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Can Miracles Happen in the Stretch Run?

December 7, 2020
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We are in the Stretch Run.  

The last part of the race.

The last chance to make up for the challenges experienced in 2020.  

The last opportunity to reach your goals and set up a strong start to 2021.

To be very specific, the stretch run is October 1st – December 31st

Can miracles happen in the stretch run?

This ongoing pandemic has had crippling effects on businesses around the world. It’s easy to reflect on what’s happened this year and get filled with feelings of frustration, and uncertainty for what lies ahead. The loss of revenue is tough to overcome. As the fastest growing digital marketing agency in San Diego, we’re here to offer our most helpful tips and recommendations for the stretch run. 

The Stretch Run is Exactly Where We Make Up for the Shortfall.

Don’t forget to revisit last year’s stretch run information and remember the sales records shattered during the holiday season. It doesn’t matter what’s going on in the world, these events will never be shut down. Events like Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Holidays like Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years’.  

Consumers feel the best during this part of the year. It’s when we celebrate family and friends.  It’s when we rush to get all the goals we had on our lists accomplished and cross off the open items on our budget. It’s when we make sure our year ends on a positive note.  

Here are a few sales records from last year’s Black Friday sale:

  • 30% of all retail sales occur from Black Friday until Christmas. (30-day window)
  • $2.9 billion worth of Black Friday sales happened through mobile phones.
  • Black Friday 2019 saw 93.2 million buyers shopping online. 
  • Black Friday online shopping sales hit $7.4 billion, which is an all-time high.
  • About 40% of shoppers made online purchases on Black Friday 2019
  • On Thanksgiving, digital sales in the U.S. rose 17% to $4.1 billion; 65% of all digital orders came through a smartphone. 

From a business standpoint, it’s during these last few months that we bring in over 60% of our annual revenues. When you consider that this occurs over less than 60 business days, (not taking holiday vacations into account), it’s quite an achievement.  

So can miracles happen during the stretch run?

With the right plan, absolutely.  

There are key actions you can take during this year’s stretch run to not only make up for the shortfall caused by the pandemic, but also set yourself up for a strong start to 2021.

Here are 4 Tips to Get the Most Out of the Stretch Run

Tip #1: Leverage social proof inside of your marketing strategy

We as consumers are influenced by reviews. Think about the last five purchases you’ve made.  What helped push you over the edge? A salesperson? Probably not. It was most likely the reviews you read on the internet.  

We do this with Yelp on restaurant reviews. Have bad ratings? We’ll look for another place to eat. We do this on Amazon product and book reviews. What do people say about the book?  Too many bad reviews? We will skip it and look for another.  

Reviews, or social proof, are a major part of our decision-making process. Based on consumer studies conducted, it was found that 91% of young consumers trust and rely on reviews for when making new purchases. We know companies are going to be spending money during this stretch run. Are you making your offering stand out?  Make sure you are bringing social proof into your marketing strategy.

Tip #2: Position your offerings as a must purchase in 2020

How could you position your offerings to the deals that stalled or went dead throughout 2020?  

How could you position your offerings to the new customer coming on board?

How could you position your offerings to the current customer you want to sell more services to?

With positioning, it’s important to showcase what you sell as an irresistible offer during the stretch run. Don’t sell the way you’ve been selling all year.  

Remember the big events coming up like Black Friday and Cyber Monday. People plan on making their purchases on those dates because they are expecting an unbelievable deal!  

Consumers are expecting a great deal. You want them to brag after moving forward with your company by saying things like, “See, I told you we would get the best deal if we waited until the end of the year.”  

Well, it’s the end of the year, and your last chance to make them say that, so position your offerings accordingly.  

Tip #3: Build in balance with your team

This year has been a mentally challenging one for all of us. There’s a feeling of wanting to finish the year in a great place. Whether it’s based out of pride, achievement, or survival, we can’t overlook it.

Leadership teams need to be careful how they strategically use these feelings to motivate the organization, as it could cause an unusual amount of pressure on their employees and add on to the stress that’s already come from the pandemic.  

The way to do this is to proactively mix in balance with the employees. Find out what days they want to take off for the holidays. Build in the fun. Post that stretch run schedule to keep everyone seeing the breaks in the action, the celebrations of achievement, and team building. Build in the “work hard, play hard” mentality. That means choosing in advance all the ways to “play hard.”  

Tip #4: Track all activity and customer data

Imagine it’s January of 2021. You had the best stretch run of your company history and you managed to finish the year on a high note.  

Now you’re looking at Q1. You built momentum in the final part of the year and you need to find a way to continue it.  

What’s the easiest way to do that?

With data. If you collected the most helpful information during the stretch run, what would it be?

The opportunities your company will be involved in over the next 60 business days will be filled with key information you could use to close business next year.  You must capture as much information as you can. Your marketing engine needs to direct as many new interested clients as they can into the top of the funnel.  

Your sales team needs to record their detailed activity into CRM. Your sales team needs to record those conversations. Your sales team needs to make those connections on LinkedIn.  Your sales team needs to fill out that qualifying questionnaire.  

The little things. That data is what you will lean on as you move into 2021. That data is what you will mine and target moving forward.  

There will be exciting wins during the stretch run, no doubt. However, don’t lose sight of the little things or you will feel it in January.  

The stretch run is a magical time.  

You should expect miracles.  

How substantiation that miracle is, depends entirely on the strategy you put in place.  

Now turn on that holiday music, and get after it!

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