Yesterday Insight on Business with Michael Libbie covered the recent story coming out of the Nielsen Wire regarding Holiday Sales. In a word...flat. That got us to thinking about what you should do NOW...TODAY to gear up for a better fourth quarter and a better holiday sales season. And, if you would like the read the research from Nielsen, for backup, here is that article. Good stuff...and yes, there are winners and losers in the mix.
Here's what we think you need to do NOW in advance of October 1st:
The Social Media Angle- If you are not using some form of social media in your marketing plan you're...going to lose. It's that simple. Social Media is a tool that helps you build a tribe, a following, helps you learn consumer trends and builds sales. There are many roads in SM, our favorites include the Business Blog, Twitter and YouTube. If you don't know how ask somebody but get started...today. If you don't want to ask me...contact my friend Mike Sansone or Nathan Wright...but DO IT.
Review Your 4th Quarter Ad Spend - And then double it- I know, "But, Michael YOU'RE not writing the checks." I realize that however to get noticed and to boost sales you are going to have to be more aggressive. As you can tell by the research, shoppers are making fewer shopping trips it's your job to make sure they plan a trip to see you and if they don't know about you...guess what? Remember it takes money to make money. It's still true.
Listen to Your Consumer Base - Where are they? What draws them to your product or service? Do you know? Do you ask them? If you don't honestly know where your consumer/customer is how in the world do you find them? Better yet how do you know you've got a product or service anybody wants or needs? Starting today...make it a point to dig into the shopping habits of your customers. These existing customers are just a fraction of the folks you could impact...if you knew where they are. Ask.
Review Your On-Line Experience - While you might think you've got a snazzy website what does it do for consumers. Read the research, "Consumers with incomes between $70,000 to $100,000 will shop on-line more this year." If their digital experience with your product or service sucks...you will not get the sale. Get some help...today. Again, ask a professional about your site and the digital experience it offers consumers.
Bonus Tip - "Trust & Value" - These are the two biggest words you need to include in your marketing and in what you do. Take that to the consumer and you'll win.
That's it. Now, stop reading and get to work. Four things...just four things you need to focus on today to make sure we can have a great conversation in the Second Quarter of 2011.