I should have posted this last month, but better late than never. I always find the 4th quarter to be the most stressful as I am reviewing the results from various client marketing plans for the previous 3 quarters to see what worked and what didn’t while planning for the next year at the same time.
It is not too late to make a big marketing push for the last quarter and set your business up for the new year. Remember that what you do today will pay off in 90 days. Conversely the marketing activities you implemented in June and July should be starting to bear fruit.
Holiday and Event Marketing
The first place to look for marketing opportunities are tie-ins to holidays and events in the next three months. There are a number of holidays and events in the last quarter which provide great marketing opportunities:
Major League Baseball Playoffs (Oct 3)
Thanksgiving (Canada Oct 8th)
Columbus Day (Oct 8th)
Oktoberfest (Sept 22 – Oct 7)
Major League Baseball World Series Begins (Oct 24)
NBA Regular Season (Oct 30)
Halloween (Oct 31)
Daylight Savings Time Ends (USA Nov 4)
Remembrance Day (Canada Nov 11)
Veteran’s Day (US Nov 11)
Leonid Meteor Shower (Nov 17)
Thanksgiving (US Nov 22)
Hanukkah (Dec 4 -11)
Winter Solstice (Dec 22)
Boxing Day (Canada Dec 26)
Kwanzaa (Dec 26 – Jan 1)
New Year’s Eve
You can tie in your marketing with postcards, calendars, reminders and newsletters related to these events.
Publicity and Public Relations
This is also a good time of year to get involved in charity events, fund-raisers and the many community activities surrounding the various holidays. It is also the perfect time to send seasonal reports and updates regardless of what business you are in.
Another angle is marketing through schools through supporting events like concerts and sport teams, advertising in their publications or donating items to a silent auction.
The big three events of Halloween, Thanksgiving and the Christmas season (Hannukah and Kwanzaa included) are excellent opportunities to communicate with your clients. Now is the time to make sure your database is in order so you are ready to send out cards and letter.
There is always great debate on whether you should send out Christmas cards, but I argue on the side of sending them, but perhaps using a Season’s Greeting message rather than Merry Christmas as not everybody celebrates Christmas, but almost everybody celebrates something at this time of the year. It will offend more people if you do not acknowledge the season than the other way around.
If you are worried about political correctness then beat everyone to the punch by sending cards at Thanksgiving (in the U.S.) and making this your primary contact time. Your clients will be receiving a lot less in the mail and your message will stand out more.
It is also a great time of year to write thank you notes to your sphere of influence.
Gift Giving and Acknowledgment
If you plan to recognize clients and customers start planning now as everything takes longer than you expect. My number one recommendation is personalized memo pads. I wrote a post on this in May which generated a lot of interest and want to reinforce this as one of the best uses of $ 4 to $ 5. Can you imagine the impact of someone receiving a memo pad with their own name on it? If they receive others in the mail from your competition which one do you think they will use?
Here are a couple of examples. Click on the samples for a larger image:
Whatever you do, take a few minutes to plan the next few months and take advantage of this more vibrant time of year to ensure a successful 2008. For more information or even a customized marketing plan call Mike Blaney at 800-568-8338 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.