Thursday, July 31, 2008

Christmas in July Post

The holidays are right around the corner. Now is a good time to check your strategies, especially if your company looks to this season for a good deal of its sales. There are some external factors to be aware of this year, including a presidential election, stalling economy, and higher gas prices.

Marketing Sherpa provides these dos and don'ts as helpful tips to consider:

Without question, testing new tactics and retesting older ones is a sure-fire way to achieve greater sales. Strong pieces of advice can also come in handy. Here are four intriguing dos and don’ts from marketers that are based on what they learned during last holiday season:

Do #1. Watch your price points in this economic downturn

"The overriding theme is going to be frugality," says Michael Cramer, Co-Founder, Adagio Teas. "Online shoppers will be thinking, 'How can I check out without spending too much money?' So, we are looking to appeal more with value propositions." Furthermore, Cramer and his team plan on setting their merchandising system to push products that are priced between $19 and $49. In addition, the five cross-sell items that appear on their products details pages will fall in that price range.

Do #2. Use incentives to push traffic towards Website

Use incentives to direct customers to the Website rather than the call center – especially if you are sending out a catalog. It will take some heat off your busy CRM reps and cut down your operations cost. Since employing this tactic, for instance, Legendary Whitetails has successfully transitioned 10% more sales to online that used to be offline.

Don't #1. Drop your print catalog the week of the presidential election

Wait until America becomes refocused on everyday life after the election. Your big-time efforts are going to get lost in the political hysteria and produce small-time results. Need proof? In 2004, Legendary Whitetails dropped the catalog right "on top of the election," says Mark Kaiser, VP Marketing. "And it wasn't a good drop. You need to let the criers cry and the yeahers yeah before they'll get back to doing regular things."

Don't #2. Focus too much on Black Friday and Cyber Monday

Those days are important, but not to the point where you lose out on other marketing opportunities, says Neil Kugelman, CEO, "From what we've seen, ecommerce customers' big days are the last six days before Christmas. The last-minute orders are really huge."

Join the discussion by submitting topics or comments to the AMA Pittsburgh blog.

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