B2C holiday marketing, particularly for product-based businesses, tends to be straightforward. It often includes a percentage off a particular set of goods, free shipping, or free gifts with purchase.
Unfortunately, the same types of sales and discounts don’t translate to B2B marketing. Why? Because listing a particular product at 20% or offering a free service for a month or two could end up costing thousands or hundreds of thousands of dollars without a measurable uptick in client acquisition. Additionally, putting B2B products or services “on sale” devalues the overall offering and in many cases, can make your firm look desperate.*
*(This does not include providing special pricing based on client relationships or projects).
In this post, we look at effective holiday B2B marketing ideas and campaigns.
Focus on Timing Rather than Cost
With many B2B services and products costing upwards of thousands to hundreds of thousands, a better holiday marketing strategy is to focus on timing rather than cost. For example, a discount likely won’t generate new prospects or clients, but appealing to their business goals and needs grabs the attention of your target audience.
Here are a few ideas for focusing on timing as a holiday marketing strategy:
- Need to Spend that Extra Budget Now?
- Secure the Budget You Need For Next Year
- Start Testing During the Holiday Downtime
These three ideas approach the needs of the target audience from various perspectives. The first focuses on a possible need to spend a budget now to secure the same budget next year. The second focuses on starting the conversation and getting to a proposal so the project or product can be included in the budget for next year. The last campaign idea focuses on industries that may experience a slowdown during the holidays and therefore have the capacity to test new products or services before business kicks up again.
Planning for Success Rather than Immediate Wins
For B2B marketing strategies for the holidays, another approach is to position your firm as a partner to help set the stage for success next year. This not only demonstrates you understand their business and needs but also shows you understand the industry as well.
Potential ideas for marketing campaigns include:
- Kick off the New Year with the Right Platform in Place
- Get Training Now to Improve Results in 2023
- Streamline Processes Next Year with the Right Tools
The strategy behind these three ideas is similar, but the value to the target audience is different. In the first campaign, you are advising your prospect that you can help in planning for next year and updating the tools they use. The end of the year is often a time for budget reviews and if the tools or services your prospects are using are not providing value, they may be considering retiring them. The second idea is focused on using any downtime to skill up or educate their internal teams – which appeals to a need for efficiency during the holidays and employee retention. The last campaign idea is particularly appealing to any companies that are looking to improve margins or cut waste. Rather than giving a discount on your tool or product, you can demonstrate the overall value your offering provides to the end users/organization.
Lean into FOMO
If you don’t already know, FOMO is the Fear Of Missing Out. While this is often utilized in B2C advertising, it does work for B2B marketing, but on a less personal scale. Successful B2B companies are innovators, leaders, and trendsetters. They ensure this success by either leading the industry or by keeping up on industry trends. The FOMO comes in when a company thinks that they are falling behind in the industry or competitors are beating them to market with new product and service offerings.
Here are several ways to leverage FOMO in your holiday B2B marketing campaigns:
- Get the Software You Need to Stay Ahead in Your Market
- Discover the Products Your Competitors Rely On
- See What’s Missing from Your Tech Stack
Again, FOMO is the main theme in these campaigns, with different effects. In the first idea, the benefit is the prospect will get the software needed to beat out their competitors. In the second campaign, you appeal to the need for competitive knowledge and insight. The last campaign is more overt and piques the curiosity of even the most confident managers and leaders.
B2B holiday marketing ideas shouldn’t be cheesy or boring. They should be hyper-specific and build a connection with your target audience. Rather than resorting to a campaign that devalues your product or services, craft campaigns that make your prospects think, “Wow, these people get it.”