The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA


November 23, 2013

DAVE MASTOVICH | Making your season merry

JOHNSTOWN — With six fewer days between Thanksgiving and Christmas than last year, retailers moved into full holiday marketing mode earlier than ever. The creative onslaught of promotions from national business to consumer (B2C) companies started before Halloween.

How can you and your company benefit from the holiday marketing strategies of big retailers?

1. Develop seasonal product offerings: If Pringles can feature seasonal flavors of its canned chips such as White Chocolate Peppermint Crisps, why can’t you create a holiday themed product or service? It doesn’t have to take a huge investment. Make minor tweaks and promote it as a holiday or new year offering.

2. Repackage your look and feel: Kraft added a holiday twist to its iconic mac and cheese with winter shapes that look like candy canes, snowflakes and stockings. Your repackage won’t be as dramatic but the end result could be the same: a holiday buzz and increased sales.

3. Offer special holiday pricing: Wal-Mart started offering Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals right after Halloween. Target’s Holiday Price Match program matches any price from,, and for qualifying items. Build your holiday price promotion and tell your prospects and customers about it.

4. Create memorable promotions: Starbucks launched its holiday campaign that includes seasonal beverages in red cups. Nothing signals the holidays are just around the corner like the return of Starbucks Red Cups is the company’s mantra in PR and advertising messages. You won’t have the budget or audience that Starbucks does but you can still create a holiday promotion to reach your target audience.

5. Reach captive holiday audiences: The National Basketball Association (NBA) realized a void in holiday sports programming existed and took advantage of it. The Christmas Day broadcast is the first nationally televised game of the season and showcases the NBA’s biggest stars. Lebron James, Kobe Bryant, Kevin Durant and Derrick Rose can all be in our homes for the holiday. Think of how your message can reach your target markets during the holiday season. Leverage that captive audience to change your bottom line.

Whether you’re a B2B or B2C that markets locally, regionally or nationally, you can make your holiday season merry with a creative integrated marketing approach.

David M. Mastovich, MBA is President of MASSolutions, an integrated marketing firm based in Pittsburgh focused on improving the bottom line for clients through creative selling, messaging and PR solutions. He's also author of "Get Where You Want To Go: How to Achieve Personal and Professional Growth Through Marketing, Selling and Story Telling." For more information, go to


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