Ho ho ho, season’s greetings, Bon Noel. Three phrases that have been on the minds of marketing folk for months now; it’s any wonder we have an ounce festive spirit left by the time December comes around.
Still, here it is, as per annum, and whilst professional planning and preparation for Yuletide campaigns began back in summer (in fact we’re working on Christmas 2014 brochures right now!) it’s hard not to get into the swing of things once the lights are on. The problem is this industry never stops, meaning as the holidays approach freelance professionals and agencies alike are bound to feel the stress levels rising. It makes the pressure of fitting your shopping list into the few remaining retail days seem like a walk in the park.
Simply put, there’s always so much to do. We’re already coming up with cunning plans for next spring, and pitching for work much further into 2014 and beyond. Contracts need to be signed, with every i in sight dotted, and not a t left uncrossed. January is synonymous with cold weather and mild-to-moderate depression, but the first week or two can be problematic for more reasons than post-good time emotions.
If you’re lucky enough to have the Christmas stretch off then you’ll know exactly what we mean. Returning to work after New Year and the inbox is packed with unread messages. Most, of course, will be irrelevant drivel, churned out by auto bots, but nevertheless opening them all is a mammoth task alone. The point being that once we’re back in the office it’s a slow, drawn out slog getting back up to speed and resuming business as usual- hence the need to get things sorted before you shut up shop and reside yourself to a few days gorging on the couch.
And that’s for the lucky ones. Less fortunate are those who’ll be keeping the engine room running at a time traditionally supposed to be spent with family, friends and loved ones. Marketing offices are quieter places over the holidays, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t jobs to do and tasks that need urgent attention.
Even if you’re planning on working until Christmas Eve, and returning 28th December, there’s so much to do before the colleagues leave. The nature of this beast is team-focused, even when we work independently. The check list is chock full of emails that need a response, calls to return and pitches that must be approved before Santa comes to town. With this in mind, take heed of our five christmas online marketing tips and ensure nasty surprises are kept to a minimum.
Extend your daily working hours until Friday 20th December, maximising productivity in the run up to celebrations; clear the inbox every evening, marking messages that need attention tomorrow so it’s easier to see what needs to be done, and when.
Pick up the phone for urgent liaisons, rather than relying on emails; colleagues, clients and associates are drowning, rather than waving right now, so don’t sit back and expect a timely response to fall smoothly into the inbox. It won’t.
Unless something is truly urgent, avoid setting deadlines for the end of the month, or early January. Let’s be realistic, the public’s too busy to notice your efforts, and the quality of what’s produced is liable to drop when we’re rushing to turn something round.
Remember we’re all in the same boat. Piling on requests from in-house co-workers and external associates is a recipe for disaster. If you couldn’t get it done in time, chances are neither can they. Give clients a realistic timeframe, not optimistic hope.
Be sure to set aside a little time to rest, relax and make merry yourself; after all, it’s Christmas, and we all deserve to enjoy it.