6 Reasons Santa Claus Wins in Marketing

17 December 2014

Santa Claus is undoubtedly one of the best in the world when it comes to encouraging us to buy. People fill the streets spending their money, all because of a rather grand marketing campaign that has endured for decades. So how does the man in the big red suit get everyone to buy so much? And get them to leave him cookies and milk in every house? Let’s take a look at some of the lessons that we can learn from one of the very best at marketing.

1) Santa Always Comes To Town

The promise of Santa Claus is that he will come to your house and deliver presents on Christmas Eve so you can wake to gifts in the morning. If you ran down the stairs to find your tree barren, you might start to think Santa Claus isn’t particularly trustworthy. Make sure you produce what you say you are going to deliver otherwise your marketing efforts aren’t helping you. In fact, your reputation will become damaged if your messages are incongruent with your delivery.

2) Carries Around a Bag Full of Toys

Everyone loves Santa Claus because he’s always carrying a sack of presents that he’s giving out to everyone. Sure, he gets milk and cookies, but what people remember are the presents that he gave them. Do your marketing messages sound like they’re trying to “get” something from your customer? Or are you indicating how you deliver value to them? Whatever you’re offering, highlight up front and centre the value that you’re giving them and then you’ll start to win your loyal customers.

3) He’s Making A List, Checking It Twice

Santa doesn’t deliver presents to all the kids. He makes a list, checks it twice and figures out who’s been naughty and nice. Only the nice ones get gifts. This is a twofold lesson – Santa makes a list for his deliveries, so you definitely want to be building a list. But he also checks if – you want to make sure you qualify your list so that you’re delivering only to those who are most suitable for your business.

4) He Has A Belly Like Bowl Full of Jelly

Everyone knows what Santa Claus looks like – he’s got a red uniform with white trimmings and a round belly that shakes when he laughs like a bowl full of jelly! What is it about your brand that makes you instantly recognisable? You need to have something that can spread to the world so that you have a presence without actually being there. Like Santa – he’s in almost every shopping centre in the world but he’s not actually there is he?

5) He has Elves, Reindeer, Shopping Centres and Parents

Santa has minions that do most of the work for him. He leverages off systems so that he only really has to work about four days of the year. How? He has representatives in shopping centres drumming up the crowds. He has Mums and Dads getting their kids excited. He has Elves making and packing and he has magical reindeer to deliver his goods. Make it your resolution to systemise as least some of your business. Get a hardworking team (your elves), develop your delivery (reindeer), run promotional events that are easily repeatable (shopping centre representatives) and create autonomous groups of raving fans that can handle things locally (parents).

6) He Lives in the North Pole Without The Internet

You can’t email Santa, or call 1800-SANTA. That kind of access isn’t feasible when you’re as important as Santa Claus. You have to write a letter, then elves screen the letters to see if they can handle it without bothering Santa and only if it’s really important does it get through to Santa. Are you too accessible to your clients or customers? Your time should be precious and respected as a business owner. So if you’re readily accessible, it can imply that you aren’t really that busy – and not really that successful.

That doesn’t mean you ignore customer service – it means you need to have a system in place where you don’t have to deal with it unless it’s actually important. Important people deal with important problems – are you an important person? Santa has a bit of a head start when it comes to marketing, but growth really doesn’t have to take that long. Learn from the best, implement tools that have been tried and tested by figures like Santa Claus, and you could be relaxing in your own version of the North Pole before long.

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