Why You Need to Start Holiday Marketing Now
October 8, 2018
Leaves are falling off the tree and the swimming pool cover is firmly in place, but it’s barely fall, let alone winter. So, why are so many shops already loading shelves full of stockings and candy canes? How come companies have started rolling out Christmas shopping campaigns? Why is it that the holidays seem to start at the end of summer vacation? Here, we will break down the mystery of the early holiday marketing system, and why it’s so important that your business build a strategy early as well.
Adroll, a marketing company which deploys various studies to better understand the economy and consumer atmosphere, published their most recent research on holiday campaigns and found that October is actually considered late to start the planning process. In fact, with information drawn from more than 37-thousand customers, the recent study suggested that shoppers begin buying Christmas gifts as early as October, which means the planning process should begin even earlier.
Well, just because consumers are shopping early, doesn’t mean holiday advertising needs to start early, does it? Here are a few reasons to get those holiday ads out now.
Oversaturation of the Market: Perhaps the top reason to get yourself in the holiday gift game early is because once November and December hits the market, it becomes completely oversaturated. It’s difficult for consumers to tell one ad from the next. October is the perfect time for these ads to begin appearing, because in contrast to the many Halloween marketing materials, a billboard for eggnog is bound to stand out.
Companies who begin building their “holiday go to” reputation early will see action when consumers begin their search for the perfect gift. Whether shoppers start early or late, they’ll remember seeing that sign for holiday cakes by that one brand, and that’s what they’ll be looking for when it comes time to feed their friends and families during those many holiday parties.
Holiday Campaigns Take Time: Holiday campaigns are possibly the biggest many companies will see for the whole year. Between Thanksgiving, black Friday, Chanukah, Christmas, Boxing Day, and New Year’s, there’s a huge shopping season wedged into a 2 and ½ month window, and plenty of room for confusion and for things to go wrong.
No matter what industry you’re in, books, food, toys, furniture, home hardware, etc., there’s a place for you in the holiday madness, but getting your ad out and visible will be the deciding factor on whether your product is in the top 10 this year or the bottom 5.
Consumers are Shopping Early and Online: The days of the last-minute dash to the mall on Christmas Eve are nearly non-existent. Of course, there will always be a few late gift givers grappling for gifts before the cut-off, but it seems most shoppers have turned to early shopping and ecommerce sites to avoid the holiday crowds. This could be part of the new anti-social cultural phenomenon which was sparked by a generation of individuals with their faces stuck to phones, tablets, laptops, and computer screens. Whatever the reason, these early shoppers are going to miss out on your epic holiday ad campaign if you don’t get it out before they start spending.
But Consumers Hate It… Don’t They?
With all this rush to get the holiday ads out early, it’s worth noting that most consumers believe October is too early to start setting up the tree displays at the local department store. In fact, consumer polls show that more than 50% of shoppers believe November is the earliest time Christmas displays should be found in stores. Consumers also say the flood of coupons, special offers, holiday newsletters and other promotions they receive in the mail is overwhelming. This lead to the question, where is it best to start the early holiday advertising?
Social media is the preferred method of early holiday marketing, say most Americans, as it can easily be ignored, “unfollowed”, or pursued, depending on the content and whether that individual is in the holiday mood.
Make Your Promotion Worth It
The one time most Americans seem to not mind the influx of Holiday messages? When there’s a discount of at least 15% involved. It should come as no surprise that shoppers are always seeking a deal, and at the holidays when there’s more than one person to shop for, those deals and discounts become even more sought after. This makes it easy to rise above the competition, if you have it within your budget to offer the customer a good deal.
Toys, clothing, holiday meal ingredients, toiletries, even underwear can all become more attractive products if there’s a sale price attached. Again, this is why it’s so important to begin strategizing for the busiest shopping season of the year as the end of summer arrives. August is the best time to begin outlining future sales and promotions, with October being the first month these promotions begin making their rounds among consumers. By the time November arrives and shopping is in full swing, your promotion will already have hit the mark and won’t fall by the wayside with the overabundance of others in your industry.
So, is October too early to start the holiday marketing promotions? Not according to the most recent consumer polls. However, if you do plan to hold off until November, be sure you have a fail-safe plan in your back pocket in case your ad plans are dashed by a similar competitor campaign.