It seems like only yesterday that we were blaming our rabid consumption of miniature candy bars on trick-or-treaters that never came.  Yet here we are, already making plans to ring in 2018.  Yes, we’ve passed our day of gratitude and pie and are now neck-deep in the festive holiday season.

Whether you celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanza or the Winter Solstice, we hope that, despite the holiday rush, you’re able to stop and appreciate the things that bring you joy and happiness. Below are a few things that are on our holiday “wish list” this and every year.

Customer Testimonials
Nine out of 10 mall Santas agree: A mom telling Santa that her child has been a good little boy or girl carries a lot more weight than that child’s own evaluation of his or her questionable behavior. Your customers feel the same. Endorsements from their peers are a lot more effective than flowery brochure copy or generic “we give great service” claims. Find out why testimonials are a valuable tool for business development.

Marketing Plans
In order for Santa to deliver toys to all the good boys and girls in one night, he must create, implement and adhere to a detailed logistics plan. Any deviation and he might skip Papa New Guinea altogether or run out of toys before he gets to Tonga. As a business with fewer resources and a lot less pixie dust than Santa, you must focus your limited resources on projects that will deliver the biggest results. Following a marketing plan enables you to prioritize and prevent distractions such as special media pricing or unsolicited input from a new board or team member from diverting your focus. As you measure results along the way, you can always fix what isn’t working. Here are 12 marketing missteps to avoid when creating your business plan.

CX Management and Measurement
How many times have you seen Santa listening to a child’s wish list and thought “great customer feedback?” Just me? Really? By listening to his customers, Santa is simply giving the people what they want – and keeping them coming back for more. And, no brand audit is necessary since his brand is solid: identifiable wardrobe, signature laugh, one-of-a-kind transportation and a gig that gets raves year after year from throngs of adoring fans. However, unlike Santa, you have competition and your customers aren’t nearly as loyal. A customer experience (CX) measurement and management program including a brand audit, customer surveys, and mystery shopping can help improve service delivery, heighten customer loyalty and drive repeat sales.

Imagine if Santa had to make all the toys himself. It’s exhausting just thinking about it. Fortunately, he understands the benefits of outsourcing his toy making to the elves. More and more companies are realizing the benefits of outsourcing services such as payroll and bookkeeping. And, for most small businesses, it makes sense to outsource their marketing as well. The benefits of outsourcing your marketing to a full-service agency include expert talent, significant cost-savings, and brand consistency. Plus, you also enjoy the convenience of a one-stop-shop v. multiple vendors.

Is your brand in need of some holiday cheer? Contact the branding elves at Electrum Branding for some brand magic.