Marketing Genius from Maple Creative


Marketing tips, observations & philosophy, plus a few rants and random musings - from those who practice, preach and teach marketing, research, advertising, public relations and business strategy.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

How early can you be?


Santa is arriving this weekend at our local mall.

Honestly, I'm excited, but things have changed so much since I was standing in line waiting to sit on the big guy's lap and tell him what I wanted for Christmas.

He keeps showing up earlier and earlier.

Now, I'm not complaining, we have a tradition in my house, the Saturday after Thanksgiving, we decorate for Christmas. We love the holidays. Our family spends dinner after dinner after dinner together. We change to our holiday plates, decorate our house and dress the dog up like a reindeer (ok, we don't do that).

But from a retail standpoint, I'm wondering where the law of diminishing returns kicks in?

Where does the fact that you are so in front of the holiday that consumers become numb to your sales message. When do you get so far ahead of the key purchasing time for the holiday season, that your return on your advertising purchase diminishes?

Preempting demand with your sales message is key.

You want potential customers in a place that they are beginning to consider their options for fulfilling the need that they have and that you can fulfill for them.

Whether you are in retail or a professional service firm, make sure that you are available when your customers need you to be informing them of their options.

Look back at three to four years of your sales - when did your customers really buy?

When did you start selling to them?

Do the cycles match?

Did you preempt the demand?

Where you ahead or behind the sales curve?

Where can you adjust your marketing efforts to match the timing of the cycle?

Understanding your sales cycle is key.

Ask the questions and adjust your tactics to increase your sales next year.


Blogger Mike Bawden said...


Thanks for the provocative post. I wish you would discuss the impact an ever-earlier start on the Holiday season has on long-term brand equity for many of these retailers. I suspect it's doing them more harm than good.

Actually, the onslaught of Christmas ads and promotions before Thanksgiving is a pet peeve of mine. I can't stand it.

I love the Holiday Season, it's just that 25-32 days of it is about all I can stand. This year, Christmas decorations were up in stores around my home in late September.

I was still wearing shorts for cryin' out loud - and I live in IOWA!

Anyway, I liked your post so much I'm featuring it among the best I've found for the day on my blog: "Much Ado About Marketing" and have linked to both your blog and your agency web site in my post.

Thanks again. Keep up the great work.


Mike Bawden
Brand Central Station

7:06 PM

Blogger Jen said...

Usually the Town Center Mall in Charleston does not put up their holiday decorations until the week of Thanksgiving so that it will be up for the Black Friday Sales. This year, the decorations were up the first of November. Pretty soon, we'll take down the spring decorations and go right to the Christmas lights. Many stores had Christmas items out before Halloween. It seems to get worse every year.

The holiday season doesn't have the same feeling as it did for me when I was a kid. The longer you stretch the holiday out, the less the time is valued. If you can celebrate the holidays from October to the First of the New Year, what's the point? Why rush? Why put that much into it when there is so much time allotted for it? I feel that there is a direct correlation between the length of the holiday and the importance of the holiday (and the spending of customers). As the holiday season lengthens, the importance or the true meaning of the holiday season is diminished. Unfortunately, the Holidays are not what they used to be. It's sad to see business so hard up for an extra $ or two, that they will try to lengthen the time period to get the holiday dollar. They don't realize that it has the adverse affect. They don't realize that if customers see the holiday decorations for a fourth of the calendar year, the spirit of the holiday and the "urge to purchase gifts, etc." wears off. Since I have seen Holiday items since October, I have put off the holiday my mind, I feel like it is so far away that I still have time. I guess if I spend less this season, then the stores will start putting holiday items out after the Fourth of July. We'll have to wait and see.

3:39 PM


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