Christmas Planning Starts in July

Christmas is a vital time of year for your marketing campaigns, and getting them spot on can massively increase your sales.

As most businesses will understand, Christmas is a crucial time for increasing revenue – which is why you should start planning your Christmas campaigns in July.

There is such a large lead up to the festive period, with most brands fighting for customers’ attention and promoting their products more so than the rest of the year.

Consumer habits change over the Christmas period, not just with increased impulse purchases, but also with their want to begin Christmas shopping even earlier – 43% of US consumers start shopping for Christmas gifts even earlier than October.

Therefore, starting early with your planning is vital, and is also why you need to make sure your Christmas campaign stands out from the rest and emerges through the noise – and this can be achieved through careful, advanced planning.

Not only will this entail your Christmas promotions will have lots of thought behind them, but also will relieve stress around a busy, chaotic period.

It can feel slightly overwhelming knowing where to start when planning your Christmas campaign, so read on to discover the top six things you need to know...

1. Build your customer base in summer and autumn

In order to effectively increase sales during Christmas, targeting pre-existing customers can reap in high rewards. 

However, relying on your Christmas campaigns to gain customers puts a lot of pressure on them - which is why expanding and building your customer base in advance is key. 

Utilise the seasons prior and market your brand in summer and autumn to target your desired audience, gaining their trust and nurturing them to then encourage them to make a repeat purchase at Christmas time.  

This can be achieved through investing time in increasing your email database in the months leading up to Christmas, as this will ensure that when it comes to the festive season, you will have already worked into expanding your pool of customers. 

Are you wondering how to achieve this? For example, this can be done through generating conversation and engagement with lead generation campaigns on social media, running competitions, or having pop-ups on your website. All these methods will support you in building up your customer base more and more – and the more traffic you can drive and target now, the more people you will be able to target in the future.

2. Beat your competitors

Christmas time is the perfect opportunity to be creative and engaging with your promotional methods, standing out over competitors and attracting positive attention.

In order to fully embrace the Christmas spirit, your campaigns should evoke emotions, foster connections and provide exceptional value, with creative storytelling, captivating visuals and engaging content.

Another way to differentiate yourself is through exclusive offers and discounts, and even supplying limited edition products for the festive season.

In order for these efforts to be successful and to effectively outshine your competition, you cannot leave it until the last minute – planning must start now in order to create high-quality campaigns with plenty of research and planning.

3. Build a contingency plan

Despite all the positives of planning your Christmas campaign early, it can come with some gambles and uncertainty - which is why you must have a contingency plan in place to mitigate any potential risks.

The holiday season can be unpredictable, with unforeseen circumstances that could disrupt either your campaign or your consumers’ behaviour.

Having a contingency plan in place would remove any potential stress and worry, allowing your brand to adapt quickly to any unexpected or sudden changes.

4. Use tried and tested methods

Over the festive period, business operations can become rushed with increased stress and pressure. This is why we recommend using tried and tested methods over this period rather than trying something new – minimising any further stress.

Attempting new promotional methods can also deter your attention away from other activities during Christmas time, so using those techniques which you know can provide success is a much safer bet.

These methods not only mean that you can perfect them even further through your first-hand experience, but also will please loyal customers who are familiar with your brand and your chosen style of marketing campaigns.

5. Make use of last year’s data

Growing and improving year on year is something businesses look to achieve, which is where utilising last year’s data can provide invaluable insights into how to strengthen the effectiveness of your campaign this year. 

What worked well for your last Christmas campaign? Where were you successful? Use the data to help your next campaign, understanding how to make improvements based off of a data-driven approach. 

Look at website traffic, customer engagement, and social media interactions to gain a deeper understanding of what worked well, and which had the most impact. 

6. Utilise A/B testing

When planning for your Christmas campaigns, it’s best that you try out different methods and techniques and discover what works and what doesn’t before the festive season.

So, use the months leading up to November and December to carry out various types of A/B testing, so that you can create Christmas campaigns with the research and knowledge of what your customers prefer and engage with more.

You can A/B test various parts of your content offering, whether it’s written content in emails, the imagery used, or the messaging you’re associating with – whatever it is, work on perfecting your content now so that you have high-quality content to share during the busiest time of the year.

Start thinking about your Christmas campaign now

In order to make the most of the heightened shopping and spending over the festive period, acquire help from an experienced growth partner to lead your campaigns to success.

With expert teams in social, content, PR, SEO, web and brand, Champions has the full-service suite offering to provide you with your required needs for a results-driven Christmas campaign.

Contact us today to discuss your festive campaign.