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Having a lasting impact with your Christmas campaign

The Christmas season is starting earlier and earlier each year with the starting gun sounding the day after Halloween.  The commercial changing of leaves happened in an instant, with the orange and black of Halloween turning into festive red and green in the blink of an eye.

As Christmas starts earlier each year, PR teams need to begin brainstorming for a successful client Christmas campaign as early as August and September! Speaking to The Journal, Brown Thomas’ managing director Stephen Sealey explained that the reason they launched their Christmas markets back in August is because their product “sells early”.

Consumer’s spending habits are changing. It was reported by Gavin Mcloughlin in the Irish Independent that this year consumers are to spend less this Christmas than in previous years. On average, Irish consumers spend up to €600 at Christmas. However, this year it has decreased to €564. Research from the US sheds some light on this trend in that Christmas spending is no longer restricted to November and December, it’s also happening earlier in the year.

Christmas is a special opportunity for marketers and brand specialists alike to strike a bond with consumers and to create loyalty that lasts beyond the tinsel seasons and creates a halo effect of loyalty and interaction with your brand year round.

This year, we have seen numerous high profile campaigns such as the John Lewis ad, the Debenhams ‘Found It’ ad, Lidl’s virtual school of Christmas, the Three Christmas cloud come to life and the Coca Cola Christmas ad gets interactive as it launches its truck tour around Ireland. Brands such as these, are fully aware of the importance of customer interaction in today’s social media driven society.

When looking at the most successful and innovative marketers and retailers and the ways in which they approach Christmas, their strategies are to secure customer loyalty throughout the year and not just during Christmas. Whether this be encouraging customers to subscribe or register for online accounts to create regular purchase habits, use discount based rewards for loyal customers, or executing secret sales in stores, or events in hidden locations, customers seem to be constantly involved and devoted throughout the year. They are less reliant on the traditional Christmas holiday shopping season as they have yearlong interactive strategies.

We are seeing brand specialists, marketers and retailers becoming less reliant on November and December Christmas sales to be their most successful time for revenue victory. Forward-thinking businesses are finding ways to drive growth throughout the year.  I’ll raise a glass to that!

Saoirse O’Kane



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