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Holiday Messages Make a Significant Impact
By Norwin A. Merens, Managing Director, NM Marketing Communications

Whatever approach you take, the holidays are a great time to make an impression on your customers.

Christmas is a magical time for children. A recent promotion I received reminded me about the innocent wonder of children as they wait for the big day. The e-mail promotion offered an official, personalized letter from Santa for a mere $19.99. Santa's letter would also include a list of who was on Santa's "nice" list, reassuring the youngsters that there would be presents under the tree.

Children of a certain age certainly seemed thrilled to receive the letters, based on the website testimonials. I'm sure that even though the letter was unexpected, the message made an impact.

Thinking about Santa's letter made me wonder how may B2B customers look forward to your messages during the holidays. Since most B2B companies don't have a natural link to the holidays, they often cut back on marketing during this time of year. However, hibernating can be a mistake.

B2B marketers often reduce their efforts during the holidays because they believe executives and purchasing decision makers will be distracted by family celebrations, end-of-the year planning and similar events. Some recent research by Eloqua casts a new light on that thinking, at least as far as e-mail marketing is concerned.

As you would expect, B2C e-mail marketing jumped during November and December, while the number of messages declined for B2B. What's surprising, though, is that the B2B messages are more effective during the holidays. The number of page views for those messages takes a 13% jump in November and December when compared to the rest of the year. It's a good reminder that a properly focused message can have a great deal of impact when you'd least expect it.

In addition to maintaining ongoing marketing efforts, the holidays are a good time for a special message to customers or clients. It's another way to stay on their radar, thank them for their continued confidence in your product or service, and set the stage for a successful new year.

You holiday greeting can range from a simple, appropriate card to a more elaborate gift. Business gift giving can be tricky, so it requires some thought. A more generic gift - such as a fruit basket or box of candy - probably won't offend anyone. But it may be just one of many that your client receives. A more personalized gift will make a bigger impact. For example, a colleague of mine struck gold by giving a customer a stylized map of the customer's alma mater.

Whatever approach you take, it's clear that even in the B2B world, the holidays are a great time to make an impression on your customers.

Norwin A. Merens is managing director of Glenview, IL-based NM Marketing Communications, an integrated B2B marketing, public relations and trade show/ special events management firm. He may be reached by calling 847.657.6011 or at Find out more at

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