How to Think and Plan for Christmas in July

Did you notice the number of brands that celebrated promotions this month with a “Christmas in July’ theme?

Do you wish you planned earlier to tie-in to the Olympics in some way (e.g., hold an Olympic Sales Contest for your team) after seeing the barrage of Olympian marketing to date?

If you didn’t take advantage of seasonal sales building opportunities like these, you lack a marketing plan that fails to take advantage of high impact sales events that give customers a reason to buy from you today! And, you’re leaving a lot of sales for your competitors to easily grab.

Seasonal, holiday and special occasion marketing is a profitable marketing strategy. And, here are just a few of the reasons why it’s so successful.

10 Reasons Why Seasonal, Holiday and Special Occasion Marketing is a Profitable Strategy

  1. It Generates Awareness & Excitement. There’s more awareness around these key days/months and generates more excitement.
  2. It’s Message is Urgent, Limited and Motivating. There’s a bigger sense of urgency with limited time offers.
  3. It’s Creates Fond Emotional Connections. Holiday events are emotional for customers as they think of family and younger days and their emotions trigger sales opportunities.
  4. Everyone’s Ready for It – It’s Expected. People are more ‘ready-to-buy’ at these times, they tend spend more too.
  5. It Takes Full Advantage of Gift Giving Time Periods. Lots of people buy gifts at these times, they’re more concerned about quality vs. price.
  6. It’s Easier to Persuade People to Buy. In some cases, customers NEED to buy, so they’re easier to persuade.
  7. It’s Familiar Old School Marketing. You don’t have to reinvent the wheel. Traditional holiday celebration marketing techniques work great.
  8. It Provides Ample Opportunities to Showcase and Sell Variety.  You don’t have to sell just holiday or seasonal themed merchandise.  You can sell anything.
  9. It Gives Brands a Perfectly Good Reason ‘Why’ to Promote and for Customers to Buy. Theming promotional offers gives a ‘reason why’ for you deal and is not as harsh to your brand as non-themed discounted offers. Holiday and seasonal deals are expected.
  10. It’s So Darn Easy to Plan & Budget. Seasonal sales opportunities and Holidays occur nearly the same time every year which makes it easy to plan and budget. Mother’s Day is always on Mother’s Day right? Don’t forget to schedule an anniversary or birthday event for your business!

Not to rub salt in your marketing wound (but just to accentuate the point), but here are potentially a few more July sales building opportunities you probably missed such as Canada Day on the 2nd,  America’s Independence Day on the 4th, Bastille Day on the 14th, Get to Know Your Customers Day on the 19th, Parent’s Day on the 22nd, or these special occasions American Freedom Week – July 4 – 10, Black Family Month, Make a Difference to Children Month, Social Wellness Month, Family Reunion Month, National Black Family Month and National Independent Retailers Month.

However, there are a lot more you can consider throughout year-end and into 2013. My favorite reference book is Chase’s Calendar of Events – I get a new one every year in 4th quarter.

Plus, there are several other good services – especially online such as Holiday Insights, Brownie Locks and several more to satisfy the needs of niche markets and industries. And, here are 70 sales building ideas (holiday marketing tie-in opportunities) to consider through year-end.

70 Sales Building Ideas to Consider Through Year-End

August
1 – Girlfriend’s Day
1 – US Air Force Day
4 – Single Working Women’s Day
5 – Friendship Day
5 – National Kids’ Day
15 – Best Friends Day
19 – National Aviation Day
21 – Senior Citizen’s Day
Simplify Your Life Week – 1-7
Rock For Life Week – 4-7
Family Fun Month
Romance Awareness Month
Black Business Month
What Will Be Your Legacy Month

September
3 – Labor Day
9 – National Grandparent’s Day
11 – Patriot Day
17 – Rosh Hashanah
21 – International Day of Peace
22 – First Day of Autumn
22 – Business Women’s Day
25 – Yom Kippur
25 – World Pasta Day
28 – National Good Neighbor Day
29 – National Coffee Day
Baby Safety Month
College Savings Month
Hispanic Heritage Month (Sept. – Oct.)
People Skills Month
Self-Awareness Month
Self-Improvement Month

October
1 – Child Health Day
4 – Improve Your Office Day
5 – National Diversity Day
8 – National Children’s Day
8 – Columbus Day
16 – National Boss Day
20 – Sweetest Day
25 – World Pasta Day
28 – Mother-in-Law Day
31 – Halloween
Financial Planning Week – 1-7
National Customer Service Week – 1-5
Crime Prevention Month
German-American Heritage Month (Oktoberfest)
Polish-American Heritage Month
Positive Attitude Month
Strategic Planning Month
Work & Family Month
Financial Planning Month
Italian-American Heritage Month
Tackling Hunger Month
Breast Cancer Awareness Month

November
1 – All Saints’ Day
8 – Election Day
11 – Veteran’s Day
13 – World Kindness Day
17 – World Peace Day
22 – Thanksgiving
23 – Black Friday
24 – Small Business Saturday
26 – Cyber Monday
National Hunger & Homeless Awareness Week – 11-17
National Family Week – 18-24
National Write A Business Plan Month
National Adoption Month
Military Family Appreciation Month

December
9 – Hanukkah Begins
21- Humbug Day
22 – First Day of Winter
25 – Christmas

As a small businessman, I know how overwhelmed small business owners are with daily activities.

So, what’s the old saying about, “How do you eat an elephant?’ One bite at a time!

With a myriad of marketing activities to consider, your best first step is to create a marketing calendar with a foundation that is holiday and seasonally based.

Believe me, it’s always easier and more profitable to drive natural, seasonal sales peaks higher than it is to lift a valley. bet your hard earned money on it. I guarantee it.

Please note: When you research the marketing resources noted above, you’ll see that there are a ton of promotional themes you can choose from, but don’t get overwhelmed by the huge selection. Plan far in advance, select a few (net – a majority of ideas from a source like Chase’s won’t apply to your business), but execute them well.

In addition, there are lots of ways you can celebrate and drive consumer excitement such as:

  • Offering product discounts
  • Offering a BOGO – Buy one get one free or at half price
  • Buy something and get a free gift
  • Offer holiday themed merchandise or services at full price or promotional price
  • And more…

Please use the remaining days of July NOW to plan for Christmas – you’ll start seeing merchandise in stores in September – and get started now to plan the rest of your 2012 seasonal and holiday marketing calendar and 2013 too.

You’ll be happy you did.

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