In the Philippines, holiday shopping is a major part of Filipino’s Christmas celebration as much as Noche Buena is. It’s almost a tradition of the season. That’s why the Christmas season opens a lot of opportunities for business owners in terms of marketing and sales.
Based on the 2018 National Accounts Report by the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA), there is a 40% growth on a Filipino’s Household Final Consumption Expenditure (HFCE) during the fourth quarter versus the first quarter of the year. It’s no wonder that brands increase their marketing efforts during this season, when the purchasing power of the market is strong.
At a time when brands compete head-to-head for the attention of customers who are all ready to spend, how do you make sure that your product reaches the shopping carts of your audience?
Here are the four important questions marketers like you should ask yourself when making your Christmas marketing campaign:
1. What do I want to achieve this Christmas?
At the end of this season, what’s your main objective? Do you want to widen your reach? Establish brand recall? Or increase overall sales?
Target setting is an integral part of the success of a Christmas marketing campaign. It becomes the foundation of every strategy, every tactic that shall be implemented. Although objectives may differ based on business type and industry, it’s a must for every marketer to know the direction he or she wants to go to this holiday season.
Christmas is the busiest season of the year, especially for Filipinos. It’s easy to get lost in the rush and chaos if you don’t know where you want to bring your brand. When making a Christmas campaign, most marketers make the common mistake of going through a subjective process—focusing on the theme of the season instead of looking at the bigger picture.
As marketers, it’s important to remember that there’s a science behind the marketing job. The process should always remain to be objective.
2. How does my target audience behave during this season?
It’s Christmastime, meaning you’re already past the time to figure out who your target audience is. You should know who they are by now.
Now that you know them, what are they like during the holiday season? Where do you usually see them? What are their spending habits? What motivates them? It’s important to get consumer insights like these to make an effective Christmas campaign.
Tablet users are recorded to have the highest average order value in comparison to online shoppers who are using desktop computers and smartphones.
Survey shows that Filipinos still procrastinate when it comes to Christmas shopping as they start Christmas shopping during the late part of the season.
Here's why understanding your audience’s behavior is important to your Christmas marketing campaign:
- It allows you to position your brand in a way that’s relevant to your customers. Today’s consumers demand a personalized approach. The way to stay relevant is to be where they’ll go next even before they find themselves wanting to go there.
- It helps you craft a relatable campaign message that resonates to your target audience. There’s a high chance your brand can have a good impact on your audience when you know the language they speak and the things that appeal to them.
- It lets you effectively strategize an effective promotion. When you know where your consumers lurk (whether online or offline), you’d know where to place your ads. When you understand their purchasing habits, you’d know to send your message at the time you’ll have their undivided attention.
3. What will make my Christmas campaign stand out?
Walk around the block and notice the tremendous amount of promotions your customers will come across if they do the same thing. Every brand is aggressive in catching your customer's attention. So, how can you make sure that yours would not drown in a sea of promotions?
Take note of these helpful tips to make your Christmas marketing campaign stand out:
One of the most effective ways to stand out this season is to re-package your product for the season.
Take, for example, Pepero. Every year, they create limited edition Pepero Christmas packs for their customers. If we really think about it, chocolates are not exactly ‘Christmas items.’ But their creativity kept their product relevant for the season. Look at the pretty designs they have!
It’s a no-no for marketers to just rename an offer that already exists to something that sounds more like Christmas. Consumers have now become wiser than ever. They know that it’s very easy to plaster words like ‘new’ or ‘exclusive’ in your marketing materials.
Be sincere in your consumer promotions. Give your customers something that will truly be valuable to them during the Christmas season. Fastfood brands like Chowking Philippines did this in their 2018 Christmas campaign by offering exclusive deals where their customers can enjoy up to P353 savings. It’s not everyday that they do that, and it gives real value.
It’s always a smart move to partner with relevant brands for your Christmas marketing campaign. It’s a two-way win for both you and your partner as you can leverage each other’s strengths and expand your audiences. You get to tap their fans and they can reach out to yours, too.
This is how Grab Philippines made themselves stand out during the 12/12 phenomenon in 2018. They partnered with Shopee Philippines during their BIG Christmas Sale and offered 24-hr free shipping service in their GrabExpress platform. This allowed Grab to create a significant buzz and become relevant during the season. They also established their brand as another fast and convenient shipping option compared to other courier services that usually take 3-5 days shipping time.
Explore exciting deals on Shopee’s 12.12 Big Christmas Sale and get awesome treats from GrabExpress!— Grab Philippines (@grabph) December 4, 2018
Deliver your items FOR FREE via GrabExpress on Dec 4 with a minimum spend of P350 and get an additional P70 off when you use the promo code GRAB1212 on the Shopee platform. pic.twitter.com/bkPlRMTSkb
Christmas is an emotional time for Filipinos. It’s time for gratitude, sharing, and reminiscing. Another way for your brand to stand out is to create a Christmas marketing campaign that touches the hearts of the Filipinos. This way, your brand can connect with your audience in a personal way. It has been scientifically proven that emotional marketing campaigns are a secret weapon for increasing sales.
Jollibee does this through their webisodes. They release a series of heart-warming #KwentongJollibee based on real-life stories. Here’s an example:
There’s something about Christmas that makes a Filipino’s heart bigger. It’s when people are extra generous—to themselves, to their loved ones, to the people they don’t know, and even to the world. It would be nice to provide your customers a way for them to practice kindness with your brand.
This year, SM Supermalls, the country’s most popular mall chain relaunched Bears of Joy as a part of their holiday campaign, #SparklingSMallidays. This lets their customers buy a pair of toy bears—one for you and one to be donated to a charity—for only PHP 200.00. CSR marketing efforts like this turn your ‘consumers’ to ‘prosumers.’ Rather than simply consuming your product, they become ‘professional consumers’ that advocates for your brand.
4. How do I measure my campaign’s success?
The success of your Christmas marketing campaign essentially depends on your goal. Circle back to the first question ask yourself once again, “What do I want to achieve this Christmas?”
If you want to achieve increased awareness, you have to look at the number of reach and views. If you’re seeking to improve your sales, look at the number of transactions and buyers. In the current digital landscape, these quantitative metrics can already be measured using powerful marketing automation tools that are available today.
Meanwhile, you may also look at the qualitative metrics of your campaign. If your Christmas marketing campaign have delivered the best customer service so far, your campaign must have achieved success more than what you expected. Some techniques used to evaluate qualitative metrics like this are interviews, surveys, and benchmarking.
BONUS: How do I create a demand for my product?
Let’s face it: some brands just don’t have the holiday vibe. So, if your brand is not relevant for the holidays, how do you turn that into your favor? You can make your product a gift for the holidays. But everybody's going to be doing that, for sure.
You can still stand out by making your product highly relatable to the season. Starbucks Philippines nailed this strategy and has become a part of every Filipino’s Christmas ever since. If we really think about it, coffee is not something consumers normally buy during the Christmas season. But Starbucks has become an all-season brand as they continuously launch campaigns that make their product relevant to the market.
For years now, Starbucks has been making it a tradition for Filipinos to collect stickers throughout the season in exchange for a beautifully crafted planner. It has become something to look forward to every year for all Starbucks fans. Apart from this, they also have limited edition drinks every Christmas. Their fans love it, tell their friends about it, and people eventually jump into the bandwagon.
Creating a Christmas marketing campaign is a huge part of every marketer's journey. It might seem simple at first. There are a lot of ideas that are inspired by Christmas, anyway. But the real challenge lies in making sure that your brand busts through the noise, with a message that resonates with your target audience.
A successful marketing plan for the holidays doesn't happen overnight. It requires careful planning, a whole lot of conceptualization, and sometimes, even intense brainstorming. It's important for marketers to take a step back and self-reflect about their brand goals and vision. Ask yourselves these questions and create a Christmas marketing campaign that sticks.