How to Boost Your Holiday Marketing Reach

Tickle Me Elmo. Teddy Ruxpin. Cool Whip. Boxed stuffing. Some products instantly conjure up memories of wrapped presents or classic holiday dishes. And just as memorably, empty store shelves and insane demand. 

Creating that “gotta have it” consumer behavior doesn’t happen by accident. It takes careful planning and creative marketing tactics that are timed with precision.

While it may be adults who are doing the buying, kids often drive the spending patterns during this annual period. In 2021, the average parent with kids under 18 planned to spend $276 per child on gifts during the holiday season. 

Let’s break down some not-so-obvious ways to boost demand for your brand leading up to the holiday buying frenzy.

Education Marketing
This tactic goes far beyond showing commercials during Saturday morning cartoons (or YouTube videos, streaming services, and any other modern equivalent). Making your product part of a classroom curriculum gives kids hands-on experiences, making them more familiar with your brand. Education marketing provides opportunities for immersive experiences with your product that are more memorable than other forms of engagement. 

While education marketing seems most obvious for toys and games, CPG brands should also take note. Integrating your brand into a holiday cooking lesson or in-class recipe is a great way to get kids excited about making holiday memories in the kitchen while tying that feeling to your brand. 

Education doesn’t stop in the classroom. Kids bring their enthusiasm home and try to replicate the activity with their family. This is your opportunity to get in with the real decision makers—parents. Then your brand is suddenly a staple on the weekly grocery list instead of a holiday-only dish.

Cause Marketing  
The holidays are a time of celebration. But they also serve as stark reminders that some people don’t have the resources to indulge in special meals or share exciting gifts. Giving back during this season is a meaningful way to help others while building positive brand equity and inspiring action.

Brands who leverage cause marketing gain another advantage during the holiday buying season. Promoting good instead of leading with a direct sales message can help you cut through the noise. Most other brands will use very strong “buy now” or “get it today” calls to action. A softer message can actually be more impactful doing this time, strictly because it feels different. 

There are many ways to bring this holiday marketing tactic to life.You could employ a “you buy one, we give one” strategy. You could donate a percentage of sales during the holidays. You could provide resources to underserved communities or displaced populations to help them celebrate. Or, you could use your holiday messaging as a time to share your brand’s values. Any of these tactics can build connection with consumers and make them feel good about their purchases this season. Just be sure to choose a strategy that aligns with your brand’s overall positioning and resonates with your target audiences.

Peer-to-peer Sampling  
As we mentioned, the holidays are all about gathering, sharing, and celebrating. They’re also largely built on tradition. While that’s a very warm, comfortable feeling for many, it also means this may not be a time when people are highly likely to try new things. They fall back on tried-and-true products that have been part of their holiday routine for years or even decades. 

The National Retail Federation reported that consumers plan to spend an average of $998 on items such as gifts, food, decorations and other holiday-related purchases for themselves and their families. Sampling programs can be great ways to get a stocking in the door. Showing people the proof is in the pudding (or soup, oatmeal, or any other product) gives them more confidence in your product. It also gets consumers excited to introduce something new to their friends and family during a season of gatherings and shared activities.

Sampling can also be a great way to boost new product launches during the holiday season. Peer-to-peer sampling is especially effective. Instead of introducing your products in crowded retail settings, you give consumers a chance to try them in a more comfortable environment. This form of sampling also provides an instant endorsement from someone they trust, like their child’s teacher, a friend, or a community leader.

Putting a bow on it. 
All of the tactics listed above can be used as standalone activities. However, they can also be used to get more legs out of an existing holiday campaign. Whether you’re in the early planning stages or finalizing your Q4 plans, our team at ITK Collective will help you find the best ways to incorporate new cause marketing, education marketing, or sampling opportunities. Contact us today to see how we can give your brand or client a holiday boost.



ITK Collective            Charleston, SC 29403 
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