Chat with any old time marketer and they’ll tell you that back in the day they’d work so late into the night and through weekends that their wives and kids would barely recognize them (on those rare instances that they’d actually see them). These memories may be of the “we’d walk to school 20 miles in the snow, uphill both ways” category as there were more than enough three martini lunches and midday golf games in the Mad Men era. As conventional marketing evolved into the online form, computerization and other forms of automation have made marketing a more streamlined activity, but it has brought new descriptions for “working hours.” Online marketers must now accept that their omnipresent smartphones have them plugged into the minutiae of their campaigns 24 hours a day and this new description of ‘round the clock work extends through any holiday periods as well.
The Whos of Whoville Are Not the Average Americans
The Whos of Whoville spend their holidays holding hands around a huge Christmas tree and singing Whosongs, but that idealized image does not necessarily reflect the actual holidays as experienced by most Americans these days. The holidays are now a flurry of consumerism and as an online marketer you’re on the receiving end of even greater amounts of data that needs to be processed and analyzed than you would be in a “regular working” period. Online marketers have little choice but to work through holidays, and it doesn’t have to be a pathetic and lonely experience. You can master the art of working through the holidays while still participating in the best of the season so that you will not turn into a Grinch with a heart two sizes too small.
Gain Perspective from Friends & Family
The holidays offer an opportunity for you to interact with friends and family who you might not see as often as you might want and to gain a perspective from them that will be worlds away from what you will experience from your colleagues. These are people who do not have a vested interest in your brand and can provide you invaluable insight into aspects of marketing that you might not even have fathomed. This is not to say that you should buttonhole Aunt Gladys to get her to post a favorable review of your new electron microscope backscatter detector, but you can gain critical information from just about anyone about the more generic factors that drive their consumer decisions.
Conduct a Thought Experiment as a Customer
Taking time to actually reflect on the overall trends in your marketing campaigns is also a worthwhile activity to get involved in during the holiday season. Instead of wringing your hands ad infinitum as to how Lovie Smith could get fired from the Chicago Bears head coaching job after an enviable season resulting in a 10 and 6 record, turn off the noise and think long and hard about the bigger picture of your brand marketing, what it means to the company and most importantly what it means to your customers. Place yourself in the position of your customer and look at your branding from a completely different angle. It’s a thought experiment that is perfect to do over the holidays and can provide considerable advantages to your entire marketing strategy.
“Moderation in all things including moderation” is a superlative policy to adopt during the holidays. You can balance out the time and resource requirements of your marketing campaigns through the holidays with the prerequisite necessity to interact with friends and relatives. You can even go overboard just a little bit on some aspects every once in a while since it’s the holidays and you’re not expected to toe the narrow line. Consider it a bit like the Christmas Party Punch Bowl. As long as you’re not driving home, no one is going to fault you for going back for one too many dips into that scarlet nectar. Working hard through the holidays to keep both your online marketing efforts progressing as well as your social obligations will unwaveringly result in a truly successful and meaningful holiday season.