Holiday Campaigns

The Future of Festive: Trends Shaping Innovative Holiday Campaigns

Overview: If you’re wondering what’s in store for the future of festive campaigns, t hese data-backed holiday marketing trends will guide you towards the best possible season for your business! Read on!

What if we were blessed with a festive muse, a modern-day jester with the charm of a holiday-loving troubadour, to unveil the joys that await us in the approaching season (without a hint of the macabre, naturally)?

Unfortunately, we don’t have the specter of Christmas future to guide us the way — but we do have lots of data from past holidays and earlier in 2023 to help marketers get the most out of the season.

After deep diving into a lot of information, we found four themes emerging this year. Some are familiar — some suggest the need to tweak our 2022 strategies!

The holiday marketing landscape is always shifting, and this year is no different. We’re going to explore some key trends without the aid of pictures – just a good old conversation about what businesses need to know to sleigh the game this holiday season.

Holiday Marketing Trends for 2023

The Holiday marketing trend makes a lot of sense when the economy is less stable. Consumers hold their finances a little dearer, and as inflation continues at a higher rate than in previous years, that’s what we face this holiday season.

Inflation Makes Discounts More Important Than Ever 

Inflation is a buzzword this holiday season, and it’s affecting how consumers approach their spending. With 88% of people anticipating at least some impact on their holiday budget, the majority are gearing up for a bargain hunt.

Interestingly, 67% of consumers are strategizing by seeking significant discounts, while half are considering purchasing fewer items. It’s a clear shift in consumer behavior, and businesses need to adapt to this frugal mindset.

Retailer Response: Deep Discounts and Inventory Cuts 

To stay ahead of consumer expectations, retailers are adjusting their strategies. Many are opting for a more conservative approach, ordering fewer high-end products and trimming overall inventory.

The anticipation is clear – 67% of retailers expect the need for substantial discounts to entice holiday shoppers in 2023. Businesses should take note and prepare for a season that demands strategic pricing and creative promotions to capture consumer attention.

Early Birds Get the Worm: Promoting Savings Sooner 

Timing is everything, especially in the world of holiday marketing. Last year’s trend of delaying discounts until the eleventh hour is shifting. Amazon, a retail behemoth, is leading the charge by introducing an early Prime Big Deals Day in October.

The ripple effect is undeniable – other sellers are likely to follow suit. For businesses, this means a re-calibration of their holiday marketing calendars, pushing for early promotions and making every opportunity to save a focal point in their messaging.

Social Media Takes the Spotlight 

The role of social media in holiday shopping is expanding rapidly. Traditional shopping methods are taking a back seat as consumers turn to platforms like Facebook and Instagram for inspiration and information. A staggering 75% of shoppers plan to leverage social media to discover new products.

As a result, a robust social media strategy is no longer a luxury but a necessity. Businesses are advised to craft engaging organic content and explore paid social ads to tap into the massive potential of this evolving landscape.

Do you realize how important is social media marketing this year? Advertising on social media is expected to generate 10 times more holiday visits to online shops than traditional marketing according to the same Salesforce report.

Video Dominance 

Video content is reigning supreme, and the numbers don’t lie. A recent HubSpot Report revealed how short-form videos are capturing attention, with viewers dedicating over 40% of their time to watching them. TikTok, in particular, is influencing purchasing decisions, with nearly half of its users admitting to making a purchase after seeing a product on the platform.

The rise of live stream videos is another noteworthy trend, set to triple the live stream ecommerce market to over $37 billion in 2023. Businesses looking to connect with consumers, especially the younger demographic, should prioritize creating engaging video content for a memorable holiday shopping experience.

Shipping and Returns — The Unsung Heroes of Holiday Marketing 

Convenience is key for holiday shoppers, and this year, shipping and return policies are in the spotlight. Free shipping has become a non-negotiable perk, with a staggering 91% of consumers prioritizing it. Buy online, pickup in-store (BOPIS) is another favored option, with 39% of shoppers actively seeking retailers that offer this convenience. Retailers that embraced BOPIS experienced a remarkable seven-fold growth compared to those who didn’t.

Furthermore, return policies are critical; 93% of consumers research them before making a purchase, and 78% will abandon their carts if free returns aren’t an option. Businesses should capitalize on these preferences by highlighting their fast, free, and flexible shipping options and promoting hassle-free return policies.

Authenticity Matters: Gen Z’s Influence on Holiday Shopping 

Gen Z is emerging as a formidable force in holiday shopping, boasting over 68 million individuals who are enthusiastic about the season. Unlike their predecessors, Gen Zers prioritize authenticity over flashy marketing. They’re a diverse generation with a keen ability to discern genuine brand engagement online.

Insights reveal that they are three times more likely to accept tracking prompts, indicating a willingness to engage with brands transparently. For businesses aiming to capture the attention and loyalty of Gen Z, authenticity, diversity, and transparent communication are key.

Gen Z Engagement 

Ever wondered what Gen Z expects in exchange for that online follow? It turns out they’re all about marketing that’s down-to-earth and downright relevant. According to Nishat Mehta, President of IRI Media Center of Excellence, Gen Z values honesty and straightforwardness more than any generation since their grandparents and great-grandparents, the Silent Generation.

So, if you want to connect with the youngest adults, authenticity is the name of the game.

But how to leverage this trend?

Sure, Gen Z still digs influencers. A whopping 75% have bought something in the last year based on an influencer’s recommendation. But here’s the catch – it better be relevant. Micro-influencers who live and breathe the same air as Gen Zers are more likely to hit the mark than flashy celebrities.

But hey, it’s not all on the influencers. Marketers play a crucial role too. Three-quarters of Gen Zers want brands to respond to feedback because, you guessed it, that’s authentic.

Now, let’s talk about diversity – the reigning queen of Gen Z’s preferences. Studies, like the one from Creatopy, shout it loud – Gen Z wants brands to take a stand on social issues. And since they’re the most diverse generation ever, inclusivity is high on their wish-list. Pew Research even backs it up, showing that more than other generations, Gen Z sees racial and ethnic diversity as a net positive for society.

So, how do you ride this trend? Well, influencer marketing is a good start. Choose influencers who speak the Gen Z language and live a life that resonates with your audience. No need for flashy celebs, just real people connecting with real people.

And here’s a pro tip: Be there for direct connections. Respond to those social media comments, reply to reviews, and create a holiday referral program. Gen Z loves word-of-mouth recommendations, and you want to be the name on their lips.

In Summary 

As the future of festive campaigns unfolds, staying attuned to these additional trends and strategies can empower brands to create more impactful, meaningful, and successful holiday marketing initiatives. By embracing a holistic approach that combines technology, storytelling, and community engagement, brands can not only capture the attention of consumers but also create a lasting connection that extends far beyond the holiday season.

In a nutshell, these 2023 holiday marketing trends are your ticket to making the season brighter. We can’t predict the future, but armed with insights from past shopper behavior, you’ll have a shot at being the brand Gen Z wants you to be. Get ready to sleigh the marketing game!

Wishing you and your audience a joyful and prosperous festive season from the team at Creative7Designs!