The holiday periods and unique seasonal events provide moments when we as a society are on alert for ideas and opportunities to show our creativity. This often comes in the form of decorations, gifts and accessorising or reinventing things we already own. This creativity is an opportunity for photographers to provide ideas and incentivise people to use your products.
The big seasonal opportunity is of course Christmas. In spite of the much-vaunted dread as the adverts start appearing in early autumn, completely wrong of course, it still commands our attention and spending power. This is because it arrives at the end of the year. The natural time to reflect and make a tangible effort to spoil those close to us in a show of love and gift buying. But how to cut through and provide the inspiration we all so desperately need?
Put long term, year-long sales and marketing promotions in place which can run concurrently with any seasonal efforts.
- Don’t ignore the basic sellers. It would be easy to try and be over creative with your products and offers. But as with your best sellers year round, the staple products are vital to the consumer and your business. Wrapping paper, print-and-frame combinations, packs of cards and small stocking fillers are always going to sell. Plan these early and introduce them as early as possible.
- Timing is everything, especially with Christmas in mind. Too early with those overtly Christmas messages and it can turn people off. Too late and you miss the people getting their shopping done and dusted. Those with large families and relatives abroad tend to start gathering gifts and ideas not long after summer has waned. Some even shop year-round. Subtle messaging will work if communicated the right way.
- The shackles come off after Christmas. After a December of indulgence and time off from work, we all tend to feel somewhat liberated and open to ideas. Booking holidays, making big decisions about jobs, assessing your lifestyle and diet – all common denominators. The same goes for shopping and spending money we don’t really have, so conversely, the immediate time after Christmas is a great time to promote fresh ideas and challenge people to try something new. A family portrait after their January off everything or a summer lifestyle shoot with the kids. Book them in, give them something to aim for.
These periods will be demanding on your resources and time so it’s clearly important to make the process of selling and marketing as efficient as possible. When planning for the year i.e. now, putting in a schedule that accounts for added workload at these times is key whilst remaining agile.
- Put long-term, year-long sales and marketing promotions in place which can run concurrently with any seasonal efforts. These need to be simple enough to set in motion at the beginning of the year. Agile enough to change should the need arise. The seasonal campaigns should sit alongside and complement the long-term ones where possible.
- Marketing at these times requires a balance of conveying your business with the reputation you have a long-held desire to achieve, with the short-termism required to make sales and capitalise on the fever of the period. Stay classy!