It’s the most wonderful time of the year – or so the lyrics to a popular seasonal song tell us.  And whilst that may be true for many of us, does it still apply if you are a small business owner trying to juggle operational issues with marketing and promotion?  As the excitement builds and our thoughts turn to the true meaning of Christmas, presents, socialising and relaxing we tend to lose focus in some areas of our business lives – marketing.

Your seasonal marketing plans should by now be well underway, but there is a fair chance they’ve got lost with the pressures and demands of the season. Or you may have made a conscious decision not to promote your goods and services over the next few weeks and into the new year as you feel there isn’t a market.

If so, you are not alone, many small business owners tend to scale back their marketing at this time of the year.  If you are one of them you’d be making a mistake.  A mistake that will impact upon your leads and sales funnel going forward into 2017 and beyond.

A sustained marketing effort is the cornerstone of any successful business (in its many forms and guises) it is the way we generate business, increase demand and engage our audience. Marketing is not a “when we need it” thing, it is an essential part of any business.

If you’re not marketing, your competitors will be. Christmas is the perfect time to stand out from the crowd and promote your product or service effectively. Your competitors may be winding down for the year and focusing on 2017. But why wait, prospects and potential customers are ready now and it’s an opportunity to generate leads and populate your sales funnel so that you get ahead of the competition for next year.

The Iconic Christmas Campaigns

So, whilst we’re in the mood for Christmas marketing, we started to reminisce and look back over the iconic marketing campaigns that we all know and love, including the more recent and yet to be future classics.

Our modern-day visualisation of St. Nicholas, Santa Claus, was created to market the brand of Coca-Cola. Coca-cola created the large, jolly, scarlet coloured Santa we all know and love back in the 1930’s and he hasn’t changed a great deal since then.

The seasonal Coca-Cola marketing campaigns have become part of televisual history. The impact of such iconic marketing is huge and the adverts themselves become part of our festive traditions. Think about the classic style of the “holidays are coming” TV ad each year. It’s a regular feature of the season in more than 100 countries, over 20 years, and is for many the start of the Christmas countdown.

Christmas marketing campaigns have now become products in their own right. During November, there’s a rush to  be the first to see the advert for many of our established high street and supermarket stores.

Each year they provoke much debate amongst viewers, and much competition between the brands. Their impact and influence on us is huge.  The leading brands are known for trying to outdo each other by offering something different with inspiring marketing campaigns, and multiple styles and stories.

It’s crucial for marketers to really connect with their audience on a personal level, and never more so than over Christmas. Storytelling and creating emotional attachments is the key way in which John Lewis, Marks & Spencer and other big brands, develop an emotive connection with us over Christmas.

This year’s John Lewis’ advert featured #BusterTheBoxer and has had over 21 million views on YouTube alone…with viewers even tuning in between TV programmes to view the advert, not necessarily the actual show between which it is sandwiched.

Big brands such as Coca Cola, John Lewis and Marks and Spencer know that these humanising adverts generate a brand awareness which has a big impact all year round. These companies do so well because they engage with their audience and provoke an emotional response.  This is especially obvious around Christmas time.

Of course, realistically the majority of us won’t have anywhere near the marketing budget and resources of these giant global brands.  And return on investment still remains the most important consideration when focusing on marketing budgets, whether it’s Christmas or not.

At the time of writing, there are now 12 days until Christmas day.  So, if you are stuck for a few last minute ideas for increasing demand and adding to your sales funnel then do give us a ring.  We’ll be happy to help you make the most of your marketing activity over the festive season.

Merry Christmas to all and a prosperous New Year

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