, stock and supply chain issues etc.
Winner’s Circle Awaits
Picture it – Board members and business shareholders patting you on the back; your horse business prancing with delight at all the attention from its fans and those that bet on its victory, showing off its rippling fine musculature and fitness for the next race; and a healthy bank balance to tip you into the New Year as an odds on favorite for success.
Are You Ready To Saddle Up?
Want to hit the ground running? If you would like to engage my services via my company Horse in a Kilt Media Inc., please don’t hesitate to reach out to find out what’s on offer. Individually tailored package pricing is more affordable than you may think, and having a professional content producer on board for your pet or equine business will make all the difference in your branding and market presence and importantly, sales.
Trot in and visit Nikki Alvin-Smith, Horse in a Kilt Media Inc., to learn more about my stable full of marketing skills as a content writer, equestrian blogger, columnist, and marketing specialist. As a British/American professional Grand Prix competitor/coach/clinician I offer a unique experience/angles and thought leadership/authority to my wordsmith wizardry.
Internationally published writer, content creator, PR/Marketing specialist, photographer and equestrian Nikki Alvin-Smith offers “Engaging Content that Engages Riders to Read, “with unique and fresh material for your horse or pet related business, magazine, website, newsletter, blog and email blast sales machine. Her portfolio of works is extensive and includes equestrian and pet features that have been published worldwide in over 230 different magazine titles. Her clients include equestrian and “B” list movie celebrities for whom she regularly ghostwrites and provides PR services; manufacturers of equine and pet related medical devices, feedstuffs, supplements, grooming supplies, fencing and barn equipment, horse transport, horse structures and professional equine service providers; profit and non-profit initiatives and organizations; and non-equestrian related businesses/publications in the pet industry, investment, real estate and international travel and rural lifestyle. Please note all services (plus many others) are provided through Nikki’s corporate entity HorseinaKiltMedia.com
Nikki Alvin-Smith is a British international level Grand Prix dressage competitor/trainer/coach/clinician. Together with her husband Paul, who is also a Grand Prix dressage rider, Nikki operates Willowview Hill Farm in the Catskill Mountains of New York; a full service horse training facility. The duo provide ‘team’ clinician services to clients worldwide to riders of all levels and many riding disciplines.