A Digital Christmas

We know Christmas is upon us when the Monday morning office discussion is based around Mariah Carey vs. The Pogues or Buble vs. Bieber, like it or not, Christmas is a matter of days away.  Whilst many B2B businesses look at the lead up to Christmas as an opportunity to get their house in order, for many B2Cs this is the most important time of year. With shoppers keeping tighter hold of their purse strings this Christmas, it is important for marketers, whether in the B2B or B2C sectors, to think creatively about how to use the wealth of marketing channels out there.  Here is how some more well known brands have been using social media and mobile marketing to engage with consumers this Christmas.

Mobile marketing – Santa’s little helper

Christmas is just around the corner and recent surveys have predicted a significant growth in the use of mobile this Christmas. With almost half of the UK population now owning a Smartphone, more people are turning to their mobiles for shopping research and purchasing decisions. Consumerchoices.co.uk has found that the UK alone is to spend as much on Christmas via mobile phone as the rest of Europe. The growth of mobile commerce continues to show that consumers are becoming more confident in using their mobile phones for shopping and purchasing items on the go.

The NSPCC are a great example for those thinking about mobile marketing in the lead up to Christmas. The NSPCC is once again running a seasonal campaign that will send the child (or big kid!) a ‘Letter from Santa’. The latest campaign from the NSPCC will be promoted and delivered via mobile marketing, with the charity looking to capitalise on the growth of the mobile internet in order to raise more funds in this festive period.  This year, the NCPCC have taken their traditional letter campaign a step further, a special microsite has been established, where parents will be able to order a letter from Santa for their children simply via their smartphones.

Mobile is becoming a key component in marketing and mobile advertising spend is expected to ramp up this Christmas as advertisers focus their efforts on reaching a growing, and increasingly engaged, mobile audience.

Social media this Christmas – Spread a little festive cheer

 Companies are finding new ways to talk to their consumers this Christmas. Stephen Haines, UK commercial director, Facebook, said: “Retailers are seeing more and more value from joining conversations on Facebook as a great way to hear directly from fans about what they want and what’s interesting.

“This Christmas, we’re seeing a lot of brands taking advantage of those conversations to reach not only fans but also their friends in fun, creative ways – including wish lists, gifting apps, exclusive deals and special Facebook offers. “

Facebook gives companies the forum to interact directly with their customers and for a real conversation to take place about the brand. This year Nivea launched a new Facebook campaign for Christmas, the Facebook page is designed to fit in with the skincare brand’s ‘Feel Closer’ positioning. Consumers can use the app to buy and send a friend a Nivea gift set, which will be wrapped in personalised wrapping paper featuring photos they have both been tagged in on Facebook. 

It hopes to target women aged 30-54 by encouraging the use of Facebook to share “moments of closeness” by uploading photos and liking, sharing and commenting on other people’s pictures.

Mobile service provider O2 has launched its festive social media marketing campaign, which will provide customers with a personal message from Santa. Using the social media platform, Twitter, consumers can send their messages to the O2 Santa.  O2 will then create a personal video message for the sender, which can be shared amongst friends.

This Christmas campaign has been designed to spread a little festive joy. Consumers can participate by tweeting the official O2 Twitter account, @O2 with the hashtag #O2santa. All of the video messages created will be hosted on YouTube, enabling customers to watch them again and again.

Head of social media at O2, Alex Pearmain, commented on this latest social media marketing initiative.

“Our social channels seemed the ideal platform to cheer customers up and we hope this campaign will help to cut through some of the current consumer gloom and spread some festive cheer.”

For any business owner, developing a strategy to encourage new business or shoppers back into stores for the crucial Christmas period is increasingly difficult; however, Christmas is a great time to get creative and build customer interaction, ready for the New Year. Last year, we reflected on the increase in online shopping. This year, online marketing has gone social.  So what will next year bring? Will Santa be teleporting his gifts down the chimney? We are looking forward to finding out!

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