Why Holiday Marketing Is Sexy

holiday marketing
Posted by Kristi Baxter

Red, green, silver, and gold are everywhere you look right now, and there’s an undeniable — almost palpable — feeling of excitement in the air. The holiday season is filled to the brim with symbols of celebration and joy. Love and generosity abound, and consumers…well, consumers are in the mood to buy, buy, buy.

What Makes Consumers Go a Little Wild During the Holidays?

Holiday marketing is bigger, brighter, and bolder than other marketing campaigns by design, but what exactly gets otherwise conservative shoppers to line up in stores and scour websites for the perfect gifts or best deals with such abandon? Marketing campaigns happen all year long, but they seldom build so much excitement.

The holiday marketing effect basically comes down to a few basic strategies that rely more on human psychology than anything to get consumers in the mood to spend some money.

What Are the Four Biggest Holiday Influences on Consumer Behavior?

Essentially, good holiday marketing campaigns tap into four basic human experiences to create a perfect blend of feelings that leads to this annual rush to buy. They are:

  • Emotion: Nostalgia runs high during the holidays, and people often seek to recreate special memories of the season so they can share those experiences with others. It can take a lot of boxes and bows and gingerbread houses to match the visions they have in their head of a perfect holiday.
  • Anticipation: The holidays give people something to look forward to throughout December. The building anticipation of wondering how someone will react to their gifts is thrilling, and it’s intensely satisfying to be rewarded with squeals of delight over something special.
  • Scarcity: The holiday is full of abundance, but scarcity is what drives people to buy. Human beings automatically place more importance on hard-to-come-by items, so limited-time offers and Christmas-only sales trigger a willingness to buy things that they might otherwise pass up. 
  • Overstimulation: The lights, the music, the colors, and the smells of the holiday season can be absolutely overwhelming — and that’s on purpose. When people are overwhelmed and distracted, they have less energy to exercise self-control or think a purchase through.

What Can Marketers Learn From the Holiday Season?

People are somewhat predictable once you understand what drives them. You can tap into the same factors that heavily influence consumer behavior during the holidays throughout the rest of the year for better marketing campaigns. Once you understand what drives the Christmas shopping rush, you can translate that into actionable goals for your team.

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