Q4 is your last opportunity to close deals that will impact this year’s results, and to start sales conversations that will start next year on the right foot. Even though the end of the year always moves fast, it’s not too late to plan and execute campaigns that will make the quarter a success. In this post, we’ll share 10 ideas for marketing campaigns that you can plan, run, and see results from before the year’s end.
1. Industry calendar. At Anyword, we created a Publishing Calendar with holidays and special days relevant for the publishing industry (their target audience). In 2018, we published a digital calendar (downloadable PDF), which garnered a lot of downloads and positive feedback, and led us to create a digital + print calendar in 2019. We sent the print version to customers and leads as a holiday gift.
2. Holiday gifts. Speaking of holiday gifts… Use your customer holiday gift operation to send a token gift to prospects. Ideas? Starbucks gift card (“let’s meet for coffee”), lottery ticket (“it’s your lucky day! You found out about us + you’ll win the lottery!”), and the calendar from the previous bullet point.
3. Holiday-focused content. Q4 is full of holidays and special days (religious ones like Hanukkah and Christmas, national like Thanksgiving, and unofficial holidays like Black Friday and Cyber Monday). If these holidays are relevant to your target audience, it’s an opportunity for you to create content and campaigns around them. Notable examples are retail and travel, with tons of activity around Thanksgiving and the last week of the year.
4. Trends from the previous year, predictions for the next one. Our recommendation is to go beyond the obvious topics that everyone is going to cover. Think interviews with key industry personas, and data journalism (data analysis relevant for your industry, preferably based on your own proprietary data). These can set you apart and make distribution easier.
5. Year in Review. This is a more visual and interactive format for summarizing the year. This site has a lot of fun examples.
7. Survey. Send your audience a survey about industry trends. This is one of our favorite campaigns to run, and Q4 is an excellent time for it. You can then package the results of the survey as another piece of meaningful content in Q1 and beyond.
8. Plan for next year, finish this year strong. Which content can help your audience reach their goals? Which technologies should they look into in the new year? (Hint: yours :)). Which tips can we offer around planning the year? Plan a blog post, email, or other piece of engaging content to help your clients handle the year-end transition. (This post is an example of such content—how meta!)
9. Last-week-of-the-year campaign. There are two types of marketing & sales teams in the world: those who passionately claim you can’t sell anything in the last week of the year because everyone is on vacation, and those who claim it’s the best week to close deals. Our opinion? It depends…on your product, target audience, and other variables. But either way, we recommend not giving up on this week. If you’re selling to countries that don’t celebrate Christmas or New Year, this is a good time to target them. And even in countries that do celebrate, not everyone takes a week-long vacation. The younger and more junior your prospects, the more likely they are to be at the office. And they will actually have more time than usual to open emails, read articles, and research products for the new year. We ran a successful webinar in the last week of the year, and we had a lot of leads who were at the office with plenty of time to listen in.
10. Customer referrals. A lot of our clients have referral campaigns with prizes or incentives that we promote throughout the year. Q4 is a great time for a final push. You can build a message like “help a friend start off the year right (with our product),” “giving thanks and asking for referrals” (around Thanksgiving), or offer a special incentive for the end of the year.
11. Bonus: Holiday party! 🎉 Why not invite your customers and prospects to a casual “friends & family” holiday party? You’ll get informal interaction with plenty of food and alcohol… always a good thing in our book.
The bottom line
It’s not too late! Here’s to running a couple of quick campaigns to close out the year with a bang and keeping the momentum going for the next one.