Time for Holiday Marketing

A guest post from colleague Ray Braun, a graphic designer based in the Emerald City.

By Ray Braun
Copyright © Ray Braun. Used with permission.

Autumn is here and you know what that means: the winter holidays aren’t far away. For many businesses, it means end-of-year sales activity. For nonprofits, it means holiday appeal letters and special event announcements.

RayBraunDesignMy father was a photographer who ran three photo studios in southern Idaho and Oregon. He had his own business for over 65 years! He told me that half of his business occurred in the last three months of the year. I suspect that may be true for other businesses and nonprofits, as well.

Now is the perfect time to begin planning and executing your fall/winter holiday promotions. You don’t want your messages to get lost in the avalanche of other communications and distractions at the end of the year.

It takes time to convert your ideas into a finished marketing piece. For example, I recommend four to six weeks to create a printed piece from concept to postal mailbox.

Key Questions

1. What are your plans for a brochure, ad, mailing, calendar or signage that needs to be done?
2. Do you need to announce any upcoming events?
3. How soon do ads or announcements need to happen?
4. Have you written out specific deadlines and due dates?

The above questions are a great start.

To get a free marketing/project calendar for planning purposes, send an email to Ray Braun Design or call us at 206-789-2723.

Ray Braun Design is an award-winning graphic design firm located in Seattle, Washington.


5 Worst Excuses for Not Having a Mobile Friendly Website

By Kirsti Scott
Copyright © Scott Design. Used with permission.

We feel pretty strongly that you should make sure your website is mobile friendly, so visitors have a great experience no matter their screen size. What’s your excuse for not getting your site ready for mobile visitors?

Here are our top 5 worst excuses:

1. You’re pretty sure this mobile thing is just a fad that will blow over soon. If your favorite sayings include “Let’s not rock the boat” or “Because that’s the way we have always done it,” then you probably shouldn’t make any changes to your site.

2. You and your customers are exactly the same when it comes to mobile use, and you don’t even have a smart phone. In fact, your idea of modern technology is the fax machine in the corner of your office. “Hey, you kids! Get your smart phones off my yard!”

3. You are only after the 10% of users who don’t use their phones or tablets to access the web. The other 90%? They can just wait until they get back to their desk to see your content, which is more convenient for you, after all.

4. You have more customers than you can handle. You don’t need any more of those educated, affluent smart phone users. Start getting that “mobile friendly” designation from Google and you might be overrun with customers finding you online.

5. Your website was state-of-the-art when you updated it five years ago. You’re pretty sure it can go another three years before you have to do an update. Kind of like that cool flip phone you have from 2010.

If these are the excuses keeping you from updating your website, it’s probably time that you finally make your website mobile-friendly. And while you’re at it, be sure to update your emails so the half of your subscribers who read emails on their phones and tablets have a great experience, too.

Seriously, whether your organization is B2C, B2B, nonprofit, or government, mobile devices are increasingly the place your audience will interact with your website. There’s no excuse for ignoring your growing mobile audience.

(Stats on smart phone use: Pew Research Center’s U.S. Smartphone Use in 2015)

Scott Design helps innovative companies reach their audiences through mobile friendly websites, emails, online apps and integrated marketing campaigns. It works with industry leaders, including Adobe, Autodesk and Intuit, as well as with mid-size organizations and nonprofits.

Make It Easy for Target Audience

I once interviewed a salesman named Jim who had made 75,000 sales calls in his 43-year career with a large chemical distribution company. I asked him if any sales calls stood out.

“The first four calls I made when I started on August 20, 1962,” he said. “One fellow told me, ‘If you make it easy for me to buy, I will buy from you.’ I said, ‘I’ll make it as easy as I can.'”

Jim went on to say he was still selling to all four accounts, which were worth millions in annual sales.

Jim’s story is a good reminder of the power of making it easy for your target audience. It can take many forms: making it easy to notice and read marketing communications, respond to a call to action, request more information, make a donation, or buy a product or service. It’s one of the most critical things to consider when adopting a strategy.