When is it acceptable to start using the C-Word?

“Christmas” that is of course!

It’s the age-old quandary for marketers – if the products or services our organisation provides are in any way influenced by the festive season, how soon should we start using the C-word in our promotions?

It used to be that we wouldn’t hear much about Christmas until after Halloween or bonfire night. Over the years the campaigns seem to start earlier & earlier – with some now starting as soon as the schools go back in September.

Whilst many consumers would consider it madness to start thinking about Christmas in September, there are of course those who like to plan ahead…

So, when is it acceptable to start promoting Christmas?

It’s a fine line, but with so much resting on the Christmas rush for many businesses (not just retailers), getting the timing wrong could be disastrous. There’s nothing worse than leaving it too late, seeing your competitors’ benefiting and then trying to cobble together poorly thought out, last minute campaigns.

There is plenty you can do with your website, digital campaigns, social media and email marketing to drive festive sales, but planning is key.

Don’t leave it to the last minute!

To make sure you get the most out of your Christmas campaigns, you should really be starting your planning in the summer. You should have a calendar with all the key dates on the run up to Christmas (such as Cyber Monday and Black Friday) and use this to plan your campaigns, the messages you’ll run with, the products/services you will be promoting and to who.

You could use post Halloween or bonfire night as your trigger points, but if you decide to go earlier, be clear on why. We know that the sooner we start, the more potential there is to secure those all-important incremental sales, but it’s important to demonstrate to the consumer why they need to be looking at what we have to offer now.

Timing is key. Seeing that first Christmas ad at the beginning of September may fill many with dread, but leave it too late and you‘re likely to miss out!

Don’t panic – we can help

If you would like any advice on how to get the most out of your website and your digital campaigns this Christmas, give us a call. We can offer support on everything from optimising your PPC, SEO, social & email campaigns, to making sure your website is honed to maximise conversion rates.

It’s not too late yet, but it soon will be….