Marketing the New Year

As the main western holiday season wraps up, the new year is a great theme for holiday marketing to your contacts.

(The previous two posts on holiday content are on gratitude around Thanksgiving and feelings of joy and giving in December.)

Looking Forward

By early January, people see most of the main holidays as being over. Don't focus too much on the past. Reliving recent past events, activities, and great moments is nostalgic and fun. Posting several pictures or videos of the holiday parties or events up until New Year's is fine. By January, though, you should change your focus.

Keep your contacts looking forward. Your marketing touchpoints should always have a purpose, with a desired action from the recipient. Looking to the future allows for such calls to action much better. After New Year's Day, people are thinking about the future, and they are surrounded my such messaging.

It is also a time of inspiration and hope. The idea of transition from old to new brings a sense of hope and a desire to improve; 45% of Americans make resolutions for themselves at this time. B2C companies have a better fit with these personal goals. But being in this frame of mind, businesses and professionals also usually look at changing plans for their companies. You can try to be part of them. Or just continue to connect with them on the emotions. Share inspiring quotes or stories, especially if they relate to the brand or mission, or if they are tied to a personal story by a leader in your organization.

"The New You"

Your messaging could be about the new you, the new and improved version of your company. If you can, time a new launch or major update to your service offering or a service so it lines up with the new year. The timing makes it relevant for email blasts, press releases, and other announcements, keeping it from appearing as spam. Also, this is another chance to show that you are an innovative and evolving company.

But your clients are most likely looking inward, and trying to find the best new version of themselves. You will always keep their attention more when you talk about their needs instead of yourself. But that is especially true now. December holidays are mostly personal with consumer gift giving and B2C sales. Then most of the holidays end, and everyone returns to work mode in January and many are looking for opportunities professionally. They are less focused on deals and discounts and more on change. So if you were throwing around deals and coupons and discounting strategies at the end of the previous year, shift now to an emphasis on benefits and how specific changes can solve problems. Think long-term, not just transactional. "New Year, New Language Service Provider?" Okay, perhaps you shouldn't use those exact words. But organizations may be more open to change right now. And they may be looking to fit updated needs, or just updated budgets. Be sure they know to consider you.

Back to Meeting

The end of the calendar year is a great time for email marketing. But January is a good time to return to phone and video meetings. In December people are overbooked and move meetings to email, or they stall. They don't want to push too much back to January. Sure, they may move some meetings to the new year, but more often they avoid piling up meetings after they return from the holidays. So their calendars are less full and they have more potential availability.

But that doesn't mean their schedules are empty. They are probably still catching up on a backlog of work. There calendars may be more open, but their inboxes are probably more full. Ask for meetings, but if they say they are too busy, they likely are. And request those meetings that you already wanted to have with specific people for specific purposes. This is not a time to try to set up new meetings with every cold prospect.

New Year-Round

And post New Year's is about the whole new year, not just a holiday week. Make sure you are communicating year round with your clients, your prospects, your followers, and any other contacts. Speaking of the new you, this is a good time to reevaluate your marketing strategy; especially if you don't have one. And this doesn't have to be a resolution. It doesn't have to be an immediate January task. Your clients are busy catching up, and so are you. If now is not a good time, any time is good to fix an underperforming marketing plan. Change is good for us all.

I hope you all have a prosperous, fun, and healthy new year. We could all use a better 2021 than our 2020.


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