Unwrapping your holiday marketing strategy

October 11, 2023

Is it too early?

Anytime you ask an expert on when you should start planning your business campaigns for Christmas, they’ll likely tell you yesterday. We believe it never is too early to start planning for the holidays when it comes to marketing. With life resetting to normal back-to-school and work-life-balance routines following summer holidays, we’re often left with the thought of what’s next.

When it comes to Christmas shopping, the past few years of global supply chain issues and inflation have certainly urged shoppers to consider options earlier and be more mindful with their spending. While it’s predicted that spending trends for the holiday season will be similar to last year, it’s also difficult to assume how buyers will be spending their money.We also know that the majority of buyers choose to do their online researching and inspiration sourcing on various social media platforms. This is especially true for Gen Z, as 87% of users are using the platform as their news, shopping, and inspiration outlets.2

holiday theme, girl looking at phone smiling

Strategizing Timing

A clear, well-timed holiday campaign has the potential to go viral. Think of how quickly the anticipation for hot, spiced drinks and turkey dinners builds as soon as Mariah Carey’s voice fills every retail outlet and mall near you. Consumer cues are everywhere, and every business outlet rides that holiday wave for the next few months as well all plan around that cheerful time when we all get together.

Does that mean you should bombard your customers with advertisements and promotions as soon as possible? Maybe not, but now’s the time to really hone in on your campaign strategy and your business’s priorities so when it comes time to launch new products and services they’re top of mind for those who you want to reach the most. The idea is work smarter not harder right?

Perhaps your strategy is to focus on launching one promotion at the perfect time. With this single launch, we encourage your business to focus on the types of customers you’re after for this first marketing push. This might especially be the ones that are bargain hunters and are looking for a hot deal on products they resonate with. For example, if you’re a small business owner of a natural foods company, and you’re looking to reach your audience of health-minded young parents, timing your campaign launch for when stores are stocking up with holiday-products would be the best time to launch. Or perhaps it’s through promotional reels or tiktok videos, where many millennial or gen-z parents might be browsing for cooking inspiration.

starbucks cup being drawn on

Where to find your audience over the holidays

Our lifestyle often shifts with the seasons. Where your customers were finding you at seasonal markets and trade shows over the summer might not be the same over the fall and winter months. While shoppers use a variety of channels to shop online and find inspiration, most of them default to using social media and other online platforms for inspiration at least. It’s also estimated that this year, 81% of shoppers will do their Christmas shopping online.3

Perhaps your seasonal product launch might bring in a new customer basis. It’s important to consider who these people might be, and what kind of tone you should be setting for your messaging. Don’t be afraid to be bold and create something buzzworthy that friends and family will talk about. And being bold doesn’t necessarily have to mean provocative. Think of Starbucks’ shift to red cups over the winter – it’s a simple, but bold brand change that lets people know that their holiday drinks are back out.

Maintaining brand loyalty in a vigilant market

With uncertain times ahead, buyers have been more conservative than in recent years when it comes to their consuming habits. Assuming that your tried-and-true customer base will remain loyal year after year is an optimistic outlook, however, the reality is that people are often constantly reevaluating their spending habits and are choosing to go with more affordable options.

gift giving on christmas

Using the holidays as a way to step back and recess your brand strategy is often a good place to start. Reconsidering how your products and services compare to competitors, particularly in a fluctuating market, is needed to not lose sight of where your customers are coming from. 

Some methods to keep your returning customers top-of-mind at this time of the year might be anything from offering repeat customers specialty discounts, or reconsidering your brand collateral outreach this holiday with print or digital newsletters. It’s important to remind your customers of why they should choose your brand over others, and offering a sort of pull, whether it’s as simple as a holiday-style card or promotional newsletter, could keep your brand top of mind to those that you value most.

Make the most of the season

Having a plan for the next couple of months can bring clarity to how you should be prioritizing your time as a business owner. Between managing customer service, online sales, and doing outreach, the holidays can be a hectic time to actually practice what you’re preaching about spreading joy. 

We urge you to use this time now to hone in on your strategy to come up with a powerful campaign that will help you make this season the most profitable and rewarding one yet. Speak with a professional today to see how we can help kickstart your holiday marketing campaign!

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  1. Unknown. (September, 2023). Holiday campaigns from brands we love. Retrieved September 29th, 2023 from: https://www.moo.com/blog/inspiration/10-holiday-marketing-campaigns-from-brands-we-love
  1. Unknown. (September, 2023). Sleigh your holiday strategy. Retrieved October 1st from: https://www.canadapost-postescanada.ca/blogs/business/ecommerce/sleigh-your-holiday-strategy-in-2023-with-our-new-report/
  1. Toneguzzi, Mario. (September, 2023). Canadians gear up for early holiday amid economic uncertainty. Retrieved October 10, 2023 from: https://retail-insider.com/retail-insider/2023/09/canadians-gear-up-for-early-holiday-shopping-amid-economic-uncertainty-feature-report/