Create new opportunities with seasonal marketing
Learn how to create compelling marketing campaigns that resonate with your audience, regardless of the season.
Marketing campaigns, in general, help brands expand their business. They can effectively promote information about their products, services, and promotions, reach new audiences, and increase sales.
And if you add certain special times into the mix, you get seasonal marketing.
As seasons change, businesses can thrive by adapting their marketing strategies and adding to the fun and excitement of the season.
What is seasonal marketing?
Seasonal marketing is any promotion created during certain times of the year. These campaigns involve tailoring marketing strategies to specific seasons, holidays, or events throughout the year.
The goal is to leverage high traffic and unique consumer behaviors associated with each season to maximize sales, engagement, and brand awareness.
Seasonal marketing campaigns can include various elements such as special promotions, themed advertising, and product launches that reflect the spirit of the season or holiday.
Holidays to build your seasonal campaigns around
Here’s a list of the most popular holidays to build your campaign around:
- New Year’s Eve
- Chinese New Year
- Mother’s Day
- Valentine’s Day
- Black Friday / Cyber Monday
- St Patrick’s Day
Examples of popular seasonal marketing campaigns
Puma India’s Black Friday campaign
Puma India hired doppelgangers of their key brand ambassadors, staged a fictitious pop-up shop with tampered branding, and even changed their website to look hacked.
Cricketer Virat Kohli posted an Instagram story with the caption, “Hey Puma India, someone is impersonating me and selling Puma products at Linking Road, Mumbai,” and former cricketer Yuvraj Singh also posted, “What is happening here, Puma India? Who is this cheap copy of Yuvray Singh? Didn’t I give dates?”.
This was part of a campaign to show that while everything can be spoofed, their offers for Black Friday are as real as they get.
John Lewis’s Christmas campaign
John Lewis & Partners is a British brand of high-end department stores. They have had an ongoing television advertising campaign since 2007 in the build-up to Christmas. In 2019, they released their first joint ad with their sister chain, Waitrose.
The story follows the friendship of a young girl, Ava, and an excitable young dragon preparing for Christmas. Edgar is so excited about Christmas that he cannot control his flames. He burns the village Christmas tree and melts a snowman, disrupting Christmas fun. So, he decides to shut himself down from the village. However, Ava wants him to be a part of Christmas and gives him a perfect gift – a traditional Christmas pudding that he lights up for the rest of the village.
It sends a heartwarming message that nobody should be left out, and that we need to accept all our differences.
To promote this campaign, for social media, they created an Edgar Snapchat filter and a custom Edgar emoji for X (former Twitter). Also, they made a new range based on Edgar – cuddly toys, children’s pajamas, and slippers. And all the products feature a link to the new advert.
Snickers + Lemonade’s Halloween campaign
Snickers teamed with insurance firm Lemonade to protect homeowners from any unwanted Halloween trickery. According to Lemonade, burglaries and vandalism are, on average, the highest around Halloween.
To provide peace of mind, they partnered with Snickers to “protect homeowners from tricks with the best treat, full-size Snickers,” and invest in Lemonade insurance.
Cadbury 5 Stars’s Valentine’s Day Alibi campaign
To remove pressure from single people on Valentine’s Day, Cadbury 5 Star proposed “Do Nothing” instead. The brand has taken over an island and renamed it “My Cousin’s Wedding.” Making it the perfect alibi for singles to avoid the dreadful question, “What are your plans this Valentine’s?”
When buying the special Valentine’s Day Cadbury 5 Star pack, consumers could scan the QR code that leads them to the NothingCoin website to mine coins to stand a chance to bid to stay on the island or win other gifts.
To make it more fun, people could walk into the Embassy of My Cousin’s Wedding and apply for a visa. The form had hilarious questions like “Do you sometimes hum cheesy romantic songs when no one is watching?” And they even created an immersive VR experience of the island.
Carlsberg’s Easter campaign
The chocolate egg is a symbol of Easter. That is why Carlsberg created a pop-up bar entirely made from chocolate.
The “if Carlsberg did chocolate bars” pop-up in London was five meters wide and two meters high and contained all the features you’d expect to see in a traditional British pub. People were invited to have a half-pint of ice-cold Carlsberg served in a Carlsberg-engraved milk chocolate glass.
Why do you need a seasonal marketing campaign?
Now that you have seen some of the most popular seasonal marketing campaigns let’s discuss why you need one.
1. Appealing to seasonal excitement
Everything starts from here. Your target audience is already tuned into the specific holiday or season. And it’s on you to align your brand messages with the current cultural and social context.
This way, you appeal to seasonal excitement, attract attention, and establish stronger consumer connections.
2. Increasing brand awareness
Seasonal marketing campaigns are a great way to draw attention to your business and attract new customers with creativity and innovation. Unique, out-of-the-box and visually appealing campaigns can stand out, attract attention, and generate buzz around your brand.
Also, creating campaigns with compelling and memorable stories, like the John Lewis Christmas campaign, can help users discover your brand and develop positive associations.
3. Boost product sales
In the holiday season, we all want to recognize our family and friends and give them a special gift, but at the same time, save money. Positioning your products or services as thoughtful and ideal gifts can increase sales.
Many successful seasonal campaigns involve some kind of limited offer, which creates a sense of urgency and encourages consumers to make a purchase. And personalized recommendations can contribute to a sense of exclusivity and anticipation.
Holiday retail sales in 2002 in the US
Projected holiday retail sales for 2023 in the US
How to create a seasonal marketing campaign?
1. Understand your audience
Understanding your audience is crucial for creating effective seasonal marketing campaigns because it allows you to tailor your messaging, content, and promotions to resonate with your target audience’s specific preferences and needs.
By understanding their interests and values, you can create highly relevant campaigns.
For example, someone may live in a mainly Christian country but not celebrate Christmas but do celebrate Diwali. Sending them a special offer during Christmas may result in your message ending in the trash folder. At the same time, a promotion during Diwali is more likely to grab their interest and prompt them to take action.
Different audiences may prefer different communication channels. Some might be more active on social media, while others may respond better to email marketing or traditional advertising.
Also, understanding the cultural diversity within your audience is very important. It helps you avoid insensitive or inappropriate messaging.
2. Research your top competitors
Analyzing what your competitors are doing helps you identify trends within your industry for seasonal campaigns. Understanding what works or doesn’t work for them can inspire your campaigns and allow you to adopt successful strategies.
Also, research allows you to discover gaps in the market or areas your competitors may be overlooking. This is where you can position your seasonal campaigns and ensure you are unique and appeal to your target audience.
3. Plan early
As with any campaign, you should start planning months in advance. There are quite a lot of things to determine:
- What are the holidays and important events around which you want to create and launch your campaigns?
- What are you offering?
- What channels will you use to promote the campaign?
- What is your creative approach?
After you have created your campaign, but before launching it, you should test if everything is working correctly.
4. Use data
Using data can help you make informed decisions. You can analyze your past campaigns and see what worked and what you should improve.
This also includes analyzing historical data on consumers in general and their behavior. You can gain insights about peak shopping times, preferred channels, purchase patterns, and preferences.
By understanding their past behavior, you can forecast trends for upcoming seasons, plan future campaigns, personalize them, anticipate demand, and plan inventory.
Whether it’s the joy of holidays, the excitement of summer, or the harmony of fall, you can use these seasons to increase brand awareness, build lasting relationships with your customers, and much more.