The Do's and Don'ts of Holiday Planning | Watermark Water Cooler
Cameron: Hello. Welcome to the Watermark Water Cooler. I'm here with Heathe and we are talking about the holidays, obviously, with... I got the I got the Carlton on.
Heathe: Yeah. We got the Santa hats.
Cameron: Yeah. Santa hats on. So Heathe, welcome to the Watermark Water Cooler. How are you? You've been on the show before so tell us a little bit about what you do and who you are.
Heathe: Basically, I take clients under my wing and bring them into Watermark and make sure that they have everything that they want done, done... With extra panache.
Cameron: Yeah, I like that. With extra panache, cause that I think that describes you, Heathe, that little extra to make sure people feel welcome and taken care of. Taken care of, I like it.
Heathe: I should have worn my cape.
Cameron: So, you know, we're talking about holidays and that is vastly approaching. You know, it's not that far away. And so we're trying to get you thinking about that as our audience. We know that that's coming up and sometimes we tend to put that off and then it becomes this holiday campaign that's like, oh, gosh, I got to get this taken care of.
And um, so that being said, Heathe, tell me a little bit about, you know, why this is important for you and your position.
Heathe: Right. Well, so you know, for some people who are interested in holidays, like a holiday campaign, we would really want to get them to start thinking about it in August or early September in order to make plans and preparations. Now, holidays can mean the December months, but then again, if you're a business wanting to give thanks to customers, I mean, I've worked at a company where we gave out Thanksgiving greetings and it really just made sense for business.
Maybe, for example, Coca-Cola with the polar bears. One of the things that brought people close to that was the fact that you were using pets, you know, concepts of using pets and children and things around that for the holidays are probably a good way to capture people's hearts.
Cameron: So on the corporate side of things, obviously holiday giving gives you an opportunity to thank your clients and to make that connection with them. You know, I’ll use ourselves as an example, We have always given back to some charity and it goes to our core value of how we talk about better together all the time as a core value.
And so, you know, we always base our campaign around some charity that is local for us here in Colorado. And whether that's... we've done the bees and tried to protect the bees. We've done stuff for Dress for Success, for women to be able to get into the workplace who maybe not... don't have to luck at the time to have the money to go buy an outfit for that interview.
Cameron: We've done stuff for helping LGBTQ people get work in coffee and some people like that that were struggling to get a job and give them an opportunity. So we just did that last year. You know, all those things are great for making a connection between us and the community and us and our clients. How have you seen that that's been successful for you in a sales role?
Heathe: Well, in the way that we give, I think that gone is the day where you give out extravagant gifts to clients no matter how much they spend with you because it's considered not to be the right thing to do. And I think that they love the fact that we combine it with community. I think our first one was a basket with a Watermark mug and Colorado products.
Cameron: Yeah, that’s right.
Heathe: It was Boulder chips and Celestial Seasonings tea. And we got great reviews on that because also everything happened to be gluten-free and I have a couple of gluten-free clients, so that worked out really well.
Cameron: I like that too because it's like mindfulness of who your who this campaign is for, what your giving is for. Who is the audience... who are you doing that for?
Heathe: Right. You're doing it for everybody, but do it for your client. You do it for the fact that you're helping the community and it helps us connect with our clients on a different level sometimes for that holiday feeling.
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If any of these resonate with you, I highly encourage you to click the description below and join us on this learning journey. I look forward to seeing you there. So I just want to think about some of the steps of things that we've done for our campaigns and what planning should look like. You know, there's an email that we typically build that goes out to everybody as well.
There are some print materials usually that are involved with why are you doing what you're doing and tying that giving back. There's the logistics piece of getting it delivered to people. Which is always, always fun and always feels like for us the last minute but we're trying to we're trying to do some things this year to get even ahead of it. And that's why we're talking to now, because we're like, well, we do this for ourselves and get on top of it now, maybe this will be a little reminder for everybody else to get you thinking about your holiday campaign, what you’re going to do for your clients now.
Heathe: Right. We do e-cards for clients. You know, we can do things that go back to them maybe purchasing something through, you know, a QR code, you know, all sorts of things that are digitally related and we can make it happen.
Cameron: And fulfilling that... We've also experienced, by the way, some things that we've had issues with, I'll share with you. The fulfillment of the actual gift... The sooner you get it done because we've unfortunately had several times where the vendor messed up.
Heathe: Right, and we had to reorder.
Cameron: Yeah. And then it was like a problem, right? Right. Like, oh my gosh, this is wrong. And by the time we got it, because we were probably a little too late in the game, then we had to reorder to get it fixed. That took time. So I think those are logistics and also like preplanning ahead of time enough to make sure that if something does happen, it could be corrected in time.
I think another kind of really interesting thing about this, the digital side of things, is there's been a couple of years where we tried the giving back into like a landing page and we asked people to, Hey, take a picture of yourself, get it back onto our landing page, and you know, for every one of those pictures they got up, we gave an extra donation or something like that.
So I think there's a lot of digital things you can do as well to try and connect back to your client and those campaigns.
Heathe: And something that they'd be interested in taking advantage of once you, you know, gift them the token gift. If you do decide to do something like a food card, though, make sure that it's generic for anywhere, because you don't necessarily only have clients in your backyard, it might be across the country. So you want to choose something, you know, popular but also well-received.
Cameron: Was, you know, is there anything else that from your experience that you... some areas where people could get tripped up?
Heathe: I think that sometimes too many chefs in the kitchen can be a challenge because you have to come to a consensus and a direction. And the more people you have involved, sometimes the harder that is. So choose a committee, you know, give, give options. Hopefully, all of them are effective. And if you don't do the one that you really want this year, well, maybe you propose it for the next year.
Cameron: Yeah. Yeah. It can get emotionally tied to what, you know... and we talk about this sometimes here at Watermark. Like, hey there's some executive level decisions and then there's some like choose by committee decisions. So make sure you've identified those decision makers and understand what their final say is and what the hey, this can get voted on and it is not going to affect it if...You know, if you picked this one thing or that thing, it's... the campaign is not going to be affected.
Heathe: It's also great if you know kind of a budget range that you have to work with.
Heathe: Whether it's electronic, whether it's a gift, whether it's print or a combination thereof to be able to provide the optimal opportunity to communicate with their client base or their customer base.
Cameron: And I think that can work internally. Set yourself a budget. Or if you're working with an agency, Hey, you set that budget to help them to be able to either get more creative because they have to figure out with a limited budget what they can do or they have a bigger budget, gives them the freedom to maybe do more things like we're saying it could be a digital, gift, a follow-up. There could be a bunch of different paths that could go down instead of it just being like, Oh, we're just giving something and that's it.
Cameron: I think I think the big thing here is to really start planning. I think that's that's probably the main theme of our conversation plan now, make it easy for yourself down the road because there are going to be hiccups. There's going to be something that doesn't go right.
Heathe: We started talking about ours about five weeks ago and our intention is to do thanks for Thanksgiving, but if it doesn't work, we can easily shift it into December. So that's another smart move.
Cameron: Yeah, that’s not the plan, but yeah... We did a little bit of a shift here. Like we're saying, we're going to try and do a Thanksgiving piece to try and beat all the other stuff.
Heathe: Right, be the first out of the box.
Cameron: Yeah. So maybe we'll be remembered a little bit there. But yeah, so we covered a lot of stuff, a lot of important parts and pieces. Obviously, if you have any questions about holiday campaigns, you know, we've got a team here that would love to help you with that. Or we can reply in the chat.
Heathe: Ask us questions.
Cameron: Yeah, there you go. And happy holidays, early, from us here at Watermark.