Cracking Christmas Communications

on Thursday, 23 May 2013. Posted in Social Media, Content Management

Cracking Christmas Communications

Tis the Season to be Social:

For many businesses, a communication strategy involves some sort of calendar, and whether you begin strategizing based on your communication objectives or based on sending comms at regular intervals, timing is often critical.

So its not surprising then, that in the spirit of Christmas, many a mis-guided communication is planned and passes between business and over-solicited consumer like the offering of the last chocolate in the box, with the Turkish Delight centre, that no one wanted.

Now we are not saying that communications – be they social initiatives, emails, direct mail or a seasonal update to your website – are a bad idea. On the contrary, it is a great idea to make sure that your website is full of fresh, topical content and that you take the opportunity to wish your customers a Merry Christmas or thank them for their custom – even coax the defectors back in to the fold; in the spirit of giving and generosity, during the festive season.

BUT… be strategic. And bear in mind everyone to your left and right also has a message they are desperate to share during Advent, so you will need to be smarter than most to make a splash. And make a splash you must, in order to get any value out of competing during this crowded time period.

What makes for a very merry message?

Have a plan. Is the season to be jolly of critical business importance to your business? Do you rely on a huge upswing in trade? If so, think ahead. Will you be running an offer? Should you be running an offer – perhaps just to loyal customers as a thank you? If so, how long is your purchase cycle? Should your message be going out in November or December? Make it easy to use and accessible.

Or do you just want to take the opportunity to be fun and irreverent? To spread some cheer and show the light-hearted side of your brand? If so, think about video or apps, a simple thank you message is nice but probably not going to cut through unless it is cleverly personalized (we can help with dynamic email possibilities). If you are leaning more towards the rich media side of things, think about one of two goals:

  1. Be useful (you can be irreverent but make sure you are being helpful)
  2. Be funny and apt

Some great examples of this are:

Useful: Christmas dinner timer app. This app could be produced by a restaurant or supermarket, a butcher’s or by a celebrity chef. You simply add the components of your Christmas dinner, the weight of what you are cooking, and your desired time to feast and the app tells you when to put each part (turkey, potatoes, stuffing etc) in the oven, at what temperature and for how long. Super simple, super helpful.

Funny: The Christmas jumper email campaign. The Merry Christmas email from a highstreet fashion chain could allow you to customize the email by adding a Facebook friend’s picture to a humorous video of a heinous Christmas-jumper-wearing, dancing man/woman, rocking around the Christmas tree. This can be forwarded to friends and posted to Facebook walls as a shareable Yuletide joke (whilst supporting the knitwear January sale).

Take the opportunity to be bold, try something a little alternative and trade on the open mindedness and sense of fun that the season lends.

Customers are not just for Christmas

Remember however, a customer is not just for Christmas, make sure this fun and festive communication is not an island. Build it into your ongoing communications plan – follow through on anything you promise – further offers or deals, announcement of competition winners from your prize draw, app updates (if your application can be re-purposed after Christmas then great – someone took the trouble to download it, it would be great if it had a longer lifespan than just December).

The message in all honesty is simple. Have fun with your customers at Christmas but don’t waste their time, be humorous or useful and most of all be congruent. Congruence is what makes your brand identifiable, so do as you would normally do throughout the year, communicate in your brands’ tone of voice and about things that matter to your customers – just take the opportunity to meet them under the metaphorical mistletoe and sprinkle a little glitter on your messaging! For a dousing with Gritt fairy dust on your brand communications, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

P.S. Whilst you are here, we thank you for reading and hopefully enjoying the Gritt blog this year. We wish you all very happy holidays and look forward to working with you again in the New Year. Now, Merry Christmas to all, and to all a Good night…

Gritt & Co

Contact Details

Call 0121 288 5576


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