Christmas in Summer? Why Your Festive Marketing Strategy Needs to Start Now…

Free Playbook: Driving Marketing Effectiveness

Despite the northern hemisphere beginning to heat up for Summer, businesses are looking past the aperol spritz and suncream, turning their attention to Q4 and their festive marketing strategy. Regardless of economic uncertainty, it’s going to be a busy year and now is the time to get your ducks in a row.

Matilda Rose Moir

Even holiday season related queries on Google have already started, with the search term ‘christmas marketing’ spiking across the UK, US and APAC in early May – three months earlier than 2023.

“The fact is we don’t exactly know when Christmas will ‘launch’ and who will be at the forefront. It’s important to remain as reactive as possible, so having your turkeys in a row ahead of time will only serve to ensure you’re ready to go to market with gifting, festive wear and frivolities when the competition does strike” – Amy Norton, UK Growth Director

What Will Christmas 2024 Look Like?

If 2023 was anything to go by (with festive retail sales rising by 3.8% YoY), we can expect an increased volume of sales across Thanksgiving, Black Friday and Christmas with an expected rise in consumer spending. 

Key categories will likely include food and beverage, grocery, and ‘dining out’, but, although they’re spending, consumers will continue to be discerning about the way they buy. Over half the population were bargain hunting, cutting back on non-essentials and switching to  cheaper brands last year, and this will be echoed in 2024 as price and value remain top priority.

Tied in with increased privacy regulations, such as the EU Ad Personalization Ban and the Digital Markets Act, reaching the right consumers, at the right time, with the right messaging (that sets you apart from competitors) has never been more important.

How to Get Sales This Christmas.

Here are the nine key factors to consider that’ll help increase your sales this festive season:

  1. Collect and enrich your first-party data
  2. Think with a consumer first mindset
  3. Reassess your measurement and attribution methods
  4. Plan a discount strategy
  5. Integrate data and creative
  6. Leverage the ‘lipstick effect’
  7. Use AI, ML and Automation
  8. Build an omni-channel presence
  9. Optimize your website

Collect and enrich your first-party data

We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again: data is the number one contributor to success. Leveraging first-party data is not only crucial in navigating our evolving data protection landscape but also forms the foundation for campaign success. Brands need a strategic approach to optimize their campaigns well before the festive season kicks in, ensuring a setup that guarantees success when we hit Q4. This is where data enrichment comes in.


This approach emphasizes the future of personalization known as “Progressive Profiling”, where customer data is collected incrementally, resulting in more relevant profiles built on accurate and up-to-date information. Adopting this methodology improves the customer experience, gathers precise data, and drives increased personalization and conversions. 

Think with a consumer first mindset

Implementing a consumer-first approach will be of the utmost importance during this holiday season. You should be putting your customers at the center of all that you do – offering personalization without sacrificing privacy – building relationships on ‘their’ terms.

To strike the right balance between security and personalization you will need to incorporate strong, consent-based frameworks for the data you collect and build in a value exchange to preserve the trust of your consumers.

Be mindful of financial realities and the diversity of your audience.  While you want to encourage sales and drive awareness, it’s important to display understanding and sympathy for those with limited, if any disposable income, and the impact that the festive season may be having. 

Reassess your measurement and attribution methods

More often than not we, as marketers, are misallocating our resources, as ‘old school’ attribution models are failing to account for the often complex nature of consumer decision-making. This can significantly impact performance across key sales periods, such as Black Friday and Christmas, with businesses over, or under valuing key channels.

To navigate this complexity, businesses should reassess their current methods of measurement and consider alternative solutions such as Marketing Mix Modeling (MMM), Incrementality testing, and where feasible, Econometric Modeling. Check out our recent playbook, 6 Ways to Drive Marketing Effectiveness which covers this in more detail.

Learn more about Incrementality Testing


Plan a discount strategy

Consumer confidence is still at a low with personal financial situations weighing heavily on discretionary spending – meaning consumers are becoming less brand loyal and prolonging their purchasing decisions to find the best deals and value for money. 52.9% of consumers are willing to switch brands if they can save money – with over 60% actively looking for the lowest product price when shopping. With this in mind, the holiday season will be saturated with bargain hunters, and brands that have a strong discount strategy in mind will come out on top.

A great way to approach this is to monitor  your competitors’ prices and adjust yours accordingly. Consider dynamic pricing tools or repricing softwares to automate price adjustments based on market conditions. Striking the right balance between competitiveness and profitability is difficult, but well worth the time and resources.

Integrate data and creative

In today’s ever changing landscape, harnessing the power of data-driven creative has become a cornerstone for brands aiming to stand out, especially during key calendar events – such as Christmas. 

Competition is at an all-time-high, and as consumers grapple with the ever changing cost of living, making an impact within your creative ads has never been more important. 

The key is to; Plan Ahead, Get Personal, Use Data, Be Inclusive, Engage your Audience, Read the Room, Keep it Authentic, and Be Consistent. Check out our article to learn more; How to Nail your Creatives this Christmas. Or take a look at our recent webinar, “Creative Solutions for Peak Performance,” brought together industry experts, insightful speakers, and a real-world case study that explores the pivotal role of creative in transforming your campaigns.

Leverage the ‘lipstick effect’

When financial times are tough, consumers will still tend to buy small luxury items (such as lipstick), even as larger ticket purchases have to be pushed back. Making them feel good without breaking the bank… Leveraging this need for ‘indulgence’ can help you tap into a new purchasing stream. 

There can also be a good cross-sell opportunity here for last minute add ons so maximize any opportunities during the checkout process to capitalize on impulse consumer decisions.

Use AI, ML and Automation

Intelligent solutions, such as AI, ML and Automation are far from a new feat, but recent progress in technological advancements has presented significant opportunities for businesses and marketers – especially across Media, Commerce and Creative.

Tapping into this resource can help you significantly improve shopping experiences, foster customer loyalty, and add value for brands and retailers. The greatest impacts will be in areas such as:

  • Automation of marketing campaigns and the creation of content for emails, landing pages, texts, social media, and apps using automated audience segments.
  • Offering conversational site search across digital touchpoints for a more human and natural way to find the ideal product or gift. 
  • Providing a service that enables chatbots to understand, anticipate, and respond to questions with greater nuance and human-like expression.
30 Ways to Use AI in Digital Marketing


Build an omni-channel presence

Brand perception and recognition is key, and a successful strategy is one that seamlessly spans across multiple channels, ensuring a consistent brand experience (and narrative). Your audience doesn’t live on just ‘one channel’, and providing them with multiple touchpoints will only strengthen their perception of your brand. Reinforcing awareness and consideration at a time when market competition will be at its highest. 

This doesn’t mean you need to have a presence across every known channel. With increased competition CPCs are going up, and multiple businesses are competing for the same search terms – so only target the channels where your audience is most prevalent, and consider adopting alternative approaches to growth (such a branding or social commerce efforts).

Optimize your website

Website optimization is the key to better user experiences, increased conversions, and gaining a competitive advantage that extends far beyond the holiday rush. It’s about positioning your brand for success and ensuring you make the most of the opportunities that lie ahead. The best way to do this is by:

  1. Assessing Core Web Vitals Performance
  2. Tidying Up Your Code & Executing a Database Cleanup
  3. Optimizing Images & CSS
  4. Stress Testing Servers in Advance

For more information on how you can get your festive marketing strategy up and running, fill in the form below and speak to our team of expert specialists…

Read Next

Find out how we can help you

With offices around the world, we can build a team perfect for your needs.

Keep up to date with our monthly insight digest