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The Advent of Seasonal Marketing

Every year, businesses try to come up with new and exciting seasonal marketing ideas. The holidays bring out the shoppers, but there are more and more businesses competing for their attention. Thus, marketers need to be innovative and creative to ensure that consumers notice them over their competitors. During the pre-Christmas season, one way to accomplish this seems to be via the advent calendar.

Back when I was a kid, it didn’t come with a lot of bells and whistles. Starting on the first of December, my parents let me open door #1 on the pretty paper calendar hanging in the kitchen. What was behind the door? It could be a picture of a snowflake, a star, a candle, and so on. I remember liking the surprise element of it all, and the countdown to presents, of course. However, now advent calendars have been completely reinvented, and can be fabulous gifts in and of themselves.

Advent Calendars Aren’t Just for December Anymore

So, Purdys decided to get a jump on everyone else this year and create an advent calendar for Halloween. Okay, so they didn’t actually call it an advent calendar, but take a look at it. That’s a haunted house with little drawers filled with chocolates. And, after doing a quick Google search, it’s clear that Purdys isn’t the only one declaring that advent calendars can be spooky too. What can we learn from this? One way to win at seasonal marketing is to repurpose ideas. If one concept works for one holiday, it might just work for another . . . with a little tweaking.

Advent Calendars Aren’t Just for Kids Anymore

Chocolate and candy are all well and good, but let’s talk about the plethora of stuff advent calendars are offering to adults. Alcohol is a big seller in 19-plus market, so it’s not a surprise that alcohol-themed advent calendars have taken off. Craft Beer Importers Canada have been selling their advent calendar for five years and have incorporated social media marketing into the process. They’ve created a Facebook page and Twitter page just for their advent calendar that provides tasting notes and background information about each beer.

They’ve kept the surprise element of the calendar by only releasing each tidbit of content on social media once it’s time to open the door on each beer. This is clever, as the anticipatory, countdown aspect of the calendar is a winning formula. So, regardless of whether the product changes, the old maxim of, “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” still holds true.

For the Person that Has Everything…

Marijuana advent calendars. Yes, they exist, and not only do they exist, but according to this CBC article they are selling out fast. These calendars can cost as much as $230, bringing us to another reason why companies are rushing to create advent calendars for adults: people will pay big money for them.

Beauty advent calendars like this one by Charlotte Tilbury will run you $250. Love socks? How about a $557 sock calendar (On the 24th you get a cashmere pair!)? Or, really think outside the box and attend a 24-course advent calendar dinner for $135 per person. These businesses know how to appeal to their audience: the luxury market. Another key seasonal marketing idea: don’t try to sell a budget item to the high-end consumer. If your business specializes in luxury products and services, make sure that your seasonal offerings are equally high quality. All your offline and online collateral should look great too (from well-designed physical products to visually appealing landing pages).

Put Your Seasonal Marketing Ideas to the Test

Whatever seasonal marketing ideas you try out this winter, don’t forget to look at your sales and analytics once the holidays are over. Which promotional items sold well? Which online marketing efforts garnered the most engagements? Who was buying during the holidays? It’s key to look at your audience demographics. If new customers bought a promotional item, how can you turn those individuals into regular buyers? All of this and more needs to be part of your New Year’s resolution, once you’ve finished enjoying all your advent goodies, of course!

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