The year's fourth quarter is often the busiest and has the most potential to generate business in any establishment, from national outlets to local operations. With the holidays approaching, it's time for owners and marketers to develop an in-depth advertising campaign so that consumers are informed about the available products and services.
Many marketing tactics that are applicable in other quarters still work in the fourth quarter, and it's important for businesses to create cross-platform campaigns to increase visibility when customers are ready to spend money. This means that each advertisement should inform consumers while also leveraging the season for increased campaign relevance.
Kickstart with social networking
For a company to raise its visibility, it needs to send consistent messages to consumers. Owners should take advantage of all advertising mediums by reinforcing messages from popular platforms to increase brand awareness.
It's important to have more than one promotion because of how quickly prospective clients can stop paying attention to one advertisement without developing recognition of a business. For example, it can be easy for a potential customer to forget a piece of direct mail - the recipient comes home, shuffles through letters, reads the flyer and then moves on to other tasks.
If an ad campaign is developed across all available platforms, companies will see increased visibility. Business 2 Community recommends starting with social media because of its relevance and popularity among consumers. According to Forbes, 85 percent of all businesses reported increased brand recognition after developing a social networking presence and 58 percent of companies increased returns after debuting their marketing campaigns.
After an online identity is established, other marketing materials can be designed to follow-up on what aspects of the social advertisements earned the highest response rates. For example, if social media sales led to an increase in digital business, other marketing platforms, such as direct mail, should include discounts to entice consumers to act quickly.
Other mediums can be used as supplements for companies that don't want to force an entire message into one tweet. Print advertisements expand on new products that were debuted on Facebook and telemarketing can put representatives in touch with leads who have shown in active interest online without committing to a transaction.
Leverage the holidays
Advertising campaigns, no matter the medium, are only successful if they are relevant to consumers. The fourth quarter offers various opportunities to change a marketing strategy to avoid stagnation and be timely enough to appeal to potential clients. There are major holidays throughout the final three months of the year that businesses can leverage for every advertisement.
The first major holiday is Halloween, which has seen an increase in popularity in recent years. In 2011, spending for October 31 was expected to increase by 9 percent over the previous year to reach $6.86 billion. Consumers have a clear affection for Halloween and marketers should aim to create an association between the day and their company. It's as simple as including jack o' lanterns in print advertisements or giving candy to customers who miss trick-or-treating.
Thanksgiving is the second opportunity to tie a business with a popular holiday. Promotional products are excellent tools for generating visibility as November draws to a close. Consumers are regularly buying groceries and an establishment that gives away logo tote bags, promotional pens and notepads will increase brand recognition during every shopping trip.
December is home to holidays of various denominations and marketers need to be careful about not generating any controversy or alienating potential clients of different faiths. It would be smarter for a company to offer sales and discounts all month long, rather than become a part of the secular debate that occurs each every year.
The fourth quarter offers plenty of marketing opportunities, but it's up to owners to take advantage of the resources at their disposal.