NCET helps you explore business and technology
By Connie Liu
For most businesspeople, this is the busiest time of the year — but it’s critically important right now to look just beyond these busy weeks to ensure that 2018 gets off to a strong sales start.
That’s a challenge for many business owners and managers. Retailers and the businesses that support them are absolutely swamped with the holiday rush. Businesses of all types are scurrying to make sure deals are completed and accounts are settled before the end of the year. And did we mention all those holiday-related social events?
But business folks who get too wrapped up in the busy-ness of December are in danger of stumbling out of the gate in January. Businesses that miss their revenue goals in January often spend the rest of the year digging themselves out of a hole.
Strong January sales, the results that create year-long momentum, depend on the marketing plans created today. Businesses that put off planning until after the holidays often find they’ve lost half of January before they get rolling.
As your business creates its marketing plan to get 2018 off to a strong start, here are three tips:
- Emphasize value, not price. Customers, whether they are individual consumers or large B2B clients, often begin the new year with a resolution to save cash. But that doesn’t mean that your marketing strategy should emphasize discounts or low prices. It’s hard to get customers to pay full price later when they’re accustomed to getting something on the cheap. Instead, emphasize value. Customers are proud of themselves when they get a good value at a fair price, and businesses that provide good value build relationships with customers that are dependent on something more than cheap prices.
- Keep it relevant. January provides a multitude of marketing hooks — New Year celebrations, resolutions, the fun of winter sports, the commitment to public service associated with Martin Luther King Day, college and professional football playoffs, the start of the tax season. The tricky part is that the effectiveness of these hooks shifts rapidly through the month. New Year’s resolutions, while a powerful marketing tool early in the month, weaken about a week into January. Football-oriented campaigns are strong early in the month (when they’re tied to the college playoffs) and again late in the month as the Super Bowl approaches. January campaigns need consistent freshening.
- The New Year is all about new. Customers are never more forward-thinking than the start of a new year, and January is a great time to introduce new products, new features, new services and new packages. Take advantage of the strong tailwind the emotional power of the New Year can provide to this launch.
Expecting great things in 2018? Get started on your plans for January today.
Connie Liu is an account manager at The Abbi Agency and NCET’s VP of public relations. NCET is a member-supported nonprofit that produces educational and networking events to help people explore business and technology.