Holiday Marketing for Maximum Retention

Happy holiday season! For many businesses, this is the busiest  and most profitable time of year. However, you can’t just rest on your past success. You have to make sure you’re preparing and laying out the proper marketing that will draw in new customers and keep old ones coming back.


However, there’s a type of holiday marketing many companies forget about — it’s the internal marketing required to manage stress within your organization and keep your employees loyal so they stick with you.


Employee retention affects profitability just as much as customer retention. Let’s look at how you can manage both.


The Importance of Employee Retention

You know that finding great talent isn’t easy. Keeping it is even tougher. There’s always a recruiter on LinkedIn reaching out to your star staff offering new opportunities.


It’s even more key because older employees – like Generation X, currently ages 35-46 – have a lot more to bring to your business besides just talent. Generation X is more brand loyal than younger generations, so having those folks on your team, encouraging their peers to buy from you, is vital to customer retention as well.


You want to avoid the “brain drain” that comes from losing experienced, talented employees and having to replace them with folks who don’t yet understand your business.


So how do you retain key employees in the midst of the holiday strain?


Tips for Retaining Employees Over the Holidays

Marketing is a key part of helping you build your brand reputation and gain customers. What you might not realize is that internal marketing – to your own staff – is a vital way you build your company’s reputation in their eyes. This helps keep them focused, motivated, and with your organization.


During the holidays, things can be busy and your employees have a lot of external stresses as well. Start by reminding them of the company mission. Help them realize that all their hard work is making a real difference, especially during the holiday season.


Create a celebratory atmosphere at work in a way that’s respectful of everyone’s culture. You might create an office holiday card with photos of your whole staff, for instance, or encourage a potluck where everyone brings a holiday dish that represents their holiday traditions.


Offer resources to manage the stress of competing demands. If you have an Employee Assistance Program, remind people about it and provide information on how to use it. Holidays are very volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous (VUCA), a combination that causes a lot of strain on your staff both at work and at home.


Make sure your employees feel respected and acknowledged. Even small gestures mean a lot. Avoid a culture where the only time employees hear from you is when they’ve made a mistake. Communicate expectations clearly and invite your staff to be open in communicating with you as well.


Meanwhile, being sick is tough on anyone, and someone who is sick at work can wreak havoc if the germs spread across the floor. Help employees stay well with flu shots, sanitizer, and wellness activities, as well as by encouraging them to stay home, work from home, and so on.


Most of all, allow as much flexibility as you can and have some spontaneous fun as well!


Retaining Customers Boosts Your Bottom Line

No company needs to be told that repeat business is a good thing, but many business owners don’t realize how much easier it is to get repeat business than to win a new buyer. It costs 16 times more to bring a new customer to the spending level of a current one than to encourage the current customer to buy, after all.


The good news is that, during the holidays, you’ll probably gain a lot of new customers if you play your cards right. A strong holiday marketing plan will gain a lot of attention and encourage new purchases in this way. The question is, however, how will you keep these new customers and encourage repeat purchases after the holiday?


Here are some strategies you can use.


Strategies For Retaining Customers

During the holiday season, you’ll probably pull out all the stops to reach consumers. The good news is that there are a lot of powerful social media strategies that will connect with new customers and previous buyers to encourage them to purchase.


The key to retention is to see the customer as a life-long connection, not just a one-time buyer, especially around the holidays. You want to provide them a top-notch product, wow them with excellent customer service, and continue to nurture the relationship afterward.


Also, be sure your marketing doesn’t fall off a cliff after the holidays. If people stop hearing from you or don’t see your brand anymore, they’ll quickly forget about you and move on. While the holidays definitely represent a step up in your marketing budget, be sure you continue reaching out to consumers in January and beyond.


See if you can find a way to turn your product or service into a subscription, for example. People often need things on a consistent basis, or they buy someone a monthly gift package. If you set up recurring payments you’re much less likely to see a significant revenue drop after the holidays.


Consider bumping up awareness about your loyalty program during the holidays as well, as earning points toward the next purchase can encourage people to continue shopping at your business well after the holidays.


Finally, be sure you continue to nurture your connection to your customers all year long. An email list that is segmented based on interests or previous purchases can help you extend new offers, announce sales, and introduce new products.


Holiday Marketing is Internal and External

Marketing to those outside your business, to gain additional customers, is a no-brainer at any time of year. Once you have those folks, it’s essential to keep them. By taking steps like offering incredible customer service and continuing to engage using your email list, you can turn new customers into loyal lifetime consumers.


What you can’t afford to overlook is your internal marketing to your team. Assuming they will stay with you just because they work with you today is a mistake. The good news is that during the holidays you can remind your staff of the company’s mission, create a celebratory atmosphere, and help them manage the stress of competing demands during the holidays.


When you take these steps, you’ll have loyal customers and loyal employees for many years to come.