Marketing and the dreaded ‘C’ word – Christmas
They call it ‘Christmas creep’ – the early arrival of festive advertising, long before anyone is ready to accept that time of year has come. Some think it comes too soon – so much so that companies are pushing it back again. But the question we are asking is why do it? By starting Christmas marketing months before the big day, you might be able to build up a broader audience in time for the festive period. Or, perhaps customers will have more time to take action before December hits.
On the other hand, is early Christmas marketing annoying to people? Some feel that businesses are just trying to squeeze money out of them by hijacking the Spirit of Christmas with capitalism. This is merely a matter of opinion. The ‘C’ word is like marmite: people either love it or hate it, so what does this mean for your Christmas marketing?
Although Christmas marketing appears way before Christmas starts, many brands argue that they are just following consumer patterns. Back in 2014, John Lewis said that as of 3rd September, Christmas was the most popular search term on their site. If you visit their website, it’s the first tab on the homepage, and Halloween hasn’t even passed yet.
According to research, 13% of UK shoppers do their festive shopping between July and September, 53% in October and November, and 24% in December. So, there is good reason for you to start your Christmas marketing early. And, despite what your older relatives may say when they see early Christmas advertisements, consumers generally don’t seem to mind the early marketing. In fact, adverts from the likes of John Lewis and Marks & Spencer have become iconic in the run-up to Christmas.
Effective Christmas marketing
According to Shoppercentric, Christmas consumers say that TV adverts, followed by retailer magazines and promotional leaflets, are the most useful Christmas marketing tools. Then, by order of influence:
- Newspaper adverts
- Pop-up internet ads
Social media seems to fall towards the bottom of this list which is surprising considering the massive uptake, the extensive reach, the colossal ROI, and the profits that are to be gained from digital marketing, particularly on social media. Not all businesses can afford primetime TV advert positions. Cheaper, effective methods need to be implemented to attract your customers’ interest at Christmas.
Tips for Christmas marketing
When you feel like it’s the right time to start your Christmas marketing, there are a few things you should do when it comes to digital marketing:
- Schedule content – Everybody wants to take time to relax at Christmas, even those running social media accounts. Dead air can be detrimental to your business’s success. Therefore, you should write content in advance and schedule it for publishing over the festive period to keep your marketing strong.
- Update your information – Social media has become the first point of contact where people can find out more information about you. Update all of your sites with seasonal offers, developments and, most importantly, new opening times in advance.
- Embrace real-time – Instagram and Snapchat stories are a great marketing tool where you can show off your brand’s festive spirit, Christmas products, and get people engaged.
- Christmas competition – It may be worth running one or two competitions in the run-up. For example, a ’12 days of Christmas’ event is a simple way to get your audience engaged with your brand. This increases traffic and collects their contact details.
- Social media offers – Discounts and offers are a proven way to get your brand noticed with the aim of converting followers to consumers, and at this time of year, people will be more than open to offers.
No time like the present
Starting your Christmas branding early may be beneficial as consumers start preparing for the event months in advance. In the coming weeks, beginning a Christmas digital marketing campaign can be an excellent opportunity to widen your brand’s reach and make the most of the festive sales. However, during this busy time, keeping on top of such a campaign can require extra time you may not have.
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