Debunking The Holiday Season Marketing Myth

Each year there seems to be a faster and faster slide between the first of November and the end of the year. Everyone gets busy, many people take time off around the holidays and business just seems to slow to a crawl. There is a prevailing myth that simply nothing gets done this time of year, and the best you can do is get your greeting cards and client gifts delivered and wait for the new year. In fact, this is the perfect time for marketing and business development.

As the year winds down, planning for the year ahead becomes the focus for many business owners and key decision makers. Touching base with your clients and prospects is very important. Now is the time to let your clients know you appreciate their business and use the opportunity to check in on them. The roller-coaster of 2009 is slowing down and the predictions for 2010 are all over the map. Now is the time to get your ideas in front of people, and leave them with a little something to think about as they start the new year.

As always, think from your client’s point of view. How can your services give them an edge in 2010? How can you help them stabilize their bottom line? Not just in terms of pricing and fees, but in other areas. Do you have connections they would like to meet? Are there ways you can help them that are outside your normal scope of work? Do some brainstorming at the big-picture level and look for new areas of overlap or support you can provide.

Invest the time to attend some holiday parties and other social events of the season. Not only are these often great networking events, but this year particularly it will be a good way to let people know you are still around and didn’t fall victim to the many closing and layoffs of this past year. The economic instability has certainly not played favorites this year, so don’t let people wonder if you’re still in business.

A few quick-tips for the holiday season:

  • Don’t let your message get lost in the shuffle. Send Thanksgiving or New Years greetings instead.
  • A personal note, visit or phone call will mean much more to a client than a pre-printed card.
  • Client gifts can be tricky. Never give a gift you wouldn’t hold on to yourself. How many calendars or thumb-drives do you really keep each year?
  • Keep your chin up at parties. Optimism and forward-thinking leave a much better impression than just rehashing the bad times.