Looking for marketing ideas to boost engagement and sales via your ecommerce store? As a small business owner, you’re no doubt always keen to take advantage of new trends and test out new ideas.
However, sometimes it’s worth looking to tried and true marketing tactics and proven consumer behaviour so you can spend less time racking your brain for viral ideas, and more time putting marketing into action to achieve results.
To help you out, we’ve compiled a list of key marketing dates and times of the year to plan around that are specific to New Zealand. Choose the ones that are relevant to your customers or your products, and set a reminder in your calendar at least one month prior to the date to start planning your marketing activities for the occasion. Repeat next year (with a fresh twist), and the next, and the next!
For each date, we’ve included a marketing campaign idea to get your creative juices flowing. You can build this out into an integrated campaign across all of your channels to remain consistent wherever your customers are interacting with you.
For each campaign, think about what your objective is and make sure your marketing activities align with that. Do you want to make sales, collect customer email addresses, create engagement on social media or earn some media coverage? Whatever your goals may be, these dates and ideas are a great place to start!
The NZ holidays and dates covered in this guide (with 2017 dates):
- Mother’s Day, 14 May: See Mother’s Day marketing ideas
- Father’s Day, 3 September: See Father’s Day marketing ideas
- Halloween, 31 October: See Halloween marketing ideas
- Click Monday, dates tbc, mid to late November: See Click Monday marketing ideas
- Black Friday, 24 November: See Black Friday marketing ideas
- Cyber Monday, 27 November: See Cyber Monday marketing ideas
- The Christmas period: See Christmas marketing ideas
- The New Year period: See New Year marketing ideas
- Valentine’s Day: See Valentine’s Day marketing ideas
- Local and National events: See event-based marketing ideas
- School Holidays/Back to School (various dates throughout the year): See school holiday and back to school marketing ideas
- Trade shows and consumer expos (various dates throughout the year): See trade show and consumer expo marketing ideas
- The seasons (various dates throughout the year): See seasonal marketing ideas
Mother’s Day (14 May) & Father’s Day (3 September)
Would your products make the perfect gift? Then Mother’s Day and Father’s Day are key dates to plan for – especially as they are key spending dates for NZ consumers. In fact, mums come out on top here, with shoppers spending twice as much on a gift for Mother’s Day than Father’s Day! For your marketing, run a giveaway that requires people to share something nice about their mum or dad to be in the draw to win a prize for themselves and their respective parent.
Halloween (31 October)
If you sell a specific set of products for Halloween, no doubt this date is already marked on your calendar! If not, you can still get involved by creating a Halloween-themed campaign that ties your products in. “Spookify” your site with themed graphics, create a video or simply a Halloween-themed landing page to send visitors to during your campaign.
E-commerce Shopping Days:
Click Monday (NZ only, dates tbc, usually mid to late November)
Black Friday (24 November)
Cyber Monday (27 November)
Start the holiday shopping season with a bang by planning for these 3 huge online sale days. Sceptical about the success you’ll get? Check out these impressive 2016 Black Friday and Cyber Monday stats as reported by Econsultancy, such as a 220% increase in traffic when compared to a normal day.
Click Monday is the New Zealand equivalent of these digital retail frenzies, more on this is explained in our guest blog post Is New Zealand’s Click Monday Here To Stay?
The traffic and revenue generated on these days is hard to ignore, so get in on the action by holding your own online sale. Front your campaign with a loss leader – a single product so heavily discounted (which you’re therefore making a loss on) that shoppers would be crazy to not click through to your website to see the full sale.
Your campaign is by no means limited to these single days, we suggest building up to it throughout the whole month of November, and planning activities across email, social, and mobile. For more recommendations on how to make the most of New Zealand’s biggest online sales day, see our Click Monday for Small Businesses guide.
Seeing as Christmas shopping can start as early as October, starting your planning one month out from Christmas Day definitely won’t work here. The key to a successful festive marketing campaign is to plan early and think big. Start by publishing a Christmas gift guide article early on to build up a ranking in Google for keywords related to your products and services. Remember as an online store you need people to be purchasing much earlier than physical retail to ensure you can deliver the presents in time! Make sure to notify customers of Christmas online order deadlines.
The New Year Period
Are your products or services the perfect companion for achieving new year’s resolutions? Run a social campaign that gets customers to share a photo of them using your product to reach their goals. This will create a positive buzz around your products, plus a bunch of user-generated content for you to share! Include a branded hashtag and get them to tag your social pages in their posts.
Valentine’s Day (14 February)
With sentimental spending up 17% since 2014 and men and women expected to spend on average $157 and $103 respectively on a Valentine’s Day gift for their significant other (both stats according to Mastercard’s latest Consumer Purchasing Priorities Survey), it’s no surprise that Valentine’s Day is an important marketing date. Take advantage of customers that already love your products by sending out a Valentine’s themed e-newsletter with some irresistible product offers. Follow this up with a reminder email a few days before the 14th (but with enough time for you to ship your products) as this holiday is renowned for last-minute gift grabbing. How romantic.
Local & National Events
Do a quick Google search for events happening in your area that align well with your business, and add them to your calendar. You could contact the event hosts to become a sponsor, even if it’s in a small way. It could earn you some valuable media coverage, and brand awareness or product placement at the event. Otherwise, take the guerrilla marketing approach and piggy-back off the event by doing your own thing, for example attract some attention with limited edition packaging.
School Holidays/Back to School – New Zealand Dates
Term 1 holidays: 14 April to 30 April
Term 2 holidays: 8 July to 23 July
Term 3 holidays: 30 September to 15 October
Term 4 holidays: 21 December to 7 February
Parents are always searching for school holiday activities and ideas, plus back to school bargains. Help them in their search by running a highly targeted and relevant paid search marketing campaign during these times.
Trade Shows & Consumer Expos
Exhibit at trade shows (B2B) or consumer expos (B2C) to boost brand awareness and talk face-to-face with customers. Prepare a product demonstration or video, and have something of value that people can take away with them. Also create a reason for them to leave something behind – their email address. This could be to sign up for an exclusive offer, a webinar, or a follow-up event.
The Seasons: Summer, Autumn, Winter, Spring
The seasons are a great way to re-fresh your marketing each quarter and keep customers interested in coming back for more. Run a seasonal featured product campaign to give customers an insight into which products you use or how you use them during a particular time of the year. Alternatively, create a new season sneak peek campaign to build anticipation for new products being released each season.
What other dates throughout the year are important for your marketing calendar and how do you plan for them? Let us know in the comments!