In around a month or two, it’ll be 2021 already. But with the coronavirus pandemic still keeping economies on lockdown months since news of it first spreading in Wuhan, China, around December late last year, calling 2020 a “bad” year sounds nothing short of an understatement. Realizing how this year might as well be shaped and characterized by a global tragedy, can businesses find a way to make it through the holidays; a season with a tradition of consumer spending? As a digital marketing agency in the Philippines, we believe that the answer is a resounding yes.

Businesses, especially micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises (MSME’s), have had to bear the brunt of Covid-19’s impact in developing countries. Take, for instance, that in the Philippines, bankruptcy, retrenchment, and rolled down shutters; hand-written signages that declare, “Permanently closed until further notice,” hang from the doors and facades of our favorite bars, restaurants, and other establishments. Some of these places that we used to frequent have closed up shop for good. As of June 2020, nearly 26 percent of businesses in the Philippines had ceased operations, whether temporarily or permanently.

Those numbers were from June, and in less than a month, it’ll officially be the holiday season. And if you live in the Philippines, you know that it’s true: some malls often start playing Christmas carols at the onset of the “Ber” months. In most parts of the nation, such as the more populated cities and barangays, Christmas decorations happen quickly right after Halloween, and continue throughout the rest of the year, spilling into January for New Year’s festivities as well. Imagine all the bright stars and warmly-lit lanterns, the colorful flags criss-crossing above your head. These are the signs and symbols of a thriving community. Have you seen any Christmas decor around your location lately?

The Holiday Rush is Coming

In the past, this holiday cheer has often allowed businesses some growth, and it will still persist to endure and survive this pandemic. Businesses have been agile enough to adapt fast, and digitization has even been accelerated by the nationwide status quo. With the lockdown’s quarantine measures that had been set in place, we are living in a time like no other.

Here are some digital marketing tips, so businesses can better prepare for the coming holidays:

Planning early is key.

If experience has taught us anything, it is that we should learn from history. Preparing for any marketing campaign in advance allows you more time and energy for the holiday rush. This enables you to focus on maximizing sales. Create a marketing plan that considers the strategies that had been implemented in the past, and then analyze how these performed during the same time in previous years.

Reevaluate traditional playbooks.

Note that marketing isn’t just about repetition. We’re living in unprecedented times, and your target buyers aren’t the same individuals they were last year. More than anything, this only makes it critical to review your pre-existing holiday campaign plans. Apply where historical data can contribute in addressing knowledge issues, given the dramatic changes in audience behaviors.

Email campaigns

With a larger chunk of the audience spending more time online, not only is digital marketing going to be of greater relevance, but with more people on the internet at any given period, email can serve as an effective tool for ROI. Creating email headlines that resonate with your audience and prompt responsiveness can help maximize opportunities for sales and growth. Using email as a one-button feedback mechanism, for example, can help to either improve or adjust strategies.

Be socially responsible

Businesses that help the community are often supported by their customers, thus creating brand loyalty. Given the pandemic and recent typhoons, many Filipino consumers today prefer brands that showcase corporate social responsibility and serve as amplifiers to voices for active social change. Aligning the content and brand messaging on your social media marketing strategy for the holiday season can only highlight the authenticity of your business.

Stay flexible

With the shopping rush during the holidays, businesses should be ready in case there are incidents that come out of nowhere. The coronavirus pandemic serves as an example that every business should always have a backup plan for the backup plan. Business continuity and disaster recovery management is one way to go about this. A commonplace situation is not being liquid enough, thus potentially endangering an organization when it can’t cover the necessary expenses and costs to operate.

Keep old clients and meet new ones

And lastly, it helps to be reminded that while your business page or website gets visited daily by a mixed bag of repeat and possibly new customers, it is always more affordable and cost-effective to make a sale to old clients, as opposed to closing a new one. Do show your loyal guys some love by sending an email for a voucher or a promo code. Sincerity in taking care of your long-time clients goes a long way

Businesses and marketers should understand the bigger picture: that while projections can tell us that the economy bouncing back is inevitable, your customers will always be more than just a percentage, or some number in your excel sheet. Plan ahead, revisit existing strategies, include email marketing in the campaign, be a beacon of hope, be prepared for any situation, and engage your audience — these are just a few tips for an effective digital marketing campaign this holiday season. Don’t forget to communicate consistently, and talk to your audience the same way you would want yourself to be considered in the conversation about your products or services.

A New Age for Digital Solutions

As of September 2020, with more than 85 percent of Filipinos on Facebook, and around 64 percent of these people spending more time on social media platforms, a business has everything to gain with hardly anything to lose by increasing their online presence. To be available on the internet these days is nearly just as good as having a physical store. The challenge here, however, is that your competitors are online as well. What gives you the upper hand? Allow us to help you focus on your goals. Contact us today!