For many businesses in US, thanksgiving provides one of the best sales opportunities in the entire year. Here's a quick checklist to help you run a successful thanksgiving marketing campaign, keep existing customers happy, bring more repeat business and grow your business through new customer engagements.
1. Know your business, know your customers; there's no one size fits all solution
There are a lot of such checklists floating around on the Internet but still not all businesses are able to find success by following them. What's wrong? Are those bad checklists? No. Most checklists are actually pretty good. But what most won't tell you is that just like your business and your customers are unique, your checklist needs to be unique too! The first step in coming up with the right checklist is truly understanding your business and your customers. For example, if you are main business is around tax filing, then well, running a promotion for tax filing during thanksgiving is not going to get you too far.
2. Just one event is not enough; make it a week long activity targeted to your various segments
Segmentation is the key to any successful marketing. And it becomes even more important during thanksgiving just because there's just so much noise all over with free coupons to eye catching promotions; the last thing you want to do is run a generic promotion to an already overly crowded landscape. Set up separate thanksgiving events (be it online sales promotion, or an in store event) geared towards each of your segments. For example if you are an HVAC company then asking your existing customers to replace their HVAC units this thanksgiving season would just look bad. So existing customers should get promotions that make sense to them, and potential new customers should get promotions that make sense to them.
3. Know what your competition is doing
Keep an eye on your competition. Look at what kind of promotions they are running. Keep an eye on their websites, Facebook posts, etc. so that you have a good idea of what promotions your competitors are running. If you have last year's data, that will help a lot because most businesses run same promotions every year. Create an excel sheet to clearly log all these promotions. Then come up with an equally compelling (and if possible, better) promotion.
4. Time it right
Timing is very important, and depends on the kind of business you are in. Once again, like our first point, there's no one size fits all strategy to timing. Some promotions can wait until the last minute and some promotions need to be run weeks or months in advance. For instance if you are in a business where there's significant lead time of delivery, for instance furniture, you may want to run your campaign a little early; also you may need to run the campaign a little longer because many people take a few days (sometimes weeks) to decide on the right furniture for their homes. So your marketing strategy would depend on using thanksgiving as a way to initiate the engagement but then making sure that the engagement continues for the next several days or weeks until the customer decides to make the purchase. However if you are an online business with relatively low cost products, for instance every day electronics items, a one day event would work just fine.
5. Work with an expert team and focus on your business
There's no other time in the year when you want to make sure your business is running smoothly. A well run marketing campaign can generate lot of leads, but at the same time can be damaging to your reputation if you can't follow up all those leads and successfully close deals with them. If you look at most of the business reviews from customers you'll notice that half of the bad reviews are because a business wasn't able to follow up in a timely manner. No matter how good your product is, if you can't spend time to follow up with your customers, you are going to eventually fail. So find an expert marketing team so that you can focus on making your business successful, and letting the marketing team manage rest of the marketing related activities.