Yes, the holidays are upon us! Last month I shared some thoughts to prepare us for the holidays in our businesses. Today I thought I would follow up with some thoughts on marketing in case you haven’t started yet. Ironically, my advice may not be what you think it is. Steve Fogg, a marketing adviser who works with churches and businesses, said:
“Brochures, websites, social media aren’t the be all and end all of church marketing. The best church ‘marketing’ sometimes happens in the small moments of life. When a member of your church lends someone a helping hand. Or gives a warm smile to brighten someone else’s day. Gives up their seat for someone else on public transport. You fill in the blank. The best ‘marketing’ happens when we move towards people, rather than just broadcast at them.”
The same is true for any business, not just churches: we can’t define ourselves by our number of likes or pretty websites. We have to be about more than just that. No Facebook post can make up for a nasty employee or bad product. Don’t get me wrong, there is incredible value in a good website and in having a healthy Facebook page. But they are only part of the story. This holiday season use the themes that people care about in your marketing like family, friends, love, warmth, caring for the environment and world, taking care of others, and joy to show them you’re about more than the bottom line. A word of caution: people have become rather good at detecting BS. They’ll know if you’re trying to save face or look pretty, or if you actually mean what you say.
Buyers are more likely to buy what they came to buy as well as more when presented with a clean package, a fresh made item, or from a nice display then they would with mess, chaos and poor quality. As far as the rest of it goes, some of the best (and worst) marketing is done one-on-one between your potential customers and your employees (or yourself!). In this world of technology and being followed by the second through our online posts taking the time to create a friendly human connection can make all the difference.
Make the effort to be friendly and helpful no matter how busy you are. Take time this holiday season to put care and love into your marketing efforts, as well as your selling tactics, and be willing to be just a friendly face when the rest of the world is going crazy. Your heartfelt celebration of the holiday themes will help attract others to you and your business. Which theme are you going to focus on this year?