In the last couple of weeks, all eyes have been on the anticipated reveal of Christmas adverts from some of the largest companies and businesses in the UK. Each year there is a battle between the likes of John Lewis, Aldi, Disney, Sainsbury’s and M&S in serving up what the public want – feel-good marketing to set the tone for the festive season that is fast approaching.

As soon as Halloween was over, we saw an explosion of Christmas advertising, with mince pies and advent calendars adorning the shelves of every shop – the trick or treat sweets, decorations and pumpkins sitting in the bargain bins with reduced stickers on them. And we’re not ashamed to say we’re here for it, let’s get those trees up, lights ready and get the cosy knitwear out! The last two years in particular we’ve looked to the festive season to raise morale and help us focus on taking that time to really appreciate family, friends and loved ones. With the pandemic still looming over us, life doesn’t feel like it’s back to normal – yet.

When it comes to advertising and marketing at this time of year, it’s more important than ever to know what your customers want and need. The idea is to fulfil that need simply and effectively, it shouldn’t be a hard sell but instead, offer the right content at the right time and in the right place… Your target audience should already be primed and ready to purchase from you – after all you’ve got what they need – so how do you make sure that you reach those all-important people and get in front of them at the right stage of their buying journey?

As seen with the Christmas adverts that go out at this time of year – each of them are trying to do a similar thing. Evoke emotion from their audience, leave a memorable impression and sell their brand at a time of year where people spend more money than usual on gifting, Christmas food and more. It’s about being front of mind and unforgettable.

Christmas tree

Your Target Audience

Part of your marketing strategy should already be centred around knowing your target audience and tailoring your messaging and efforts to them. The research into your target audience is essential to your marketing campaigns and should be your first port of call before outputting content.

Your target audience persona/s

A regular exercise that many businesses undertake is drawing up a persona. Noting down who they are, where they are, their motivations, their goals, whether they’re individuals or businesses, what they’re looking for, what their interests are, what they are like… 

This thorough research helps you to create a picture of who you’re personalising your content for and it may reveal that you have more than one persona to target also.

What sets you apart?

Again, an obvious thing to have strategised is how you are unique and will stand apart from other businesses or companies selling your services or products. Your target audience is most likely inundated with advertising every single day – how are you going to catch their attention?

Noting down your USP’s will help you hone content that will stay focused on answering your audience’s needs, increasing your chances of resonating with them. It’s not just about the sell, it’s about building up customer loyalty and continuously answering a need to encourage repeat custom.

Lean on your marketing team to extract data and insights

You are likely familiar with Google Analytics and social media insights. If you’re not then your marketing team certainly are. These tools help to gather the information you need about your customers and assist in learning to understand them better. The data gathered can provide information on audience demographics, engagement levels, reach, performance and a deep dive analysis of what your target audience likes, what and who they interact with and respond to.

This in turn can help you create content that is personalised to your target audience, helping you narrow down who you are aiming to reach and therefore rather than taking a stab in the dark and targeting a broad group of people, you can refine your content to reach the perfect match that will more likely result in a conversion.

In summary, it’s important to resonate with your audience in order to make an impact. We’re moved and made to feel things by the Christmas adverts that we watch because they’ve been cleverly created to evoke feeling and emotion at a time of year where people are more likely to be thinking about the themes and topics explored. There is a reason why not one of the Christmas ads that have been released tackles the topics of COVID-19, climate change or anything else hard-hitting. As controversial as it is, it’s not what people want to be thinking about when it comes to Christmas and shopping, let’s be honest!

It’s time – if you haven’t already – to get to know your target audience. And to reconnect with your existing customer/client base.