“We want to create value for you by sharing marketing tips and timesavers” – O’C&K.
‘Tis the Season to be jolly, but be careful out there.
Yep, it’s that time of the year again. That time, when a lot of companies seem to spend their time panicking over their end-of-year goals, the Christmas party and reviewing the efforts of the ending year. The trouble is though, that when doing so, a company can take their eye off marketing communications, both internally and externally. We will look at some do’s and don’ts for the Christmas Party and then we’ll see what we need to keep in mind when looking ahead to 2015.
Let’s face it, Christmas is not the time to start being somebody you’re not. Just because ‘tis the Season to be jolly’, it shouldn’t mean that you try to be somebody else. For instance, you might have a glass of wine with a customer at lunch, and on your return to the office, decide to be more ‘open’ and tell somebody what you really think of them – this can cause total chaos in the ranks. In similar circumstances, one might feel a little safer to say things online that appear funny to you, but this also might backfire.
The ultimate place to be careful, of course, is at the (in)famous Christmas Party, where people ‘let their hair down’, this is a minefield and it can all end in tears. Not a good start to a new year. Such a gathering is not an opportunity for the boss to wind down or for you to tell her what you really think. You might have spent a long time earning people’s respect – don’t blow it all over a bottle of wine. The goal is to enhance your good reputation while at the same time having fun in a way that doesn’t get whispered about the following week.
Here are some do’s and don’ts in relation to the Christmas Party:
- DO – thank the boss early in the evening; DON’T – treat the free bar like a buffet
- DO – eat early; DON’T – talk about work colleagues (or customers) at the party
- DO – wear party hats or antlers; DON’T – carry around mistletoe
- DO – cancel any meetings for the next morning; DON’T – discuss work issues
- DO – dance if you are asked; DON’T – try to repeat the moves from Saturday Night Fever
Without trying to be a killjoy, I believe that you should situate your mood somewhere between merry and jolly and a couple notches short of being full of festive cheer. By all means enjoy yourself but just remember to be careful out there. You have been building your personal brand throughout the year – use the party to enhance it – not ruin it.
Looking ahead to 2015.
Having survived the Christmas Party, what will the New Year have in store for us? Well, one thing we do know is that customers will be looking for a personal experience with a brand, rather than being sold to. To do this, companies will have to integrate their marketing activities so that the customer experience is seamless, at whatever buying stage they are at. Also, the use of analysis, on which to base their marketing activity, should be more prevalent, so as to obtain a more effective return on their marketing efforts. 2015 will be about being smarter with your marketing communication.
As customer’s expectations (and choices) are rising rapidly due to modern day ‘connectivity’, so too are their expectations that businesses will understand them and satisfy their needs. In this regard, internal marketing will be as important as external marketing. Employees, as brand advocates will be an important element in customer engagement and indeed, retention.
Two elements in every company’s modus operandi will be even more critical next year as more and more people ‘go online’. 1) Local SEO, as opposed to nationwide SEO, will become more lucrative and 2) personal content marketing will be done through storytelling. In general, the online marketing experience will become an increasingly important tool of differentiation.
Tips and Timesavers.
Now is the time to agree your marketing activity for 2015. The very first thing to review is your message. Your message should be an honest reflection of your offering and one that is easy to promote and remember. Here are 5 tips to consider as you plan your 2015 activity.
- Revisit your marketing plan (what is your USP?)
- Does your marketing talk directly to the buyer (is your message easy to understand?)
- Do you know your marketplace (what is your service’s / product’s appeal?)
- Have you a solid marketing image (have you a strong, clear public image, at all touch points?)
- How will you make your customer feel appreciated and important (consistent, excellent service?)
So to finish off before we go to our O’C&K Christmas night out this evening, here are some ideas on how to use social media as a layer rather than a channel during the Festive Season. Decorate your social media sites with Christmas decorations just like you would in your office e.g. your Facebook cover. Why not add some visual ‘spice’ to your photos, use Pinterest to help with shopping dilemmas, run contests online for prizes. I presume you have sent a personal holiday email to your customers already or why not create a Vine or Instagram video to wish them Season’s Greetings.
Our final thought is to encourage businesses to support worthy causes. Every business should have some form of CSR activity going on but especially around this time of year, as people’s minds turn to giving. Not only is it achieving social good, but it is also a good way to build goodwill for your brand also. We hope you have a wonderful Christmas.
If you have any other tips or timesavers please leave a reply below. If you’d like to receive similar content, just subscribe by clicking through the pink button, on this page. Of course, if you want to get in touch, leave your details and perhaps we might meet for a chat, cheers. Jim – O’C&K