When executing on an annual promotional strategy, the approach that many utilize is taking it one step at a time, tackling the promotion of the day or season, and crossing the next bridge when getting to it. This may seem the easiest, in essence only having to focus on the here and now instead of worrying about distant concerns. The age-old ‘eating an elephant one bite at a time’ comes to mind for many, and they think this is a good, digestible, and efficient option.
However, with the many tools available today, why not ‘eat that elephant one bit at a time’… but automate each bite? Automating your campaigns can allow you to set your promotions, trust they’ll deploy as you have planned, monitor and adjust accordingly, and have more time to address other matters throughout the year.
So how do you develop and deploy an annual promotional strategy? Let’s talk about that!
Time of Promotion
Planning comes first. Whether you’re starting your strategy before the start of a new year or starting it in the midst of a current one, a plan is key.
Look out over the course of the coming year, all twelve months. Consider each holiday and the seasons surrounding them. Consider your industry and specific days or periods of the year that are crucial for that industry. Look at your calendar as zero-sum, where every single day or span of time is devoted a promotion or intentional break from promotions. In the end, every day of your business calendar should be colored with some denotation of what is going on promotion-wise.
We’ll talk about platforms of promotions in a moment, such as onsite, email, paid ads, and more, but one thing we’ll mention now is that you’ll want to schedule out these promotions on those platforms as far out as possible. This way you’ll know they’re set to go and won’t have to pay too much mind to your promotions.
Details of Promotion
Now that you know when you will be running run promotions, you can consider more deeply the nature of each one.
For that July 4th Sale, Christmas season Sale, or any other sale, what will you be offering exactly within your promotion? Will you be offering a certain percentage off of a minimum order size? Will you provide a buy-one-get-one-free sale? Having the exacts of this will be crucial for getting all of your campaign materials in order, ensuring everyone within your system are on the same page, and allowing you to step back and consider the kind of margins to roughly expect.
Whatever these parameters are, you’ll want to ensure that the proper payment gateway configurations are made. This will ensure that your customers don’t have any issues getting that extra bonus item for free, having their coupon code applied and honored, or any other disruptions that could steer them away from purchasing.
Platforms of Promotion
Even the best promotion in the world, offering the best in discounting and value, is utterly useless if not depicted on the proper platforms. You’ll want to ensure you know where this information will be conveyed to your audience.
On what platforms will you be running all of these promotions? Think about every possible place you could need this to be present. Promotional material on your business site for starters is a must, as that’s your hub. Email is a must, that’ll be your best way to inform your customers about your promo. Social media and blog, good informal and shareable ways to generate interest. Paid Ads, great for casting a wide net! All this to say, note every single mode by which you intend to push your promotions to the public.
Bearing this in mind, creative assets can be collected for each platform. Optimized graphics that are tailored to specific size and resolution needs as well as copy writing to drive the promotional message home will need to be crafted and assigned to each respective platform.
Plan Preparation and Deployment
You now have everything sorted out for a whole year worth of promotions, just like that! You know what promotions are going to take place and when, you know what the details are of those promotions, you know where those promotions will be run, and you know that your systems will have all of the necessary materials and configurations to ensure that those promotions run as smoothly as possible.
Now what happens?
Now, you give yourself a little bit of praise, because you’ve just crushed your annual promotional planning like a boss! After you give yourself your proper kudos, simply check back on all materials of your promotions prior to their deployment to ensure all systems are go, and monitor from there!
The goal is to be able to focus on pushing your business forward, and by automating everything your mental CPU and resources are freed up to focus on bigger picture items. We look forward to seeing how you use that advantage to grow your business!
For the tools to promote your business online via any and all of the means depicted in this article, turn to the pros at Rave Retailer!