It’s the most wonderful time of the year. And for marketers, that’s two-fold. According to the National Retail Federation, holiday sales are projected to top $655 billion in 2016.
But holiday marketing isn’t all about Black Friday doorbusters and Cyber Monday deals. For many brands, the holidays offer an opportunity to build a deeper connection with consumers and tap into the real meaning of the season. Need proof? Just see one of my favorite holiday ads of all time. And this one, too. They aren’t just about sales – they’re about cultural significance during a special time of year.
These ads and others follow a few best practices that can add deeper meaning to your holiday marketing:
- Help people feel like a kid again. The holiday season has a way of rekindling our childhood. Watching “A Charlie Brown Christmas” instantly transports me to 1990, propped in front of the TV wearing my favorite Rainbow Brite pajamas. Now having a child of my own, I’m seeing the holidays through the lens of my daughter, discovering everything for the very first time. It’s cool. And it’s something marketers can embrace. What games, trends or activities could you dredge up to drive engagement?
- Stories speak volumes.
From the story of the Nativity itself to treasured Christmas movies and books, storytelling is a pivotal part of the holiday season. If you can align with those stories and tell one of your own, you can create something meaningful.
So where do you start? Find a simple way your product or service fits in the holiday season. A banking brand could tell the story of a child saving to buy the perfect gift. A healthcare brand could share stories of how they’re making the season bright for hospital guests. The list goes on.
- It’s all about food. Spritz cookies, gingerbread, ham, cocoa, almond bark, candy canes – just reading it makes me stuffed. Food is a star of the season, and almost any brand can play a part in that. Consider adding warm touches to your customer experience with free hot cider, sharing your staff’s favorite holiday recipes or giving out candy canes.
- Digital is where it’s at. According to Adept, one-third of retailers dedicate 31-50% of their online marketing budget to holiday efforts. And if you think your in-store shoppers are spending more, it’s time for a fact check: people who shop both in person and online spend 66% more with a 30% higher lifetime value. Go where the people are, and your efforts will pay off.
- Personalization matters.
No one wants a cold digital experience; gifts and interactions should feel special. Retailers can warm up their online presence with personalization.
Digital Trends says 73% of consumers would rather do business with people who use personal info to make their experiences more relevant. Brands can use customer info to help personalize stories, suggest products, and tie in names and other data to make shoppers feel like you’re curating an experience just for them.
- Embrace tradition. No matter how you celebrate the holidays, you can’t ignore the significance of tradition. Often our most deeply rooted holiday memories are wrapped around traditions like racing downstairs on Christmas morning, making holiday cookies, exchanging white elephant gifts or looking at holiday lights. The more you can help people celebrate, remember and share these traditions, the more meaningful the experience will be. Beyond marketing, look internally at your company’s own culture and traditions, and don’t be afraid to share or build on them.
To celebrate the holidays the L&S way, our team created a landing page that embraces all of these things. Our clients, friends and partners received a special storybook in the mail which directs them to holiday.l-s.com. Here you’ll find a personalized way to complete the story, along with traditions, recipes and more. It’s our way of sharing some extra merry, Extra Mile cheer with you. Happy holidays.