Take a look at the calendar.
When do you see “SALE” signs plastered on shop windows? Chances are if you’re in the United States they come in a torrent during the straggly months of the year starting in the fall with Back to School specials, bulk buys of Halloween candy and inflatable lawn ghosts, fancy Thanksgiving meals, and the fateful Black Friday through the whole cyber week of #saledays and #givingdays. As business owners, we do a great job of promoting the back half of the year, but we neglect the days in between. This in turn means we focus on discounting and promotions versus actively building customer loyalty each day.
The goal of marketing is to create awareness and connection between a product and service and a person. It’s about relationships, longevity, and trust; it should not be about the transaction. This is why it’s important for businesses to work on a year-round calendar of connections that pique interest, build desire, educate and ultimately satisfy a customer’s desires. As the owner of a small marketing business, Stated, it may sound like a totally self-serving notion that one should wisely advertise all year round, but it is also factual! This late boom and dependence on a tight buying cycle create incredible pressure not only on marketing budgets but on operations. It also hurts customers when we mask our sales demands with suspiciously timed goodwill messages around the holidays.
If we really want to build community and we are invested in long-term relationships then we should support, service, and build our following each day. A consistent sustained message may not be glamorous but it lengthens the window of opportunity to expose, educate, and endear your audience. With the same dedication, we then look to develop tentpole occasions that resonate with the brand and audience and drive further connection and are ownable. Think Amazon Prime Day or a floral company creating unique arrangements in January to let moms know their importance year-round. These give us capstone moments that bring in new followers, reward the existing ones, and bring delight during unexpected windows.
I’m not saying we shouldn’t take advantage of holiday sales, but what I’d love to see more of is businesses being creative and rethinking the calendar around what’s important to those we serve. Our customers are our customers EVERY day of the year!
About Your Columnist
Carrie Phair is a featured columnist for Women Lead, the official blog of Connected Women of Influence, and is the sole proprietor of Stated, a marketing consulting firm partnering with small and medium-sized brands to create smarter, insightful, and compelling outreach at every stage of the funnel and on any budget. Inspired by two entrepreneurial parents, backed by a degree in economics, an MBA, and Fortune 20 experience and governed by efficiency and efficacy, Carrie brings pep, strategy, and clarity to the myriad of marketing options.