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  • Writer's pictureJane Hayes Consulting

Ten Steps To Christmas Marketing Success.

Updated: 2 days ago

Santa sleaves types on a laptop. The table is white with christmas decorations.

The most wonderful time of the year can also be a stressful time for many businesses and consumers. Keeping up with stock needs, postage, staff, and promotional materials can feel like four full-time jobs. For consumers, it can be hard to think of creative ideas for presents, work out how to spread the financial load, and, in the current environment, know if items will be delivered on time. In today’s blog, we will take you through tips on making Christmas marketing less stressful and improving your holiday takings while cementing bonds with your customers that will help see you through the year ahead.

You might not be thinking of Christmas, but it can sneak up on you without planning in a flash. Sit down with your team if you haven’t done so yet and create a promotional schedule for the season; identify the platforms you will use, the frequency of posts and the collateral you will need to get the message out there. Make the most of your free platforms to lessen the financial impact on your business, create promotions for your website, social media, and email, and be sure to keep them on brand and consistent. Consistency is key, and this not only applies to the content you post but the activities you undertake each holiday season as well. If you are known for a special deal in the lead-up, don’t suddenly decide to change tact, this can put customers off and damage relationships.

Elements such as economic stresses, the effects of COVID-19 on supply chains and consumer confidence can mean some consumers start purchasing well before the official period to spread the financial burden. Start early and get in front of your customers with plenty of time for them to make decisions and promote payment options such as laybys to show your customers you care. Strong customer/ brand bonds can help sway a customer to purchase from you, and not a competitor; promotions and offers of free postage can also support higher sales.

Ten Steps To Christmas Marketing Success:

1. Identify Aims.

2. Showcase Your Catalogue.

3. Target Your Customers.

4. Identify Offers.

5. Start Communication Early.

6. Celebrate With An Event.

7. Create A Sense Of Urgency.

8. Celebrate On Brand.

9. Remind.

10. Measure.

1. Identify Aims:

Don’t rush; take your time and identify the aims you want to achieve through the holiday season. Identifying your aims will help you monitor the success of campaigns and how to improve for the next season. Create a spreadsheet and list your objectives, financial aims, and ideal customer reach; we love a good spreadsheet.

A christmas marketing campaign for Harvey Nichols

Harvey Nichols talks about their offering with personality in this festive promotional piece.

2. Showcase Your Catalogue:

Showcase your offerings via catalogues; they’re a great way to showcase all available products or services in one place. Catalogues don’t need to be basic; they can be fun, utilise your brand colours and tone and inject some personality like Harvey Nichols above. Play with layouts and use exciting images or make yours a video. Be sure to be consistent in your creative; consistent messaging helps encourage brand trust and purchasing confidence. Showcase your catalogue across your website, social media and additional marketing materials, online catalogues, linked directly to point of sale makes shopping easier for customers, which is something everyone wants in the lead up to Christmas.

3. Target Your Customers:

Be sure to have your customer's needs top of mind when creating your holiday marketing. When a brand helps solve a customer's pain points, it instantly builds strong relationships. Think about how your customers shop, which platforms they use the most, and the times they traditionally interact with your brand; this will help you get your message to them more effectively. When creating holiday offers, create promotions you know will attract their attention, keeping in mind what has been successful in previous seasons; if this is your first holiday season, take your best-educated guess, do your research, and look at competitor offerings this will be easier as time goes by.

Selling larger ticket items? Offer layby programs and or start your promotions early to help your customers spread the financial load; this goes a long way to building and or cementing lifelong customers. If sending emails be sure to segment your lists as not all promotions may be relevant to all recipients in your database; free delivery may be possible for local customers and financially impossible for overseas.

8 Starbucks christmas cups in a row on a black background

To celebrate the festive season, Starbucks gave customers the chance to have their design featured on their iconic red Christmas cup.

4. Identify Offers:

Clearly identify offers for the season. These could be offers related to postage, layby, buy one get one free, or bundles on particular items. Offers can show a level of care to consumers, create product awareness, and take some of the stress away for a customer during a stressful period. Extended Christmas warranties can add value to customers, as can member-only sales and offers.

5. Start Communication Early:

Avoid the crush of holiday promotions and start your communications early. Email your database to set the tone and reiterate your message on your website and socials. Ideally, you would have started your Christmas planning earlier in the year, as doing so can help alleviate stress and give you time to think of promotions and stock levels and create assets.

If you are starting now, there is still time to plan; gather your team and build a schedule, plan when you will drop your offers and promotional materials and divide up the tasks to help spread the load. Wait for the Halloween season to finish before starting your promotions to help avoid your messages from being lost in the mix.

Mulberry showcases their collection and personality in this 12 Days of Christmas adaptation.

6. Celebrate With An Event:

In-store events are a great way to start the holiday season. They are a chance to gather your customers, staff, and collaborators to celebrate the year that’s been and encourage them to purchase. Send out invitations in advance to ensure a strong attendance; know that under ¾ of your customers will RSVP, and ½ will attend, and that’s ok; it’s about quality, not quantity. Create special offers for the night; this will encourage sales, provide refreshments, and create a party vibe.

Promotional giveaways can add to the occasion. Provide tickets at the door and give away items from your collection; if possible, this will add to the feeling of celebration and make recipients feel special. In-store events help establish and cement customer bonds that can help see you through the year ahead. Be sure to keep it on brand and follow it up with a recap email and social posts.

7. Create A Sense Of Urgency:

Make your offers for a limited time to create a sense of urgency and a fear of missing out; no consumer wants to miss out on a great offer. Creating a sense of urgency helps encourage consumers to purchase at the moment instead of waiting for a future date, which risks them forgetting. Christmas countdowns can also be an effective way to create a sense of urgency, post on the lead-up to the big day with offers, reminders of delivery cut-offs and highlights of in-demand offerings. Create social and email content that speaks to a limited offer; you could craft it around the 12 days of Christmas song or get your staff involved in the creative and think outside the square.

Christmas ad for De Beers

Above, De Beers creates urgency and reminds customers that they still have time to purchase via their website.

8. Celebrate On Brand:

Whether via your social presence, website, or print, celebrate the season on brand and embrace the festive season. No matter the platform, be consistent, infuse your content with brand personality and have some fun. The festive season can be an excellent opportunity to showcase personality, create connections and make what can be a stressful time easier for customers. It can be hard to keep coming up with ideas for content, so Christmas can be a gift to businesses. Showcase your offers, do a Christmas countdown, and give your customers an insight into how your business celebrates the season.

Get staff involved and create videos on how they celebrate the season; you can share recipe ideas based on the products you sell or gift-wrapping inspiration; it all depends on your brand personality and offering. Say you're a financial institution, you could focus on how to save for the season, or you may be a homewares business, you could do tutorials on how to decorate the Christmas table and home.

A christmas advert for La Mer

La Mer celebrates the festive season on brand with this email send out.

9. Remind:

It’s a balancing act; don’t be too intense with your promotions; it can be detrimental to your relationships, but in saying that, remind people of your offers and how you can help them. Communicate with your audience at the start of the season, showcasing your collections, payment options and enthusiasm for the season; follow this up with emails at the mid-point, pointing to offers, postage requirements and product highlights. Towards the end of the holiday season, email again to remind customers of holiday trading hours and product offerings and to instil a sense of urgency.

10. Measure:

Before the start of the season, you would have identified your business aims; now, it’s the time to measure and look at your campaign's success. This is a vital step as it helps guide your business decisions and helps you improve from year to year. Measure each promotion and create a report that looks at the overall success to see which promotion achieved the best result, look at which platform was the most effective and also the demographic breakdown. When this is done yearly, you will be able to look at patterns of data that will more effectively measure the success of marketing initiatives.

Jane Hayes Consulting, Leading You Through The Digital World:

Jane Hayes Consulting is an independent digital marketing agency founded to help businesses create consistent, creatively aligned, and strategic content. Jane Hayes Consulting can help you put your best foot forward with our expertly crafted team covering website design and building, marketing strategy, content creation, brand creation, and project management. We work within budget restraints and look toward the future. Need assistance in developing your digital strategy and creating a business advantage? Contact Jane Hayes Consulting today and sign up for our newsletter.


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