3 Last Minute Tips to Turbo-Boost Your Business Leads and Sales
Many companies use the calendar year (January to December) as their business year end. But even if your company’s fiscal year ends during a mid-point within the calendar year, it’s still beneficial to take advantage of some last minute marketing strategies for December (and extend them into January) that are sure to turbo boost your year end leads and sales.
As 2015 draws to a close, consumers are opening up their wallets and purses more than any other time of the year. Businesses are also looking for ways to use up the last of their budgeting allowance, for fear that if they don’t use it, they could potentially lose it when next year’s budget is developed and “unnecessary” – meaning unused funds are reallocated elsewhere. In other words, both B2B and B2C scenarios are looking to spend right now. That means you’ll want to locate any additional funds you can spare to pour into effective marketing campaigns now, to escalate your sales and give your company one final boost for higher year end results. Last year in the USA alone, Christmas shoppers spent more than $8 billion dollars in sales during the holiday season. Canada wasn’t far behind. Wouldn’t it be nice if your company could capitalize on some of that juicy spending?
If you are a savvy business owner or manager, you already have a marketing plan in place that ramps up during the Christmas and holiday season (and if you don’t, then you’d better watch out! You may even get added to the naughty list for having missed such a critical, income generating season). If you do have a marketing plan in place, then good for you. Keep doing what you’re doing. That still doesn’t mean that enhancing your current marketing plan through leveraging some additional, proven digital marketing tactics won’t skyrocket your sales from good > to great > to amazing during this buying frenzy season.
Start by reviewing your budgets and spends across your departments to identify any unused funds that may be reallocated towards additional year-end marketing. Once you locate any unspent funds you have floating around other departments, use them on additional campaigns to pump up your marketing efforts during December and January.
Tip 1: the gift that keeps on giving (while increasing your bottom line profits)
Think about ways you can offer gift certificates or gift cards with pre-paid dollar amounts. ABC News reported that only 85% of gift cards are redeemed within the first 60 days, while Marketwatch stated that $1 BILLION of gift cards go un-redeemed each year. Therefore, offering gift cards is not only an excellent way to spike year-end sales, but making gift cards available to your clients as gift-giving options has proven to be a lucrative way to actually increase the bottom-line profit margin of your profits. Why? Because there is never a case where 100% of all gift cards old are redeemed. Some are lost, others stolen, and others just don’t get used for no reason at all. And, those customers who do choose to redeem their gift cards present an excellent opportunity for cross-sells and up-sells. Of course, if you do decide to use gift cards, be sure you have a strong marketing plan in place that gets those cards in front of your target market quickly. The old ‘build it and they will come’ mentality does not work for marketing websites, products or services. You have to know who your customers are and study their buying habits to understand where they shop, what they buy, and their price points. Only then can you position your gift cards as convenient, irresistible offers that they cannot refuse.
Tip 2: Irresistible offers – Be the bargain they can’t resist!
Consumers are always looking for bargains. Whether your organization is business to consumer model (B2C) or business to business (B2B), this is the time of you to offer special incentives to get them in the door. Think about how you can package samples or trials of your products or services at a lesser cost than the full option. It’s important to note however that, unless you are in the travel industry that typically offloads unused, last minute vacation packages, this marketing tactic is something that your company should only be using sparingly, once or twice a year. This will allow you to maintain the exclusiveness of the offer and the integrity of the business. You can ever offer a limited time deal with “last year’s prices”, a free gift with purchase, “Free Shipping” or another incentive to help entice buying.
Tip 3: Don’t provide the solution – BE the solution!
For companies with fiscal year ends in December, this is the time to begin developing new budgets for the oncoming year. But you don’t have to lie down and wait a month or two (or more) for those budgets to be developed before you can start selling your awesome products and services to them. The budget planning stage is the perfect time to get in the door. Offer your expertise in helping potential new clients to develop their budget from the ground up, by looking at the current state of the organization and identifying any gaps that your products and services can help to fill in the new year. Not only can you consult your way into gaining new business, this strategy will also insure that your costs will be covered because they will be worked into the budget.
Bonus Tip – a juicy marketing morsel to start your new year off right!
One final note… when looking ahead to the new year, be sure to take a look at your overall marketing spend for the current year. You will want to assess your plan to determine whether or not you have received adequate return on your investment. When done correctly, marketing should not be a cost to your business but rather, an investment. In other words, the revenue generated from your marketing should be higher than your marketing spend. You will also want to review each marketing tactic in the plan to see which tactics reaped the highest ROI, so you know which tactics to replace or pump up in the year ahead.
Using these 3 simple tips – and the bonus tip will surely turbo-boost your year-end sales and help you start your new year off right.