It’s that time of year again, when television commercials portray that holiday trope of people buying new cars for one another and presenting them in the driveway with a big, red bow. (One wonders, is the gift-giver picking up the car payments, or just putting down the deposit? What happens if the relationship breaks up before the loan is done? Who spends that much money without consulting their spouse? And where do you find a red bow that big?)

While people buying new cars for one another may be limited to a few very high-end dealerships in wealthy enclaves, the holidays do present other types of opportunities to car dealerships. Many people leave shopping for a car until the end of the year because they’re receiving holiday bonuses, and they may perceive that they’ll get better deals as dealers seek to clear out last year’s models. If you’re planning to be one of those dealerships offering end-of-year deals, it’s critical to start planning dealer marketing now. Competition is becoming increasingly fierce, and waiting to engage in dealer marketing until Black Friday may put car sellers behind, according to Edmunds.

“Black Friday is a great marketing tool for dealers, but the fact is, car shoppers can score just as great deals just before and even in the weeks after the holiday,” said Ivan Drury, Edmunds’ senior manager of industry analysis, in a statement. “Even though dealers don’t have as much excess inventory to move as they did last year, they still have a lot of 2018s to clear out before the end of the year. And unlike last year, we’re seeing many more excess SUVs and trucks, which means car shoppers no longer have to settle for something they may not want just to get the best bargain.”

Get My Auto, an Orange County, California-based company that helps connect used car buyers with dealers, says now is the time to plan any deals, sales, or promotions you’ll be running. Putting them on the calendar now, with the necessary tasks put on a timeline, will mean you’re ready to start building some buzz. This will involve creating marketing emails, something that many BDC platforms can help with.

“This isn’t something you want to save for the last minute,” says Get My Auto. “Finding a template, writing your copy, choosing the right images all of this can take time. You can get a head start by beginning your email marketing preparations today.”

Now is also the time to begin planning and creating dealer marketing collateral for the holiday season, including blog posts, website banners, infographics and buyers’ guides

“Creating these assets requires time, and you’ll probably have enough on your plate come the holidays,” according to Get Me Auto. “Start developing some these marketing assets sooner rather than later.”