The December Slump

The end of the year can be a challenging one for Business to Business marketing. Vacations and time off are paired with consumer marketing’s most aggressive push. The result is fewer people that often have less attention for B-to-B related communications. Don’t let a December slump side-track your marketing efforts, rather plan for it to maintain engagement.

Trainers, consultants, and professional coaches should plan for lower response rates than usual in December.

As an example, a client of ours ran a free seminar every month to generate business. For several years in a row the client would be frustrated at a low turnout for the December event. He went so far as to only do communications for that event, abandoning other campaigns, from mid-November up to the event in mid-December.

The result was always disengagement, less opens, higher unsubscribes, unlikes, and unfollows. Rather than plan for a December slump he tried to overcome it with increased frequency and tunnel vision focus. The result was that he was inundating his target audience with communications at the same time consumer communications were bombarding them, so they disengaged. January and February became a month of rebuilding to undo the damage of December.

Rather than run the event in December we tested foregoing it and focusing on the January event. Doing a few communications in December and then a secondary push in January resulted in fifty percent more attendees. Furthermore the February event didn’t experience the rebuilding period that years past had endured.

You will see a dip in your website, social, and email B-to-B marketing efforts in December. It’s a constant and one that should be planned for. If you have a promotion that is active in the December months it needs to be practically targeted. For instance, a goal setting event toward of the end of the year makes sense for many business development professionals so that offer can seamlessly work in to your marketing plan. Furthermore, since it’s an appropriately targeted calendar event, it will resonate with your target audience.

Don’t give up on December but don’t fight against the inevitable. There are leads to be had but your communications have to work through the holiday commotion.

Useful Marketing Surveys

ID-100276593If a survey is leveraged as a marketing tool, what makes the survey useful? In short, quantifiable data that can be used to glean insightful deductions.

Many trainers, consultants, or professional coaches that decide to do a survey spend little time thinking through how they will compile and leverage the responses. All too often, a survey is thrown together with open ended or vague questions that make quantifying the data difficult.

Generally speaking, the best way of compiling quantifiable data is by using a ranking system or yes/no answers. This standardizes responses into quantifiable metrics that you can use to make industry insights or event/presentation customizations. Then make your questions very specific. Make sure each question has a single inquiry that responders can easily understand and clearly choose their preference.

Open ended or input questions are often worthless to use as a marketing tool. While it lets a responder voice their views in a very custom and personal way, it’s difficult to extract usable data from those responses. Typically the only use for open ended responses is as quotes but it can be challenging to get responders to consent to use their survey response in a public manner.

If you decide to use a survey as a marketing tool, make sure that the effort will result in usable data. Map out what the results will look like and have a plan for compiling that data into actionable statistics.

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