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Reflections on marketing during the holidays

There’s a different energy in the air during the holidays. People are cheerful, friends and family connect, and shopping trends change. Instead of jamming your advertisements in between these trends, events and changes, marketers should work with them to take advantage of a clear opportunity.

The major holiday season has come and gone and marketing campaigns surrounding the big events either thrived or flopped. Now is the perfect time to reflect on the holiday season and come up with new ways to succeed. The holidays are a great time to differentiate your company, creating opportunities to mould campaigns around positive emotions. Whether it’s nostalgia or togetherness you’re targeting, use the holidays to further connect with your customers and build your brand. Here are some important things to remember for marketing during the holidays.

Take advantage of new opportunities

Different attitudes create fresh opportunities and the holidays change attitudes. When the festivities are in full swing, customers experience large differences in their perception of the world around them. This leads to a change in the way they look at things, including products, services and companies.

An extreme example of this is in the United States on Black Friday, a day following a major holiday. Customers notoriously behave differently on this day than other days, flocking to stores and waiting in gruelling lines to make purchases. This should be every marketer’s dream, since it’s usually squarely on them to influence their target market. However, when the holidays come around, sometimes the work is done for them and the customer is naturally swayed one way or the other. With all this in mind, it’s time to use it to our advantage. Use customers’ newfound perspectives on their day-to-day to market to them in fresh new ways.

There are steps marketers take when creating a campaign but one of these steps is diminished or erased during the holidays. With one less obstacle to overcome in winning customers over, it’s possible to refocus and reimagine creative projects. Maybe a customer base is more willing to make purchases or in a better mood when watching ads. Whatever the case, the task of creating effective campaigns is much easier. Essentially, the holidays are like a case of rocket fuel for a marketing campaign. They provide an extra boost to all things marketing.

Furthermore, the holidays give teams a chance to take new angles in projects, breaking free from the usual content. Adjust your themes, styles and tone to fit the holiday atmosphere customers are experiencing. One company who does this successfully is Bumkins, a company that sells baby products. Around major holidays, they add different products to their website, as well as create a holiday gift guide. Doing so is bound to make a stronger impact and possibly change how people perceive your brand. It also gives your brand a chance to differentiate from others, depending on the type of campaigns you create.

Lastly, with each year of holidays comes new opportunities of adjustment. Use campaign success data to determine what you’ll do the same or differently next year. Find the little niches you’ve triumphed in and begin to expand on them. This way, instead of stumbling upon a success, you’ll strive for it and reach it ten-fold. Remember that your potential new influence can last longer than just a holiday season.

Connect with audience using content

Content is a great way to use stories to connect with our audiences. Throughout the year we work extensively to come up with new ideas to put into amazing stories which customers enjoy. As most marketing teams know, the best stories are the ones that read like a story rather than an advertisement or sale. The more stories are true to this idea, the better they’re accepted. With this acceptance comes better connection with customers.

It’s not often an idea for a story falls right into our laps but the holidays certainly seem like stories come a lot easier. With every holiday season there are new stories to tell. Current events often dictate holiday games, stories and food. This gives us a base to pull from for our content. We can take popular culture and current news or events to create fun holiday stories for everyone.

Traditional stories make for great content as well. Companies can even put a spin on it to modernize it and connect intergenerationally. Dig through the archives of different holiday stories to help build your own. Remember that the best stories are positive and make readers feel good. Adjust your references accordingly.

Create new holiday-themed logo and style

Adjusting our logos, templates, themes and styles is one of the coolest things we get to do during the holidays. Immerse your company’s presentation into the holiday spirit by temporarily changing brand logos or jingles. You could, for example, have your mascot eating a holiday cookie or your brand logo holding a fun holiday element. You could also send out some unique holiday emails. The possibilities really are endless, giving your marketing teams a perfect excuse to completely revamp your website or logo. Most importantly, these new themes give your company a chance to deliver brand consistency on a large scale.

Remember that these changes are meant to be festive and fun. Aim towards excitement and pleasantness anytime you make a change. The true nature of marketing is influencing people in a positive way to believe in your brand. When you give customers a beautiful holiday theme at the right time, you give them a chance to believe in you.

Not only does a simple logo or theme change signify your company’s humanity and personality, it also gives your brand identity. Ultimately, it allows customers to see your company as something that has a unique identity.

Humanizing the company creates loyalty between your customers and your brand. This ties into brand consistency, especially if you’re able to deliver these new logos and themes across all your designs. Team members might see that your style guide has the same styles as other documents. Customers might notice your logos are the same from one product or location to the next. This is such a perfect way to boost your brand overall.

Ride the waves of the holidays to spark some excitement and creativity into your marketing campaigns. If you follow trends and pay attention to data, you might just create some waves of your own!

Cory Schmidt, head of marketing, Canto

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