EOY (End of The Year) is one of the most important moments in the sales calendar. During Christmas season, even the most willful people - in other words - reasonable consumers, get into the shopping spree.
The same principle applies to the other side – marketing departments must achieve the best sales results. The key questions asked by anyone associated with sales and marketing departments are how to plan and implement a campaign in this advertising period which is the hardest and the most rewarding period at the same time. How to break through the number of advertisements? How to attract and focus the consumers' attention? These questions are particularly important for brands which experience peak sales in the hot period at the end of the year (alcohol, clothing, home appliances). In their case, several weeks often affect the year-long sales result.
It's necessary to remember that you should start planning a campaign for the end of the year much earlier. Even the best concepts for actions activating sales may be slightly "suppressed" due to the tremendous advertising cover at the end of the year. You should always think about the effective range thanks to which the message will reach your potential customers. Unfortunately, consumer factors (focus on proper cases, family, spiritual renewal etc.), advertising factors (the media space is filled with messages to the brim) and employee factors (everyone wants to finish business matters and go home) raise the level of difficulty. You should certainly increase the frequency of advertisements which, unfortunately, involves higher costs.
To briefly summarize: the message should be more distinct, and the costs for paid advertising - higher. However, this is a textbook approach which doesn't always guarantee a satisfactory reflection in sales.
What else should you pay attention to when planning a campaign for the EOY period?
Play individually and only sometimes play in a team
EOY is a period in which the consumers show readiness to buy products greater than usually. In many cases, the brand advertises the product without providing an adequate support for distribution. The customer is encouraged by the advertisement, wishes to buy your product, but the greater availability of competitive products – in the same category – results in the fact that your advertisement contributes to the customer's purchasing the competition's product.
Tip: Before releasing a typical product campaign - make sure that the availability of your products in the region in which you are distributing the advertisements is sufficient. Check the results in a web search engine after entering a product from a given category. You won't significantly change the organic results in the web search engine in a short period of time, but you may use the support of paid advertisements, such as AdWords, in the EOY campaign.
So, what's with this team play which it's sometimes worth entering?
This applies only to the leaders of a given category. If the word champagne brings immediate references to the image of a Moët bottle, then this brand may take actions which will allow it to increase sales in the entire category of premium alcohols. A change of habits – we offer champagne instead of another type of a strong alcohol – will probably contribute to increasing the sales of Moët.
Shortage of time
The common proverb: time is money, has never been more true. The Christmas time is the period when it's even more true. How can you make money from the shortage of time? Sell the option of saving this time to the customer! Sounds complicated?
Example: Enable ordering a product, for instance a home appliance, with the option of personal collection. The collection is not subject to waiting in a line, and there's a special collection point. Who wouldn't use this option! (In many chain stores you have stand in a "regular" line. Nothing's more irritating than the combination of online sales and lines in a regular store!)
Let's say this very clearly – consumers not only buy gifts for their loved ones, but they also reward themselves at the end of the year or for Christian holidays. Because they were persistent, they worked beyond their strength, they managed to get promoted, to keep their job in a company, their family grew. The prize is not a daily necessity, it's something we wouldn't allow ourselves to have every day. That's why it's worth preparing to promote the so-called non-daily necessities. Don't be influenced by the results of other sales periods. During EOY, it's very likely that your customers will be tempted to buy a product which they would normally not pay any attention to or would treat as an unnecessary thing.
Tip: When you have a base of customers who have previously purchased the so-called basic products in your company, namely products which you sell most often, it's worth suggesting some extras in this period. Customers who purchased TV sets may be offered good quality speakers. However, this process should be automated so as to achieve the scale effect; only then will it be reflected in sales results.
We all know what the space – home, shopping center and the city, looks like at that time. Illuminations, Last Christmas I gave you my heart and reindeers in any size. Even the greatest whiners have to admit that, even though it's safest to buy gifts over the internet – to avoid crowds and lines – the Christmas atmosphere is best experienced late in the evening at a Christmas fair. That's why it's worth thinking about non-standard media which will draw the customer's attention. One of such media is the pop-up store. This is a place which is a separated microcosm and the extension of the shopping mall architecture. Its advantage is the possibility to present gifts far from the competition's stands.
You have to remember about one important issue. Even when you are chasing sales results, you should never lose sight of what's most important – the image of your brand. This is absolutely the most important commandment in the case of premium brands! If you represent such brand, don't let yourself be carried by the wave of discounts and special offers which will, in fact, increase the sales of your products in the short time perspective, but will have negative impact in the long time perspective.
Branding in the EOY period should not be completely detached from principles which are used on an everyday basis. Specialists who have been working (with good effects) on the image of a brand and a growth in sales for years, duplicate 90% of the same mechanisms in end-of-year campaigns, the only thing that changes is the content. Using these additional principles mentioned above in EOY may, in turn, determine the success of the entire campaign. It's the details that count with a high number of competitors and a more and more difficult fight for the consumers' attention. They determine whether the sales results go up.