Christmas is a time of tradition - giving gifts, sentimental songs, dinners with the family. It's also a time for change - new year, new baby, new goals, new resolutions, new ways of marketing. Competition for customers is exceedingly stiff during the holiday season, and so your best chance at getting noticed is to craft a marketing campaign that can't be ignored in the first place.
The key is to attract immediate attention and leave a memorable and motivational impression on potential customers and gift-givers. Traditional marketing methods work for many, but if you want to break the mold and stuff your stocking with goodies this year you'll have to opt for creativity and perhaps a bit of shock value. Here are some off-the-wall Christmas marketing strategies you can try.
Print stickers and posters, and decorate downtown's inanimate objects like characters from the North Pole, reindeer, elves or Santa himself. Turn park benches into sleighs, soda machines into snowmen, and light poles into candy canes. Of course, you'll want to make sure your company name is branded all over the place - if you're creative (and perhaps even a bit humorous without being offensive) you'll be noticed.
Have a live nativity
Some might deem it uncouth to directly market during a live nativity scene, but if you're in a prime location and have the space you can certainly host one on your property. This is, of course, if you live in a predominantly Christian area and your target audience demographics are overwhelmingly Christian. The nativity scene would demonstrate to your customers that you share the same values and might also generate some more press.
Sack the Santa
Have someone dress up as Santa and carry a sack with goodies from your business. Have Santa traverse all over town, through the mall, the shopping district park or wherever your customers congregate publicly. Hang flyers all over town telling people if they can get Santa's sack from him, they can keep the contents. Carry a camera or make sure you have a reporter on-call for when it happens so you can get free publicity. You might not want to brand Santa himself, but you can certainly place your logo on his sack. [NOTE: To prevent injury from overzealous shoppers, make it clear that Santa will be setting the bag down from time -to-time, and this is when the bag should be stolen.]
Host a holiday concert or family winter fun day
Have the local high school choir sing at a holiday concert, serve hot cocoa and have Santa on-hand for the kids. Have families participate in fun activities such as building snowmen (or sandman, depending on your location), icy tug of war or any of a myriad of outdoor games that can be adapted for the snow. If you can create an event that the public loves to attend year in and year out (especially if attendees are likely customers), you'll increase awareness, build loyalty and boost sales exponentially. Make sure everyone goes home with a branded thermos, hat or jacket!