Midwinter marketing: Set up your business now to reap the rewards over the summer season

- July 8, 2024 3 MIN READ


We’ve all heard of Christmas in July, but what about holiday business planning in July? July is the perfect time for small business owners to get on the front foot with planning their marketing efforts for the summer holiday break and taking pressure off the shutdown period.  Elise Balsillie, Head of Thryv Australia, explains how to do it.

Research shows that Australian small businesses typically experience a pre-holiday rush – with 1 in 3 small business owners generating between 11-20% of their annual revenue in November and December.

From promotions to extended opening hours and accelerated marketing efforts, the end of the year is an opportunity for businesses to increase their annual revenue, build their brand awareness and acquire new customers.

Simultaneously, it’s also a time for business owners to enjoy a well-deserved break with family and friends, as a lot of businesses shut down over January.

To help make the most of the busy season and while also giving yourself some breathing room, here’s how business owners can plan ahead now to gain some quick marketing wins when the holidays roll around.

Pre-Plan marketing and promotions

With only five months until the holiday season, planning your marketing and promotions early will safeguard your business in what can be the busiest time of year and support pre-holiday sales in the process.

Did you know that shoppers look for sales well before the holidays? The Australian Retailers Association predicted $6.2b in retail trade between Black Friday and Cyber Monday in 2023.

This is a fantastic reason to include pre-holiday sales such as these in your marketing plan. But marketing plans take time, so starting now will mean less stress at leading up to the holiday rush.

To help get you started, here are two tips for creating a marketing plan roadmap:

  1. Decide on the offers and promotions you want your plan to include – pre-Christmas, Christmas and Boxing Day sales. Think of offers that will stand out among competitors. Personalised products, online holiday gift catalogues, complimentary gift-wrapping and social media giveaways will help leave your mark on customers.
  2. Decide on the channels you want to leverage for your marketing efforts. Do you want to advertise on TV or radio? Is a Facebook promotion or email campaign the best for your business? Fish where your customers are, and you will see the rewards.

Take advantage of the holiday spirit in July

You don’t necessarily have to wait for the holidays to get into the spirit. Businesses that plan to shut down over the holiday period, don’t necessarily need to miss out on festive revenue. Consider a Christmas in July text message campaign by kicking off a 12-Days-of-Christmas-in-July promotion.

Make this one count by featuring something different each day that will help your business grow. For instance, if you want more plumbing projects, you could offer multiple incentives to boost those specific sales such as free estimates or complimentary services.

But don’t just make it about booking services. Spread the festive tidings with a gift-with-purchase (GWP) and offer incentives such as prizes that are of value to your customers.

Creating a sales-driven idea in line with your holiday planning in July will help businesses that typically miss out on running a Christmas promotion, to boost sales with this festive tie-in.

The earlier the better with email campaigns

Did you know email marketing influences a whopping 59% of consumers’ purchases? That’s why having a holiday email marketing plan is critical to your small business success.

In the weeks leading up to the holidays, customers begin to anticipate hot deals and discounts from their favourite brands and businesses. As a result, holiday email marketing open rates increase dramatically during this time – so if you leave your email marketing to the last minute, your emails might get lost in the shuffle. Start your campaign early so you don’t lose out on promotional sales.

Mid-year assessment of holiday-related inventory and personnel needs

Come mid-year, it’s important to anticipate what you expect your sales and business targets to be during the holiday rush to ensure that the extra inventory and personnel you will require are accounted for. As many operational businesses do not run over the holidays, planning ahead of time will avoid delivery delays which can ultimately lead to lost sales and revenue.

With a strategic effort early on, you can achieve business wins that will set you up for a successful holiday season.

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