3 Marketing Tips for Non-Retail Businesses this Holiday Season


The end of the year includes a number of the biggest holidays, and retailers around the world devote a significant amount of time and resources preparing for it. But what about non-retail businesses and other organizations that don’t experience the same hustle-and-bustle bump from holiday shopping? Should you be focused on marketing through the holiday season?

The answer is a resounding yes. For a non-retail business, the holidays may not be very busy, especially if winter isn’t your main season. However, advertising during the holidays is just as important as any other time of year, and maintaining frequency and brand consistency is critical if you want to stay top-of-mind and continue generating awareness.

While it’s likely too late to place any last-minute holiday advertising this season (and you’re probably in the middle of wrapping presents!) we’ve got three marketing tips to help you close out the year and head into the next—motivated and prepared for a productive, successful year for your non-retail Chicago business.

1. Think Ahead to Your Next Busy Season

Things might be slow right now for your business, but the same probably can’t be said of you, your staff, or your current and potential clients and customers. It’s a busy time, and trying to plan anything except maybe the office holiday party is adding stress to an already packed period.

With that in mind, consider your upcoming busy season (or seasons) and ways you can make it smoother. Today’s extra time may be a great opportunity to think down the line to planning and placing your next marketing campaigns. Nailing down your creative and buying your ad spots before any kind of seasonal rush allows you to get the best possible slots at reasonable prices. Not to mention, as calendars begin filling up, you’ll save future-you stress and hassle by already having your budget set and your campaigns scheduled.

2. Have a Plan for the Full Year

Hopefully you’ve already developed the marketing plan that will take your business into Q1 2018. (If you haven’t, you’ve got a little more time left to squeeze in finishing touches.) If your slow season extends into January, get a jump start on the new year by ensuring your full year of marketing is mapped out (yes, all the way to next December!).

Get it done and your ads placed now, and you’ll have a guide for the entire year, one you can follow and refine as goals are hit and new ones set. Plus, wrap your plans before next holiday season, and you give yourself the gift of one less thing to worry about.

3. Watch and Learn (and Get Ideas!)

Just because it’s not your busy season doesn’t mean there’s not a lot you can learn. You may even discover new things you want to explore for your business during the holidays next year.

For instance, maybe you hear for yourself just how memorable and effective radio can be for Chicago business owners, or notice an organization’s effective alignment with a local cause at an in-store event they put on. Now is a great time to stay curious, do some homework, and observe your competitors and other businesses—even if they have a retail spin. What are they doing, and what’s resonating with customers? Is there anything you can apply to your non-retail business marketing?

As 2017 comes to a close and to-do lists are checked off, remember to focus on the important things for your business—like staying inspired and planning for success. From the team at Hubbard Chicago, happy holidays!

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