If you’re a B2B marketer, the holidays might seem like the time to ease off the accelerator.
Don’t make that mistake. As well as killing your marketing momentum, you risk losing a unique set of opportunities for end-of-year marketing success.
The end of the year often means it’s ‘use it or lose it’ when it comes to unspent portions of businesses’ budgets. With leftover loot, clients and prospects might want to purchase a luxury or upgraded service from you. Sitting idle means missing out on some huge potential sales.
Here are six reasons why B2B holiday marketing really pays off:
1. Decision-makers have more free time
A common misconception is that B2B holiday marketing isn’t worth it because “everyone is on vacation” – but someone has to steer the ship. Many decision-makers actually spend more time in the office around the holidays because they have fewer meetings and business trips. Connect with them when they have the most time to listen.
2. There’s less noise
During the holidays, the volume of B2B marketing emails drops, giving sent emails a better chance of being opened. Getting noticed at the end of the year could bring in a flurry of last-minute sales as businesses try to use the leftovers in their budget.
3. It’s a vital time for customer retention
Whether your customers will have larger or smaller budgets in 2013, you need to be talking to them. An expanded budget means that they have the opportunity to buy more of your products and services. A trimmed budget means you need to remind them why you’re essential to their success. Whichever it is, this is the time of year to remind customers what you do (and can do) for them.
4. You can beat the competition
If your competition has decided not to do holiday marketing, it’s your chance to pounce on the opportunity to get an unfiltered view in front of customers and prospects. On the other hand, if your competitor doesn’t stop and you do, you’ll start 2013 a step or more behind.
5. Holiday marketing affects your Q1 results
A Marketing Sherpa study from 2009 analyzed the time it took B2B businesses to go from lead generation to
conversion. More than two-thirds of the time, it took businesses three months or longer to convert a lead. That means failing to market during the holidays can affect sales at the end of Q1 or later. Start the year off right with holiday marketing.
Tip: Conversion rates from B2B holiday marketing campaigns aren’t the only measure of success – especially if your campaign is light-hearted. Many of the best holiday campaigns efforts are designed to establish relationships rather than to generate instant sales. As well as sales, you should track metrics like social shares and time spent engaging with your campaigns and content.
6. It’s a great time to recap, and lay out your 2013 offering
If New Year’s resolutions tell us anything, it’s that the end of the year provides a great chance for reflecting on accomplishments and planning for improvement. Remind customers about milestones, product changes, and overall successes from the past year. Don’t forget to include your plans for making your services and products even better next year. The reminder and look ahead will sit well with customers and may inspire prospects.