In a recent conversation with Walmart veteran Teresa Warren, I learned that the holidays are pretty much settled for large suppliers. Buyers have made their decisions, promotions have been planned, and all they can do now is decide when to start discounting.
That’s not true for smaller businesses. We don’t make our break our yearly revenue on Small Business Saturday, and we’re agile enough to have time for some online promotions.
Smaller CPG companies are in between. If you produce goods for large stores, some things are set for Holiday 2013. Your big retailers have made their buying decisions. Your place in their promotions is already decided. Media buys are finished and the art department is adding the last holly berry clip art right now. But you still have the agility to make some changes.
Ask Google Trends when people start searching for gift ideas and you’ll find that it starts in October. But the real action for terms like “gifts for men,” “teen gift ideas,” “gifts for her,” and “gift ideas” isn’t till December. People are searching right now for “Hanukkah recipes” and “Thanksgiving recipes,” but they’ll be looking for Christmas recipes as soon as they polish off the last leftover turkey sandwich.
For the smaller supplier, as well as for smaller retailers, online marketing is the obvious choice for the promotions that will ensure sell-through before December 25th.
- Online marketing is fast. Decide to add some paid search (PPC or CPC) to your marketing mix and you can have good text ads up tomorrow. It’s probably too late to build a new website for the holiday shoppers, but it is absolutely not too late to add some great content featuring your products. You could even add some quick ecommerce functionality if your website is built for it.
- Social media is lightning fast. Social media doesn’t produce instant results — everyone starts at zero. However, if you’re already active on Pinterest or Facebook, you have plenty of options for showing your products to the audience you’ve already built. Show your power tools on a new Pinterest board called “Boyfriend Gifts” or display your home products in holiday settings in a Facebook series and watch sales rise.
- You can use what you already own. You can’t get new recipes into the holiday issues of magazines now — it’s way too late. You can get all your recipes onto your blog, your Pinterest page, or your Tastebook account. Ditto for your holiday party outfits, makeup tutorials, and fitness gear. Gather great holiday ideas and photos from your old newsletters and ads and post them daily from now till New Years. Repurpose good content in videos or slide decks and share them online.
I hope you’re inspired. Your customers are online right now, and they’re starting to think about the holidays. Meet them online and you may not have to rely entirely on markdowns to delight them.
If you want to move the dial this season, it’s time to make that decision. Call 479.966.9671 or email Rosamond@HadenInteractive.com for some expert help.