Written by
Lucas Tong

Insights by
Ben Montagu-Scott

16 Aug, 2022

Santa hats and suntans: are you gearing up for the holiday season?

Introduction

As the UK emerges from yet another heat wave, snowfall and Santa may be the last things on your mind. But the Christmas conversation starts much earlier than you might think. 11% of consumers reported they had already completed their Christmas shopping by the end of September, which means the sooner brands tap into this Christmas spirit, the more likely they are to maximise sales during the festive period.

So, who makes up this eager Christmas crowd and how can marketers start planning now to best engage them?

Methodology

Fifty segmented the audiences behind early Christmas conversations from July to October. We analysed who the core engaged groups were discussing ‘Christmas’ and how they evolved across the four months.

Insights

Fifty found that from July to October, online activity surrounding the topic of Christmas increased by an average of 37% month on month. The largest month on month increase of 63% occurred between July and August, proving that Christmas and summer really do go hand in hand. This notable uptick well in advance of the holiday season speaks to a huge opportunity for brands to embed themselves in the Christmas conversation and build relevance before temperatures cool and the market heats up.

Key tribes across the study included British Parents, Contemporary & Urban Gen Z, Arts & Crafts Gifters, Cultured Arts Enthusiasts, Senior Professionals and Deal-Seeking Mums. The diversity amongst tribe influencers and top topics illustrates how the early Christmas crowd are gearing up for more than just a holiday shopping spree. Whilst Deal-Seeking Mums are predominantly influenced by retailers such as John Lewis and Argos, Cultured Arts Enthusiasts are focussed on performing arts and theatre, with top influencers including The National Theatre and the BFI.

This wide variety of interests shows scope for brands to captivate audiences from across the consumer landscape and reinforces the need for a targeted, pre-planned Christmas strategy in order to do so, whether you are a service provider, retailer, or entertainment venue.

The largest tribe, British Parents, grew steadily over the study period and accounted for an average of 28% of the total engagement each month. As the cost of living crisis eats away at the disposable income of British families, it’s likely that many families will be looking to get ahead of the holiday rush by securing early deals and spreading the high cost of celebration over multiple months. For brands, this means that now is a great time to start advertising holiday deals and offers to entice forward-thinking parents.

Among tribes such as Arts & Crafts Gifters, Cultured Arts Enthusiasts, Senior Professionals, and Deal-Seeking Mums the audience volume increased consistently month on month in the lead up to Christmas. All of these tribes grew not only in size, but also in relative influence over conversation as a whole. For example, while Senior Professionals made up only 10% of the Christmas audience in July, this number rose to 13% in October. This changing relative value of audiences in the lead up to Christmas highlights the need for a dynamic targeting approach. By utilising live data that evolves with the audience in real-time, marketers can ensure accurate and cost efficient holiday campaigns.

Liv Liman, Client Director at Fifty comments:

“Brands need to give any digital marketing campaign time to work its magic. It is well known that the best marketing campaigns are made up of a full funnel approach and Christmas campaigns are no different. It is imperative to launch a Christmas campaign early with top of funnel content before diving into sales messaging closer to the big day. This also allows time to build up large retargeting pools to convert over the Christmas period.

It is also no secret that CPMs hike up around Black Friday and in the lead up to Christmas so it is very important to ensure you have 'warmed' up your prospecting audiences ahead of this to ensure when you launch into sales messaging and lower funnel conversion campaigns, you get the best bang for your buck.”

Conclusion

The broad spectrum of audiences engaging with Christmas early indicates that there is a huge opportunity for brands to utilise timely, accurate and dynamic activation planning to remain relevant as the holidays approach. The reasons for this early engagement are just as unique, which means that brands need to align themselves with their audience’s core motivations to get ahead of the Christmas rush.

To learn more about how Fifty can help you get ahead of the holiday buzz, get in touch with us at [email protected] or book a demo directly with our team.

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