Planning your festive marketing campaign

Christmas trading can make a significant impact on the success of any retailer. With the Christmas Day only 7-weeks away, many small businesses will have already started to develop or have launched their festive marketing campaigns. With Black Friday also on the horizon on Friday 29 November it is a busy time of year. For some product based businesses the festive season will be one of the busiest, but for other more service based businesses things may be slowing down. At the time of writing some of the big retailers have already launched their 2019 festive marketing campaigns eg: Asda or Iceland.

I am guessing as a small business owner, you do not have a couple of million media budget to help connect your brand with your target audience. There is definitely a lot you can still do to maximise on this time of year, if right for your business. If you have not yet started planning your festive marketing campaign, then we wanted to share five steps to help get you started:

  1. Decide on your objectives. As with all marketing campaigns, planning is key. Hopefully you have already identified that this time of year is important for your business and that you wish to invest. Be clear on what it is that you wish to achieve, it could simply be increasing revenue, but be sure to quantify this. The objectives need to be SMART (Specific, measured, Achievable, Relevant and Timed) eg: “To drive £10k of product sales between 11 Nov – 20 December by launching a new festive product.” It is not enough just to say “I want to increase sales”. Thinking about by how much, and how is important.
  2. Think about your timings for your festive marketing campaign. Having an understanding of the seasonality, and when your target audience wish to engage with your business will guide you on the best times to invest in media and help you set your campaign dates.
  3. Develop your creative. Develop creative assets to help your target audience connect with your business. Once you have selected an asset or image to use, ensure that you develop this for use across all of the marketing channels, in the various formats eg: for print advertising, with partners, digital advertising, email, social media and website landing pages, etc.
  4. Decide on your media. Which media to use will will link back to your objectives. Each media plays a different role in helping achieve your goals. For example radio advertising will be great to drive awareness, combined with coordinate creative assets that work across other digital media, can be really powerful. A great example of this was the John Lewis ad 2018 with Elton John, this campaign was not only on TV, You Tube, across their department stores, on their digital platforms, but also into their Waitrose business. This campaign saw 3.1% YOY growth for John Lewis and 1.5% for sister brand Waitroes.
  5. Keep an eye on the numbers. As with all marketing, being clear on what success looks like, watching the performance and being versatile to make changes is critical. If you decide to run a Facebook advertising campaign, for example, but then you see a particular sector is not working, ensure you are able to respond and quickly take action to make necessary changes. It is important to not only be reviewing performance as you go along but also at the end of the campaign. Consider YOY (year on year) successes.

Let me know how you get on, do share and tag us into any festive campaigns that you run; and of course if you would like some help developing your festive marketing campaign, please do get in touch!

I wish you every success this festive season!


Sophie Comas

A highly successful self-motivated and results driven, senior marketing professional. My passion lies within developing and delivering marketing solutions which make a difference in today's complex digital market place. A marketeer with a strong academic background and broad ranging level of experience working with small businesses and in the travel and hospitality sector, across the Thames Valley, I love a challenge!

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