Small Businesses Need to Finalize Holiday Marketing Plans

We’re already into the month of November, and for many small business owners, there may be a lot of “hurry up and wait” attitude floating around the office as the holidays approach. This shopping period is often the biggest of the year for companies in all kinds of sectors, and thus many have had their sales and promotional plans in place for some time now. However, in all the rush, many may not have remembered to get all their ducks in a row in terms of marketing.

Marketing the sales a small business is going to have available during the holiday season is often just as important as cutting the prices themselves, and owners need to make sure that their strategies are as good as they realistically can be, as early as possible, according to a report from New York Newsday. This is actually true of this year in particular, because Hanukkah begins the day before Thanksgiving, meaning that many families will be doing at least some of their holiday shopping at as much as a week before Black Friday, which is typically viewed as the start of the season.

However, many larger companies are so focused on the Black Friday madness that so often grips the nation these days that they may not even consider the large portion of the population that may be shopping for Hanukkah as well, the report said. That lack of awareness may behoove smart small business owners, even as the actual period in which they have to market shrinks somewhat, to be ready as soon as possible.

“One of the core differences of the 2013 holiday retail season is the actual shortness of the season,” Nicole Larrauri, managing partner of the marketing and digital services firm EGC Group, told the newspaper. “The difference of the six days is huge for a lot of retailers.”

What can small businesses do?
One of the most important things owners can do to make sure their companies are ready for this shopping season is ensure that they’re doing as much as they can to market across multiple platforms, the report said. Focusing on just newspaper ads, for instance, may get them lost in the shuffle, and the same is true of those who put their promotions on radio or the internet only. So many companies will be rolling out their efforts in full force across multiple channels that any smaller competitor will have to do the same just to keep up.

Of course, keeping up isn’t the name of the game here; standing out is, the report said. Therefore it might be wise for companies to focus on an area most consumers use every day but which many companies tend to ignore: Mobile devices. This is a burgeoning area, and if owners think about how much their current customers probably rely on their smartphones in their everyday lives, they’ll probably be able to quickly realize just how rich a vein this might be for marketing. For example, giving consumers deeper discounts than most only through mobile promotions might go a long way toward making a company stand out from the crowd and attract more business this holiday season.

However, it’s important to keep in mind that advertising isn’t cheap, especially at this time of year, and therefore companies may need to do more to make sure their finances are in order before they invest heavily in such efforts. That could include finding reduced prices for small business insurance, as affordable coverage for policies including general liability insurance can reduce companies’ annual costs by thousands of dollars or more every year.