Tis the season for Starbucks red cups, Coca Cola polar bears, the majestic Clydesdales, and more. The holidays are a marketer’s dream come true. If you play your cards right, Q4 can be incredibly profitable for you and your business.
1. Don’t make assumptions.
Don’t just assume that your customers delight upon hearing Christmas greetings. Be sensitive to the beliefs of others. Don’t force your celebration down their throats. At the same time, know your demographic. For example, if you work for a Catholic based charity; religious connotations in your holiday marketing campaigns would be expected and acceptable. Understanding who you are, what you want to represent, and the temperature of your audience will make sure your campaign resonates with customers.
2. Go where the people are.
As with all marketing campaigns, make sure you’re using the right outlet for your message. For example, if you’re running a week long special, you can afford to send out an email promoting this deal. But, if it’s a three hour discount, send out a mass text campaign or post on social media. These two methods are instantaneous, and will encourage the most offer redemption. Know where your customers are “living,” in a digital sense, and make a home there.
3. Respect differences in beliefs.
As I first stated, don’t assume that everyone celebrates the same way you do. On top of that, once differences do arise, show respect for the beliefs, traditions, and customs of others. If your customer base is one huge melting pot, than choose to celebrate the majority holiday of you and your staff, while being aware of other preferences. When applicable, recognize these differences, in an effort to show you’re globally minded.
4. Make the most of old traditions.
Don’t be afraid to capitalize on current traditions. If it’s not broke, don’t fix it. One of the longest holiday traditions? The Christmas tree. Plan a marketing campaign around a custom that’s already stamped itself in the minds of the consumer. People will recognize this symbol, and immediately develop associations with your campaign.
5. Start your own traditions.
Make room for new traditions. With new traditions comes the opportunity to solidify your brand in an evergreen way. For example, the Coca Cola polar bears have become an iconic symbol for this corporation; especially around the holidays. In fact, if you don’t see these symbols, it doesn’t even feel like that time of the year. One of the best examples of a new tradition that has swept the nation? Elf on the Shelf.
6. Don’t overspend. Word of mouth marketing escalates around the holidays.
The holidays bring people together. When people are together, what do they do? Talk. They exchange first hand accounts about what products they’re using, where they’re going, who they’re following … the list goes on. Who wouldn’t want their product or service to be a part of those conversations? Take the main stage this holiday season by focusing on memorable campaigns.
Memorable campaigns usually possess one or more of the following elements.
- The “Me too!” factor (people relate your campaign to a past experience)
- A storyline that incites emotion or a reaction (nostalgia, laughter, etc.)
- A way to share their own story or contribute to the campaign (share your favorite holiday recipes)
7. Note what works and what doesn’t.
Your holiday marketing campaigns won’t always resonate. Every year, try a new angle until something sticks. Once you find a campaign that takes off, follow this same direction every year. Maximize the storyline. Make your efforts cohesive and apparent.
Above all else, you must see the holidays as a time of opportunity. People expect to come face to face with marketing messages this time of year. This 60 to 90 day period is a perfect time to position your brand.