Labor Day just passed, which means we’re about to tumble through the holidays and wind down the remaining months of 2011. And although you may not be picking out place settings for your Thanksgiving dinner just yet, it’s impossible to ignore these upcoming occasions – especially since retailers are only too happy to move their next-soonest-holiday merchandise to the front windows as soon as the last one passes. It’s just the start of September, but any day now you’ll be surrounded by bright orange pumpkins. The reason this occurs is because these businesses are trying to make the most money possible with each bankable holiday.

Here are just a few things to think about if you’re seeking the smartest ways to capitalize on the upcoming fall/winter seasons:

  1. Individual consumers and corporations tend to spend more in this fiscal quarter (Oct. 1 – Dec. 31) than in other quarters.
  2. With the holidays approaching, people are already planning to purchase certain gifts and necessities. If you’re marketing one of these products, or a service that relates to them, the trick is to remind shoppers that they’re already probably going to buy it, and then gear your advertising toward why it should be you rather than your competition. Now is the time to market yourself as a necessity, not a novelty.
  3. The holidays bring a lot of pressure. People need to buy suitable gifts, make travel arrangements, etc. Make what you’re selling something that can ease the buyer’s burden, whether you demonstrate multiple ways your product can be used or multiple people in their circle (husband, father, boss) who might like it. Even a promotional discount that’s too good to pass up can alleviate time and money concerns for the prospective customer.
  4. This is the correct time of year to appeal to sentiment, but don’t go overboard.
  5. Plan ahead! If you haven’t solidified your end-of-the-year marketing plans yet, it’s not too late. Although you don’t want to start talking about New Year’s Eve in October, you do want to get started soon to succeed this season. Because it takes time for your marketing message to saturate your intended audience, you want to put your ads out there with enough time to have buyers come around to the idea of choosing you, while understanding all of the reasons why they should.

Just because South Florida only seems to have two seasons – Hurricane Season and Not Hurricane Season – doesn’t mean you can’t make the most of these upcoming fall and winter holidays, trends and sales slants. If it suits your message and brand, go for the snowy landscapes, sleigh bells and families by the fireplace. After all, it’s the snow birds coming home to roost that will help drive your ROI; and in the end, even Floridians dream of a White Christmas.