The most festive time of the year is quickly approaching and brands from all over the world are working to secure that special place in the hearts of their consumers. In the world of sales and advertising, there is one guy who is everywhere and is known by everyone, regardless of whether the person believes in or celebrates his existence. I know you must have thought about the birthday boy, but it’s been decades since Santa Claus stole the spotlight when it comes to marketing and increasing profits at this time of year, and that’s no secret to anyone.
But what executives and marketing professionals around the world should be thinking is how it managed to turn into such a huge phenomenon loved by so many around the world.
Many would assume that a friendly and cute old man who gives gifts to others would certainly be a hit, but Santa Claus is much more than just that! Santa Claus doesn’t just give gifts, he delivers the best gifts, the ones we dream about all year long, and, in addition, it still produces many unforgettable memories along the way.
Santa really puts his “customers” at the center of everything he does, being the true embodiment of customization. He is so nice that he even recognizes, values and respects those who don’t believe in him or celebrate his existence, instead of pestering them with useless and disrespectful communications on his behalf.
There is no one in the world who knows his audience better than “Good Old Man”, and that is exactly why we should all be learning from him.
People from all over the world send their letters to the North Pole, many without any extra information other than their first name, and yet he knows exactly who the person is, what would put a smile on their face, and how to deliver their gift to them even if she is not at home on the day he makes his annual trip around Earth.
Can you imagine how embarrassing it would be if Santa Claus was out there collecting all kinds of information about everyone and still couldn’t get the presents right? But, contrary to that, he keeps everything he needs to know about habits, interests, favorite brands, preferences, locations, funds, and of course, the behavior of each person who interacts with him, under lock and key.
Most importantly, he understands the importance of using all this data to make the best decisions and prepare in a way that accommodates our wants and needs, often even better than we would do for ourselves, which is why the we love so much. I don’t know about you, but he certainly saved me a lot of trouble with my mom and dad by not giving me a pool to keep in my room the way I asked for a million times when I was a kid.
By keeping all relevant information, working with active listening and knowing his audience, Santa Claus will certainly avoid a lot of frustration, poor communication and wasted time and resources. Can you imagine how frustrated 5-year-old Anna would be if I wrote him a letter asking for a replacement for my favorite gift from the previous year, an amazing police car by the way, that my cousin broke and Santa arrived with one of those dolls super guys who feed and cry?
Very frustrated I would tell you, since I was scared to death of them! Practically the same frustration, as an adult, that I have every time I scroll through my feed on social media and am bombarded with ads for things I would never buy, even worse when it’s from a brand that I consume and instead of putting something that interests me, put something generic that doesn’t match my profile at all…
So, if we can agree that we love Santa because he knows us better than we know ourselves, why don’t we treat our customers with the same care, affection and attention? You’re probably wondering, “But how can we mere mortals be more like Santa Claus?”
The answer is simple, using all available technology to our advantage! Brands have countless touchpoints to gather knowledge about their consumers’ preferences, habits, budgets, locations and more, but they often fail to put it into practice in a way that makes sense for individuals, personalizing their experiences with consumers. all types of communications that can really save them time, resources and make them feel heard, cared for and someone really special to their team and their brand.
If you want people to love your brand as much as they love Santa Claus, you should be putting the same level of attention and effort into your relationships as he does. This means ensuring that you and your elves are only collecting relevant information about your customers, keeping it truly secure, and using it to provide the best gift anyone could want, true personalization that shows how much you care.
And here’s the golden tip, you don’t see any of us looking for a Santa Claus replacement, right? Santa Claus has no competitors, because that’s what happens when you master the art of putting a smile on your customers’ faces.
During this year’s festivities, instead of using generic ways to communicate and advertise to your customers, raise your bar and create segmented experiences that will connect you in a meaningful way with your audience. And, of course, don’t forget to put on your list for Santa Claus all the technological solutions that can help you check off all the boxes on your list of 2024 resolutions to become number 1 in the hearts and minds of your customers!
*For people like me who are passionate about Santa Claus, I imagine this article took you on a journey through time full of good memories. And for all the people who have different beliefs, I hope that at least the analogy made enough sense that you could carry the central idea into your own incredible experiences based on your background, culture, and beliefs.
*Anna Andrade, Head of Marketing and Communications at Retargetly