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Planning for 2020’s Holiday Season

The holiday season is fast approaching, and it will be like no other. Covid-19 has likely led to major highs or lows in your business, and it has left Marketers scrambling to keep up. There is a bigger push than ever to move online – especially leading up to the holiday season. Large American retailers (i.e Walmart, Target, and Best Buy) are planning to close their doors for Thanksgiving this year. Therefore, the digital push will be even stronger this holiday season (an effect that is sure to spill over into Canada).

What can business do during a time when digital demand will be at an all-time high? At the same time advertising budgets are being cut - this presents a unique challenge.


Determine what the top goals are for your business this holiday season. Do you need to reach new customers to drive sales? Is there brand building that needs to happen? What products are expected to perform best?

Once you’ve identified your key message, you can come up with a list of ways you think you can achieve those goals. Don’t be shy – make the list as grand as you want & get those creative juices flowing. Go through your list with a critical eye and figure out where you can get the biggest bang for your buck. You’d be surprised at how many grand ideas can be great successes and still achieved at a reasonable price.


As soon as you have identified your goals, start planning! Consider more than just what assets you will need for the holiday season. Think about how you will get there and where you can save costs. If you expect to send out a lot of emails, figure out the best way to increase your contact list ahead of time. Use a free service if you have a smaller list and the time to write, design & build campaigns. If you don't have a graphic designer, see if an email service provider has a graphic designer on staff to assist giving you a cost savings of two-in-one service.


If you work for a large company, you may have already established strong working relationships with a variety of third-party suppliers. They are often eager to have your business and are happy to pitch in a little more for a special project. Do you have a great relationship with your web company? Ask if they can put together a competitive analysis (taking a look at last year’s holiday season with thoughts on trends for 2020). Want to do an influencer campaign but don’t have time to run it? Ask your influencer company if they could run it for you this time. A genuine “thank you” can go a long way! If you own or work for a smaller business, you might not have as many (or any!) third-party suppliers to lean on. Instead, you can look at maximizing a potential new service. For example, do you need to build your brand identity, but also need marketing images? Consider partnering with an influencer company on a micro-influencer campaign. It is an opportunity to promote your brand and receive images (with usage rights of course). Or run a photo contest for free on your social pages to get new images!


Try thinking outside the box. See if there are any other businesses that you can partner with to execute your campaign. We once partnered with a men’s hairstyling and clothing company on a social media contest. It wasn't a traditional “match” with a travel bag company, but it was a great opportunity for us to reach a new audience! I am always trying to build and maintain relationships with my peers in other regions. We share assets and budgets whenever we can. There may be an opportunity for you to do something similar – even within the same building – to save on costs. Unexpected opportunities are always popping up. Covid-19 or not, the retail holiday season can be a challenge. These tips will help you find a path to success!

Erin Reynolds is the national Marketing Communications Specialist at Samsonite Canada Inc. With an education in television production and public relations, she offers globally-inspired marketing insights gained from her worldwide travels, her time working in London, England and her experience in project management. She is currently a Director on the St. Marys Healthcare Foundation Board, helping to raise funds for her local hospital & healthcare community.