The fiscal year is slowly drawing to its end, and almost always there is some budget left. Investing in marketing in the last quarter of the year is very effective, as it takes advantage of your own budget while allowing your customers to take advantage of their surplus too.
What Does this Mean?
As a marketing company, you must take advantage of the end-of-year momentum to reinforce your customers (existing and potential) to invest their remaining annual budget in your solutions. If you succeed, it’s a win-win situation.
The end of the year is when organizations take advantage of any money left while planning the budget for next year. As a ‘smart’ marketer, you must provide solutions for both. This is how you can promote your end-of-year sales while becoming part of your customers’ next-year budget.
So this last quarter, instead of wasting your balance budget on office supplies, let’s see how you can use it to meet your sales targets and promote your objectives for next year.
How to Begin?
First of all, we suggest you look at last year in marketing terms and see what worked and what didn’t. Whatever worked, repeat this year.
Meet with your sales people. If you’re a B2B company, the fourth quarter is very important in terms of achieving your sales objectives. Your sales guys are under a lot of pressure, it is their money time and they need marketing now more than ever.
Most often than not, sales people know what they need and what they don’t. But they don’t always have the tools or means to make that happen. If you sit with them and listen to what they want, you can focus your marketing efforts on that and make them happy.
Put Past and Present Insights into Action
The end of the year is a very hectic time. There’s lots of work, events and holidays. It’s not easy to grab the attention of your customers, so you have to be smart, creative and strong.
Assuming that your customers won’t make any effort to look for you or your brand, you have to make sure that they will find them anyway. Make yourself very visible using the web, email, public relations, promotions and professional meetings.
What else can you do?
1. It is the time to ‘ambush’ your customers on the Internet. Embark on an intensive remarketing campaign for ‘old’ customers. Send promotions to every user that ever visited your site.
2. If you have a list of potential customers, this is a good time to schedule more intimate meetings with them, providing them with original materials, an innovative presentation or even a video. Give these potential clients the ammunition they need to justify purchasing your product. After all, they are currently preparing their budget for next year.
If you show them cost-benefit analyses, tell them customer stories that prove your point, offer them a proposal that will remain valid next year, or help their organization prepare for next year – most chances are that they will choose you and your product.
3. Prepare a targeted personal campaign that grabs the attention of each target customer, and conveys a very focused message. You can monitor that they receive it and contact them.
It is always good to create a conceptual connection between your product and the end of the year, even if it is not the typical holiday gift. Show how it helps people save, how it benefits the organization, or anything else that may be relevant.
4. Make an end-of-year sale for your existing customers. It is a great way to show your loyal customers that you appreciate their business, and it will also echo among potential customers. At the same time, you’re creating cross sell and upsell opportunities.
In short, the end of the year is not yet the time for summaries. Even though the last quarter is an indication of the impending year end or a minute before the New Year’s celebrations, it has its own importance. If you manage to create and focus on marketing activities, there is no doubt that people will notice and that you will profit.