Thanksgiving; it’s a holiday where an elastic waistband is key to a successful feast, filled with turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes and homemade pumpkin pie. As you sit around the table with friends and family carb loading, your anticipation and excitement for the upcoming Black Friday chaos grows. Your “zany” relatives sift through the ads strewn on the floor forming a game plan for their shopping festivities. And for those who work in retail, it’s the most dreaded day of the year. Crowds of people flood the stores hungry for the door busters, dividing into teams and strategically positioning their shoppers throughout key areas of the store to avoid wasting precious time.
As B2B marketers, there are some fundamental lessons we can learn from the Black Friday experience.
Planning- Just like your relatives plan for the preparation of a big meal and a day full of bargain shopping, the same strategic approach must be employed for a successful marketing strategy. Outlining your objectives and product or market focus for 2013, and developing that roadmap of action items will set you on the path to success.
Budgets- Budgets and planning go hand and hand. Why are people so motivated to get up at the crack of dawn to secure the best black Friday deals? Because most likely they are on a budget. Most marketers are also working with a budget and in recent years the pressure has been on to do more and more with less money. Develop your “wish list” of activities and a budget and then begin comparing and prioritizing to find the right blend of what you can realistically accomplish given your financial constraints and your marketing objectives.
Patience- Long lines. Lack of parking spaces. Tired, full and grouchy shoppers. No one ever said that Black Friday deal hunting was easy. Patience may be the only thing keeping you sane. Marketing campaigns, planning, budgets, team cooperation, these too take time and patience to navigate successfully. Don’t give up easily and don’t quit a successful campaign too early because you’re impatient.
As you gear up for Thanksgiving and Black Friday festivities, take the time to give thanks for the blessings in your business as well. Have a Happy Thanksgiving!