With the holiday rush upon us and a new year quickly approaching, taking a moment to reflect on past victories and envisioning future endeavors is a welcome pause. Changing behavior, enacting new ideas and nurturing relationships should be at the forefront of all businesses this holiday season and into the new year. In fact, it is pretty much the story line for the redemption of infamous businessman Ebenezer Scrooge in Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol.
If you aren’t familiar with or need a refresher on the tale then here’s the lowdown. Scrooge was a shrewd businessman with a bad attitude who made his fortune managing a London accounting house. A full-fledged curmudgeon with quite a few nasty quirks like rudely hovering over stacks of coin, brow beating his sole employee Bob Cratchit, hoarding the office coal and frequently venturing on profanity laced tirades of “Bah!” and “Humbug!” To take it a a step further, he likened taking a vacation day for Christmas to picking a man’s pocket on every 25th of December. He was just not a pleasant fellow.
So if you’ve read all 5 staves of Dickens’ story you know that the seasonal carol is one of eventual redemption and positive change. Salvation comes to Scrooge only after a visit from the spirit of his former business partner, Jacob Marley and the help of the Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Future. In the end, Ebenezer realizes the error of his ways and makes wholesale changes to benefit his life, business and soul.
So how does Ebenezer’s metamorphosis help businesses this holiday season and through the new year? Check out this modern day business twist on Dickens’ plot for a few positive ideas.
Ebenezer thought his business acumen was flawless until one late winter evening when he was rudely awakened by three spectral business consultants. Scrooge spent the long night reviewing past business practices with the Ghost of Bad Decision Making, discussing current customer “Bah Humbugs” with the Ghost of Customer Experience and reviewing the coin stacks with the Ghost of Future Business. As a result of the impromptu and haunting strategic planning meeting, Scrooge realized it was time to implement some new business practices for the betterment of all. One of Scrooge’s ideas was to bring his marketing strategy out of the mid-19th century and into the 21st by embracing digital marketing and online marketing software.
So here is the no “Bah Humbug” about do-it-yourself online marketing software.
- Keep your coins stacked high. A few pennies per email vs. 49 cents per postage stamp, the choice is easy and Scrooge approved!
- Be forest friendly, go digital. Each year approximately 1.5 billion paper cards are sent over the holiday season in the U.S., which requires 300,000 new trees to be harvested per year.
- Show seasonal goodwill. Keep the mail carrier warm and out of blizzard temperatures this season by sending digital holiday greetings.
- Spread holiday cheer. Ensure your marketing employees can make it to the holiday party this year by giving them the gift of automated email list management and do-it-yourself email campaigns. If they are combing over spreadsheets and printing mailing labels they’ll certainly miss the holiday wassailing. And that’s not nice!
- Digital delivers. Digital greetings can be accessed anytime as 66 percent of all email in the US is now opened on smartphones or tablets and 34 percent on desktop. With holiday vacations and office closings, your paper greeting card might not be seen until after the New Year when everyone heads back from holiday.
So this season, spare yourself a midnight visit from those three creepy business consultants and use online marketing software for sending bulk holiday email greetings and managing festive company events.
“A merry Christmas, Bob!” said Scrooge, with an earnestness that could not be mistaken, as he clapped him on the back. “A merrier Christmas, Bob, my good fellow, than I have given you for many a year! I’ll raise your salary, and endeavour to assist your struggling family, and we will discuss your affairs this very afternoon, over a Christmas bowl of smoking bishop, Bob! Make up the fires, and buy another coal-scuttle before you dot another i, Bob Cratchit.”
Scrooge was better than his word. He did it all, and infinitely more; and to Tiny Tim, who did not die, he was a second father. He became as good a friend, as good a master, and as good a man, as the good old city knew, or any other good old city, town, or borough, in the good old world. Some people laughed to see the alteration in him, but he let them laugh, and little heeded them; for he was wise enough to know that nothing ever happened on this globe, for good, at which some people did not have their fill of laughter in the outset; and knowing that such as these would be blind anyway, he thought it quite as well that they should wrinkle up their eyes in grins, as have the malady in less attractive forms. His own heart laughed: and that was quite enough for him.
He had no further intercourse with Spirits, but lived upon the Total Abstinence Principle, ever afterwards; and it was always said of him, that he knew how to keep Christmas well, if any man alive possessed the knowledge. May that be truly said of us, and all of us! And so, as Tiny Tim observed, God Bless Us, Every One!
[image] Forbes.com, “Lead Like Scrooge: The Surprising Research Results”, 2014