The calendar year is quickly wrapping up, and marketers are doing a little last-minute shopping for 2021 revenue while also ramping up for a prosperous 2022. As the holiday hustle and bustle begins and decorations get hung in our homes and offices, EVP of Client Service and Planning Mike Stopper plans to get us all in the spirit right away with his list of country holiday hits, Vol. 16: Yuletide, Y’all.
The holiday season truly is “the most wonderful time of the year” for retailers. After all, most retailers make 30% of their annual sales in the remaining few weeks of the year, according to the National Retail Federation. For B2B companies, however, the holidays tend to be more humbug than ho-ho-ho.
That’s because at this point of the year, most buyers have spent their annual budgets. Others may be settling in for a long winter’s nap following their travels during the fall trade show season. Still others are focused on plans for next year, not signing new deals this year. And if not for those reasons, the remaining are taking unused vacation or simply too busy with the hustle and bustle of the holidays to worry about finding new suppliers or partners.
Whatever the reason, B2B marketing can be a real challenge during the holiday season. But just because it may feel like a silent night by B2B buyers, sellers should use this precious time to do the little things that often get back-burnered during the year.
The following tips are inspired by classic holiday tunes, as we offer suggestions on what can be done before we all sing “Auld Lang Syne” and begin another busy year.
Americans are still buying 6 billion Christmas cards per year, according to USA Today. So tap into the age-old tradition and write a personal letter, email, or LinkedIn message to your current customers, top prospects, and partners. Let them know how much their partnership and patronage mean to you.
Makin’ a List, Checkin’ It Twice
On Hubspot, on Salesforce, on Nimble, and Apptivo! It’s easy to fall behind on your CRM updates during the business year. Use the 12 days of Christmas to tidy up your contacts, import new ones, install the platform on both your desktop and mobile, and ensure you’ve made all operating updates to ensure you’ll go down in history this next sales year.
Do You Hear What I Hear?
Time is incredibly precious during the year. But as things quiet down around the office, wherever that office may be, take some time to listen to a new business podcast, or listen to a podcast for the first time. The majority of podcasts fall in the 30- to 70-minute range and can help provide inspiration and instruction in your business life. Need a suggestion? Here are a few business podcasts Forbes currently recommends.
The Nice List
Surfing the internet for more than Cyber Monday deals is completely acceptable this time of year. In fact, it’s the perfect time for adding new people to your prospect list. Conduct searches on LinkedIn based on criteria like job title, company size, department, etc. Peek at who follows your competition. And think about whether your product or service might solve a problem in a non-traditional industry.
Said Many Times, Many Ways
You have more time on your business hands, so use it to learn something new. Read as many business blogs and articles as possible and pass that learning on by posting it on your LinkedIn feed. Better yet, write a blog of your own on a topic. Like you, your customers have time on their hands in between bowl games to gain additional business knowledge and insights.
The New Old-Fashioned Way
With the new year around the corner, it’s important to contemplate your personal goals for 2022. How can you be a better coworker, partner, and person? How do you achieve the coveted work-life balance? What does success truly look like for you? Take this quiet time to reflect on what you want to do in your professional and personal life to truly be happy.
As you utilize these tips during the holiday season, might we suggest a playlist to play in the background? Let’s rock around the Christmas tree with our new Spire on Spotify playlist from Mike Stopper.
Stopper, what is the name of your album?
I’m calling Spire’s newest playlist Vol. 16: Yuletide, Y’all. It’s a compilation of my festive faves with a Southern drawl that pair perfectly with the holiday spirit, a festive fire, flannel shirts, and a highball of spiked egg nog.
How would you describe this mix?
It is a merry mix of current and classic country artists. The Carols of Christmas Past are delivered by artists like George Strait, Steve Wariner, and Willie Nelson, while the Carols of Christmas Present are sung by folks like Kacey Musgraves, Jake Owen, and Florida-Georgia Line. It’s sure to put you in the holiday spirit with nearly three hours of tunes with twang.
What was the inspiration behind it?
Anyone who knows me knows that I absolutely love Christmas. I’m full-on Clark Griswold, though I looked more like Ralphie from A Christmas Story growing up. We’re “that family” that puts up Christmas decorations immediately after taking down Halloween décor. This is the playlist I listen to while putting up holiday décor.
What is your favorite song, and why?
It’s hard not to smile and do a little jolly jig when listening to “Christmas Cookies” by George Strait. The song is about a loving husband and wife baking, you guessed it, Christmas cookies. The lyrics start off with, “I sure do like those Christmas cookies, sugar. I sure do like those Christmas cookies, babe.”
Ironically, I heard this song for the first time while my wife and I were actually baking Christmas cookies. The lyrics to the song continue with, “Every time she sticks another batch in the oven / There’s 15 minutes for some kissin’ and a’huggin’ / That’s why I eat Christmas cookies all year long!” This song has always had a special place in our holiday hearts.
Strangely enough, the song can only be found on compilation albums rather than any of the four Christmas albums released by King George. It was first on A Country Christmas in 1999, then A Country Superstar Christmas III in 2000. The song rose as high as #29 on the Billboard Hot 100, and it has been named the #10 country Christmas song of all time by Taste of Country.
If your playlist was a brand, what would it be and why?
My favorite holiday cheer beer is Saint Arnold Ye Olde Christmas Ale. It’s a rich, copper-colored, hearty ale perfect for the holiday season with a malty sweetness and spicy hop character. It also happens to be brewed at Texas’ oldest craft brewery, the Saint Arnold Brewing Company in Houston. And a little tree-trimming tidbit: Saint Arnold is the patron saint of beer in Catholicism, bearing a striking resemblance to Santa himself, Saint Nicholas.
Any specific memory that comes to mind when you listen?
Not necessarily a specific memory, but it does get me in a merry mood. Our decorations are up, but we’re on the brink of watching Elf, A Christmas Story, It’s A Wonderful Life, and a slew of Hallmark Channel movies. Cookies, candies, and tons of great holiday cooking are about to heat up. And it’s about to be around-the-clock Christmas songs at home, in our car and yes…at Spire. The holiday season excites me every year.
What makes your playlist unique?
The playlist is always going to evolve and grow. There are new artists each year that burst on the scene, and it’s only a matter of time before they mix in a few holiday hits. My playlist will never have repeat songs on it, so only my favorite composition of the song will remain on the list. Thus, competition is fierce to remain my fa-la-la fave.