So this is Christmas … well, not really, but you just know it will be in the blink of an eye. This means if you’re in charge of Christmas marketing or marketing strategy content, now is the time to get started.
As a business owner or business decision-maker, you’ve probably got more spare unicorns than spare time at the moment, which is why we’ve put together this step-by-step guide to help you create a Christmas marketing plan.
So here’s a quick Christmas marketing plan that can fit any business.
How do you plan a Christmas marketing campaign?
Whether you choose to utilise a 12 days of Christmas marketing strategy, or simply go with the tried and tested methods – like offering discounts, package deals, free shipping, or creating a gift guide – there are many strategies to help promote your brand and boost sales over the Christmas period. There are, however, essential steps that must be taken in order to effectively plan any of these marketing campaigns.
Here are 8 essential steps to guide you through the process:
Step one: Review.
Review your previous Christmas marketing efforts and identify key lessons, paying particular attention to your strategies and results last year. For business owners marketing in 2023, 2022 will offer the best insights on what works and what doesn’t.
With data from last year and prior years, you can set expectations and goals for this year. Are you looking to achieve more online sales? New customers? More spend on higher value items?
Your goals for Christmas 2023 will help to guide your marketing strategies and plans this year.
Step two: Research.
Research customer behaviour. Again, your focus should be on the past 12 -18 months.
Notably, people are shopping online more than ever in 2023.
In fact, 9.4 million Australian households shopped online in the past 12 months, spending $63.8 billion on online goods, meaning online shopping now makes up over 18 percent of all retail sales. Building out an effective Christmas marketing campaign is therefore essential for your business.
For your marketing plan, this could mean more investment in improving your eCommerce platform, more work on remarketing plans, or more of a push to your email subscribers.
Whatever the case, use customer behaviour to help inform your strategy so that you are meeting their needs and preferences for Christmas shopping in 2023.
Step three: Brainstorm.
Brainstorm campaign ideas with your team. Keep in mind, you don’t have to reinvent the wheel – if something worked well last year, or has been working well for you this year, your focus might be on ways to further boost those gains (rather than come up with completely new ideas).
Your goal during this brainstorming step is to nail down your campaign messaging so you have something to focus on.
Step four: Plan.
Use your customer research about buying behaviours and your campaign focus to establish a marketing schedule.
Work out budget, resource and asset requirements, and plan out exactly when you will need each part of the campaign completed. You may need to bring in outside help such as an agency or contractor/s, so be sure to reach out as soon as possible to secure their availability.
Step five: Create.
This is one of the most time consuming steps – creation. It will take time to create all of your assets, from festive season images and graphics to videos and written content.
These will need to go through the editing and review process to ensure they are up to standard and hit the right notes for your campaign. You will also need to make sure they are in line with your company branding.
Step six: Set up.
Now that you have your assets, it’s time to line them up and get them ready to go live. This might be social ads, AdWords, display ads, email newsletters, content, eCommerce promotions, videos, etc.
Check in with each person responsible for these assets to ensure their part is complete and ready to go live.
Step seven: Review.
And before you go live, do one final review. Go over all Christmas marketing material, cross-referencing against your goals, research, and campaign to ensure each piece of content works towards your goals and is in line with your customer research.
Is there anything you can add or improve?
Step eight: Go live.
Monitor performance and adjust your Christmas marketing strategy if need be. If one execution is getting better traction, consider investing more resources.
Also, make yourself notes for next year. It will come around sooner than you can imagine and it will give you a step up on your strategies for 2024!
With a little bit of forward planning and creative thinking, your Christmas promotion ideas can become cash cows over the holiday season.
For more great articles and insights on growing and marketing your business online, visit Yellow Pages’ Business Hub.