Marketing tips for your small business during the holiday season

3 minute read

Every year, the holiday shopping season is critical for many businesses. This year, you’ll be faced with a continuously changing and increasingly competitive retail landscape. The ways Canadians are shopping have changed but there are ways you can get ahead, stand out and succeed. To do so, you’ll need to maximize your marketing efforts for both your customers and prospects.

Here are 5 tips on how you can market your business effectively this holiday season.

1. Don’t wait – start marketing for the holidays now

Consumers have told us they plan to start holiday shopping earlier – weeks before Black Friday. An earlier start is good news for you! It means you can smooth out your volumes and stay on top of inventory issues. It also means you can maximize marketing opportunities throughout the holiday season, getting your message in front of shoppers earlier and longer.

2-in-5 Canadians start thinking about holiday shopping in September/October (19%) or pick up gifts all year long (20%).1

The trick is to start marketing early in the season, and to make sure your messages match the timeframe in which you’re sending them.

2. Pair the right message with the right offer

Make your brand stand out as much as possible to compete for your share of the holiday spend.

When it comes to marketing, give it everything you’ve got. Make sure you’re creating and combining the right message across channels to reach your ideal customers:

  • 26% of Canadian online shoppers said that advertising delivered to their mailbox drove an in-store purchase and 13% said it drove an online purchase.2
  • 29% of Canadian online shoppers said advertising received via email drove an online purchase and 24% said it drove an in-store purchase.3

Our small business holiday checklist can help get your business holiday-ready

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3. Flaunt your values

More than ever, Canadians want to support brands that align with their values and stay close to home. Our recent Canada Post consumer survey revealed that:

  • 65% of Canadian online shoppers look to align their purchases to their core values.4
  • Online shoppers look to support local businesses through their purchases, with 35% saying it influences their choice of retailer.5

Highlight your values and your local status on your website and in your marketing efforts to encourage purchases from shoppers this holiday season.

4. Extend the time period of your holiday offers

Research shows that marketing mail lingers in the home. It will most likely outlast your digital ads.

  • 8-in-10 consumers will display advertising mail of interest in their household.6
  • 7-in-10 will share advertising mail within their household.7

Capitalize on mail’s longevity by creating long-lasting offers that extend through the holiday season.

5. Find ways to be omni-present with omni-channel marketing

The simplest way to stand out is to be visible on as many channels as you can – including digital and physical. For instance, you may not be able to be on a billboard, but you can be in the mailbox. Keep in mind that it’s not only about being seen everywhere. The secret to successful omni-channel marketing is making sure your messages are integrated and that they amplify each other.

  • Consumers spend 39% more time with integrated direct mail (DM) and digital campaigns than with digital-only campaigns.8
  • DM + digital campaigns garner 10% higher brand recall than single-media digital campaigns.9

To maximize your presence, craft ads that will appear on different channels as part of a single, unified campaign. Your message will be repeatedly reinforced to your customers, increasing its chances of sinking in and motivating action.

Beat the rush, leverage these tips to get in market early this holiday season.

1 Canada Post. Holiday Omnibus Report, January 2022.
2 3 Canada Post. Fall OMNI Study, 2021.
4 Canada Post. Holiday Omnibus Report, January 2022.
5 Phase 5. Canadian Online Shopper Study, May 2022.
6 7 8 9  Canada Post. 2020 Spring Survey, 20-208, June 2020.

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