Sleigh The Season: Why Summer Is The Time To Think Winter Holiday Marketing

Summer is only beginning, but we can already hear the sleigh bells ringing! Are you listening? While the next few months are being celebrated with sparklers, fireworks, and hot dogs, the most marketable time of the year is right around the corner. Companies and competitors should be planning as early as today. However, major retailers and the biggest brands begin preparing their strategy, creative, and marketing executions years out before each holiday season.

Consumers shop all the time, all year round. However, about 40% of consumers begin their holiday shopping before Halloween, and with that percentage getting higher each year, you could be missing out on potential in-store and online customers and falling behind competitors who are ahead of the holiday game.

The time for your brand to begin planning for holiday marketing is now! Here are 3 tips on how:

Make A Plan + Set Goals 

Early planning and goal-setting allows brands to dive into data and campaigns from previous years to understand what worked and what didn’t. Brainstorming sessions and planning meetings as early as late spring can give your team and/or agency the bandwidth to explore, craft, and refine more effective strategies that are tailored to your audience’s or customers’ preferences and behaviors. 

With 92% of Americans planning to celebrate Christmas in 2024, the holiday season will get crowded with marketing messages from countless brands. Setting holiday marketing goals and planning early allows you to potentially stand out from the competition. With ample time, there is more room for different ideas, messaging, and quality content. 

Strengthen Relationships With Partners

One of the “too early” predictions for the 2024 season is the rise of unexpected partnerships. With consumer reach becoming more expensive, brand partnerships (including influencer partnerships) are a low-cost, low-stakes way of getting your brand in front of new audiences. 

Influencer marketing and partnerships play a significant role during the holidays. By reaching out to influencers and partners early, you can secure prime collaboration opportunities and ensure that your campaigns align with their schedules. Early planning also allows influencers to create authentic, high-quality content that resonates with their followers.

Building Anticipation With Content Creation

On the topic of of high-quality content, 8 in 10 holiday shoppers are influenced by the internet before making a purchase. That means planning content and building anticipation on socials among your audience ahead of time is vital for holiday marketing. Video teasers, social media sneak peeks, and early-bird emails can generate buzz and excitement, making your audience eager for your brand’s holiday offerings.

Planning now can help you build out a holiday marketing schedule with a content calendar that outlines key dates for your campaign, whether it’s content for platforms or email newsletters. Also noted in our Power Of Visual Content blog, quality content evokes emotions and creates a memorable experience for consumers, something that takes time to create. Branded content that reflects the joys and traditions of the holiday season can resonate deeply with your audience, making your brand more relatable and leading to increased “out of season” brand loyalty.

Holidays are undoubtedly the busiest time of year in life and business, so planning your holiday marketing strategies now will save your brand any preventable stress, whether in-store or online. The exact timing for holiday marketing planning can vary depending on the nature of your brand, the industry it’s in, and the specific holidays you want to target. 

Yet, as a general guideline, summertime is an ideal time when brands should consider starting their holiday marketing preparations. Though it sounds unconventional, like all marketing, great holiday marketing takes time! 

Start planning now, and ensure that your brand shines brightly during the holidays! Have a merry vision for your brand? We’d love to hear about it. Send us a note at hello@thekingagency.com

The King Agency is an award-winning marketing agency offering a full suite of communications services including advertising, branding, digital, and strategic marketing, at any scale. Based in Richmond, Virginia, with offices in Atlanta and Virginia Beach, The King Agency has been helping turn businesses into brands for more than 25 years. To learn more visit thekingagency.com or email hello@thekingagency.com