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Retail Promotion Ideas: The Importance of Planning Ahead

"Failing to plan is planning to fail," according to time management guru Alan Lakein. August may seem like a strange time to talk about holiday retail sales but the reality is many businesses need three to six months to plan and execute an effective marketing plan. Find out what you can gain by planning ahead for seasonal promotions...

Get More Out of Your Budget

One simple and powerful reason to plan ahead is that it saves you money. You have time to research different vendors and opportunities, get quotes, negotiate and lock in lower rates for longer-term contracts. By taking the time to research your options you can develop a better sense of which services provide the most value for your dollar and use multiple quotes to negotiate with your first choice for a vendor. On the other hand, not planning can cost you as many services charge rush fees for last-minute work.

Integrate Online and Offline Strategies

Communicate consistent messaging to customers online and off by planning ahead. Use a content calendar to develop a plan for seasonal promotions. Include every channel you're working across including in-store signage, print, radio and TV advertising, display or paid search advertising, public relations efforts and social media posts. Even brands without ecommerce can benefit from sharing their in-store retail promotions through social channels.

Let's say your main goal for the season is to sell out of flat screen TVs. You can use the content calendar to detail your messaging from Halloween to after New Year's to ensure messages such as "Blowout Black Friday Flat Screen Sale!" are timely and consistent across all channels. The Trello platform is an excellent free tool for this sort of media planning.

Think Outside the Box

Doing everything last minute leads to a "just get it done" mentality that leaves no room for creativity or exploring new ideas. Planning ahead gives your team the opportunity to come up with new concepts or fun ideas that can really boost holiday retail sales. Consider some these retail promotion ideas you can execute with advance planning:

Hold a contest with all retail teams to come up with the most creative window displays for the season.
Build a web page on your site dedicated to promoting your holiday sales.
Create a cheeky and fun holiday card to send to current and prospective clients.
Plan in-store or community events that provide fuel for social media engagement.
It's hard to overstate the importance of looking ahead to make the most of your marketing efforts. Planning allows you to be proactive with your seasonal retail promotions instead of reactive, strategic instead of scattered and under budget instead of underwater. Don't wait to start planning your retail marketing strategy for the upcoming seasons.

www.fastsigns.com

 

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