Why festive marketing campaigns could help your small business

It is that time of year! At time of writing, there were just 58 days left until Christmas – Arrrrah! For those planners amongst you I hear a cry of panic and those who like shopping last minute on Christmas Eve, a sigh of relief! From recent discussions with some of my clients they often think that festive marketing campaigns might not make sense for their small business, but it can be relevant for a business of any size.

What do we mean by festive marketing campaigns?

A festive marketing campaign can take shape in many forms. It could just be sharing festive hints and tips via your email base, to running a favourite Christmas film poll on your social media or investing in some print or digital media – depending upon your business focus will depend upon what makes sense for you. A Christmas marketing campaign involves tailoring all of your marketing activities to bring some festive cheer to your audience, something we all need after recent months and Christmas 2020! It’s a chance to have a bit of fun with your marketing, show your brand’s personality and get creative. 

Why do a festive marketing campaign?

A festive marketing campaign could really help to bring a smile to your clients, whilst also extending your brand’s reach and visibility to a new potential audience. Running something like a simple social media advent calendar campaign for example, is a fun and simple way to engage with your audience. You could include videos, promotions and topical tips, each day you reveal a different piece of content which raises brand awareness, boosts engagement and drives sales. 

Depending upon your business it also provides an opportunity to take advantage of one of the busiest spending seasons of the year, so if you run an online gift shop or product based business this is ideal – make the most of enthusiastic customers who are keen to buy for friends and family. Cox and Cox are the first business I have seen to launch their campaign this year, click here to view.

Running a campaign at this time of year could also give you a chance to tap into a CSR (Corporate Social Responsible) element of your business by fundraising for a local charity, mix up your marketing and stand above your competitors.

What to consider in planning a festive marketing campaign?

Christmas can be a busy and stressful time for small business owners and planning in advance is key to overcoming any lack of time, ensuring you get the most out of the festive season. A couple of points to consider when planning your campaign:

  1. Revisit last year’s Christmas campaign performance, if you ran one, reflect on what did and did not work, think about how you could do things differently. If you did not do one then try to consider all aspects of what could work well such as: product supply issues, ability to fulfil orders (when would you need to end the promotion by?), packaging. offers and of course pricing.
  2. Consider your target audience and the types of content they would like to see, to encourage them to make a purchase from you vs your competitors or some of the bigger brands.
  3. Identify which marketing channels you are going to use. Remember, holiday cheer can be sprinkled across the whole marketing mix; social media, email marketing, direct marketing, website and branded gifts for example. This will also be guided by your objectives and budget.
  4. Set an objective, be clear on what success looks like, if you are a product business, sales would need to be there, if you are a service business then consider newsletter sign-ups, boosting brand awareness and followers in social media.
  5. Create your content plan, including any awareness days within the festive season such as Small Business Saturday (on 27 November), which is a day that encourages everyone to ‘shop locally’ and support small businesses – a great initiative to be a part of in the lead up to Christmas.
  6. Post-Christmas campaign – Make sure that once the campaign has completed you review and capture how everything went, in your view was it a success? Did you achieve your objectives? Keep this information safe and be a ready to refer back to it this time next year.

Some examples of great festive marketing campaigns!

We wanted to share some examples of how the big boys do things, there are certainly some learning we can take for a small business owner.

Companies like John Lewis nail their Christmas marketing campaign year after year and for me, whilst they undoubtably have big budgets it is the perfect example of how to do it, bringing all of the parts of their business together. Great Christmas adverts tell a story, trigger an emotional response and, of course, draw people in with the magic of Christmas. Here are our top picks from previous years! 

Give a Little Love – John Lewis 2020

Celebrating kindness and paying it forward – inspired by the wave of kindness that swept across the country during lockdown. 


From our family to yours – Disney 2020

This ad is about lifelong family traditions that cross generations. Bringing in a CSR focus, each time someone shared a festive family memory and used the campaigns hashtag Disney donated money to Make-A-Wish. 

This is not just . . . . – M&S 2019

They have produced some great ads over recent years and last year they made light of their brand slogan, 2019 M&S Christmas used celebrities and a touch of humour to highlight their range of Christmas food. After all, it’s not just food. . . . .it’s M&S Christmas food! 

Holidays are Coming! Coca Cola – 2020

The final one that I would leave you with, which for me signifies the beginning of Christmas whenever I first view it, is the “Holidays are Coming” ad by Coca Cola (skip the ad at the beginning!).

If you would like some help in kick starting your festive marketing campaign, there is still time, please get in touch to arrange a no obligation discovery call.

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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