It feels like the first 10 months of 2017 evaporated in the blink of an eye and the holiday season has charged onto the scene. Pumpkin spice lattes and Uggs and blow-up Santas, oh my. 

With the busy shopping season bearing down, are you ready to capitalize on the moment in your business?

Sure, you’ve got a seasonal postcard mailer or a radio ad or a website popup. All forgettable, all cliché, all overdone. These are things that everyone does, not because they work, but because they’re easy or cheap or don’t require much thought.

To break through the noise and actually reach your audience in an impactful and memorable way, you need to try something new, fresh, surprising, unconventional. Here’s a few ideas:

Reach Your Customers Where They Are.

Do you know where your customers live, work and play? Find out and get in front of their face. Learn about their habits, their restaurants, their grocery stores, their commutes, their online routines. Get inside their head and get in front of them there. Consider ads in bathrooms, bus stops, grocery store carts. Sponsor the local mall Santa or the incredible light display at your local NASCAR racetrack. Or, apparently, you can buy a reindeer. Advertise online on unconventional platforms and websites. And never underestimate the power of great creative.

Give Your Customers A Break.

Learn what causes undue stress and anxiety for your audience during  the holidays and offer solutions. During the chaos and hubbub of Christmas, you can be an area of peace and quiet and ease. Invite your customers to come in, kick off their boots, and rub their feet.

Selling physical goods? Offer home delivery or gift-wrapping. Or both. Selling online? Offer free shipping (gotta compete with the big prime guys, right?) or free exchanges after Christmas. Concierge shopping. Babysitting. Reminders about upcoming parties and events. Here at High Road, we work several of our clients during the months of September, October and November preparing their holiday social and digital advertising campaigns and special marketing events so that when we’re into the 12 days of Christmas and all that, they don’t have think about Facebook ads and Christmas sales billboards.

Offer An Enticing Add-On.

Industry speak would call it value-add, or upsell, or add-on. Customers like hearing “discount” or “free”, especially when they are spending their life savings on the latest ticklish doll or electronic game box or hatching eggs. So depending on your market, incentivize your customers with an add-on. Offer a discount when they bring in toys or food for the needy. Give them a free gift with purchase. Allow them to add additional products to get to a free-shipping spend level. All of these ideas sound mundane, but get creative and make an impact in a unique way.

Personalize Your Campaign.

One of the most noticeable personalization campaigns in the past few years comes from the folks at Coca Cola and their “share a Coke” campaign. While it seemed silly at the time, how many Instagram and Facebook posts feature a person with their name on a soda bottle? It’s working for Coke. Is there a way you can personalize your products or services for your customers? It’s a little step that can go a long way.

This 2017 holiday season will be gone just as quickly as the first 10 months of the year. But you have an opportunity to use your marketing efforts to make it meaningful, not only to your bottom line, but also to your reputation and your community.