When to start your Christmas marketing campaign


When it comes to Christmas prepping – the earlier you start, the better. We know what you’re thinking – Christmas? That’s months away…Well, that may be the case but in the fast-paced world of marketing, festive season plans and preparations should already be well under way.

Don’t miss the Christmas boat (um… sleigh) because yule be sorry if you do. Seriously, it’s snow joke… Read on and get a clearer understanding about the festive trading season and how to effectively build up brand awareness, cut through the competition and reach your intended audience.


Changing Christmas shopping trends

Last year, data showed that almost two out of three Australian shoppers started Christmas shopping as early as September, with sales accelerating at the beginning of October and continuing through to mid-November.

Australians are changing their spending habits, are shopping earlier and taking advantage of popular sales periods such as mid-year tax return time and November’s Black Friday sales. According to Australia Post’s e-commerce industry report, Black Friday in 2019 kick-started Christmas spending with sales volumes peaking in the first week of December.

In an effort to avoid the exhaustive Christmas crowds, according to the ABC, more Australians are choosing to shop online. Therefore, it’s imperative to make sure your business website is up and running for online sales well before you start your festive season marketing campaign. Be sure to test the check-out process, ensuring there are no issues for customers and everything is working seamlessly.


Build up brand awareness and trust

Unsurprisingly, during the festive period, competition for customer attention is at an all-time high. So, advertising earlier will help your business get ahead of the game and increase your share of voice in the market.

One of the biggest mistakes businesses make is not giving marketing enough time to work its magic, so your Christmas marketing campaign planning realistically needs to begin as early as July to allow you ample time to come up with interesting ideas, create assets, and prepare media plans.

Once you’ve created a plan, you should start promoting as early as September before advertising costs reach their peak in October. Doing this will decrease the cost of your ads as during the busiest sales period, there is more competition for placements and a higher cost-per-click rate.


Don’t forget about your existing customers

The reality is that the customers you already have are actually the most profitable for business, so it’s definitely worth making the effort to keep them around! A study by Adobe found that 40% of revenue came from only 8% of website visits, indicating a smaller portion of customers are making up a larger percentage of the revenue.

During the Christmas holiday season, your existing customers account for even more revenue, with statistics revealing that those who had never made a purchase accounted for a 4% increase in revenue over the holiday period, whereas returning and repeat customers accounted for a whopping 48% increase.

In short, it’s safe to say that customer retention is important and shouldn’t be overlooked for acquisition. A good way to reach out and re-engage with your existing customer base is by sending out an email campaign with an exclusive Christmas promotion to say thank you for their support this year.


Enticing your customers

 Although the holiday season is supposed to be a time of joy, it can also be a financially stressful period as the cost of gift shopping can stack up. As a result, many people are particularly receptive to deals and discounts.

Sales and discounts, as well as free and fast shipping can be highly effective for getting customers in with an initial purchase. Buying presents for family, friends and colleagues can be an anxiety-inducing experience, so a cleverly marketed bargain can reap great rewards for businesses.

Your first step should be to determine an offer that will resonate with your target market. Whether that’s free express delivery, a buy-1-get-1-free deal or a limited-time-only gift bundle, these concepts will help drive more relevant customers to your website. As bundle deals mean customers can spend less time shopping, this added convenience is a huge motivation, and they are also an easy way for businesses to shift more inventory.

For many customers, free postage is an expectation so make sure to adjust your product pricing to absorb postage costs. If you can’t implement free shipping in the long-term, run it as a short promotion over the festive season.

It doesn’t end with Christmas 

Just because Santa has come and gone, don’t think you can take a break from your marketing campaign. Now is the opportune time to turn all the new customers you’ve acquired over Christmas into repeat buyers.

Be sure to keep your holiday shoppers engaged by sending post-Christmas deals, Boxing Day sales or New Year’s specials. This can help keep up the sales during January which is usually a lower traffic period.

Remember, don’t wait until the Christmas decorations are out. Start planning your Christmas marketing strategy early and be prepared this coming holiday season. With a bit of planning and preparation, your business is sure to sleigh these holidays.