Marketing for the Holidays
It’s the end of Q4 everyone. The busiest and most profitable time of the year. Every American knows what the holidays mean, both for celebrations and for marketing. Every ad opportunity is flooded with seasonal campaigns; from television, to store fronts, to the Internet, to radio. It’s hard to make your own campaigns stand out, and impossible not to use the holiday spirit to your advantage. So here are a few things you can do to ensure you make the most of the season and your advertising ambition.
Timing is essential in the holiday rush. With a procession of celebrations coming one after the other, some national and some religious, it’s important to time your campaigns to coincide with what the next holiday is. Depending on your business, it may behoove you to begin advertising earlier or later. Specific models demand specific tactics. If you’re X, go early. If you’re Y, don’t start until the holiday is almost upon you. You know what you’re selling, the important part now is to figure out when it’s being bought. Q4 may be notable for October through December festivities, but it starts in the summer. “Christmas in July” is a marketing reality. Have you seen how early the ads can come? While many consumers bemoan this practice, it is not performed lightly. For many retail stores, the Christmas rush surpasses every other holiday when it comes to profits. Others start their Halloween process in August and put up Christmas decorations November 1st.
Statistics say that 19.2% of total retail sales occurred during the holiday season in 2013, constituting three trillion dollars in sales, and almost a million new jobs were taken on to deal with this incredible rush. Meanwhile, with the advent of Cyber Monday in 2005 being strategically placed within this seasonal time frame, occurring the Monday after Thanksgiving with the intention of encouraging online shopping to pair with Black Friday that same week, the Holiday season has become ingrained culturally as much from a strictly marketing standpoint as it is celebratory. By incorporating online shopping, the whole week following Thanksgiving is practically a retail holiday in its own right. Indeed, online holiday retail is expected to reach 414 billion (That’s with a B) by 2018, thanks in part to this relatively new feature to the seasonal landscape.
‘Tis the season to tell brand stories, because everyone in America is affected by the holidays. Brand storytelling is about making your brand’s story a part of the consumer’s life narrative. We touched on this theory in our article here about the notion of “Kayfabe Marketing”, that blending life with advertising is the most successful technique, and actually feels the least intrusive. The holidays sell so well in large part for this reason. Its not just advertising, it’s a season with a theme that requires advertising. The narratives of their days are influenced and filled with expectations. There is no more welcoming time for businesses to operate than now. But the very first question you must ask, even before asking when you should start, is “What part of life’s story does your brand pertain to?”
Whatever step you’re on in building your holiday marketing plan, there is no better opportunity to take advantage of the “kayfabe” and utilize the benefits of native marketing.