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Be wary the risk of holiday marketing fatigue

December 2, 2020


Lèanne van den Berg


Everyone loves the holidays – even if we really hate the Christmas decorations already adorning supermarkets and malls from the first week of October, and we quickly reach the point of plugging our ears when we hear Mariah Carey’s “All I want for Christmas is you” one time too many. Google has already added Christmas lights to their logo. (You just went and checked, didn’t you?) And the bells, oh the bells never stopping their high-pitched ringing.

If you nodded your head at any of these, maybe grinned and even possibly groaned at one, you may have what is referred to as “Holiday Fatigue.” There is, however, a comorbid problem of much greater concern for business owners and marketers alike, and that is the dreaded “Holiday Marketing Fatigue.”

Holiday Marketing Fatigue is a very real problem and, despite this being a known phenomenon, keeps getting worse every year. Apparently, some marketers believe that the key to cutting through the fatigue is to market some more. This of course not only does not work, but it also often backfires in spectacular fashion. Statistics gather over the last few years have shown that between 51 and 57% of people on mailing lists unsubscribe from the mailing lists during November to January. The trend follows on social media with around 46% of followers unfollowing brands because of what some has described as “post bombing.”

During normal periods of marketing (that is, not holiday times) research has shown that repeating messages are most effective, this has led to the Rule of Seven – a widely-used principle based on the notion that repeating a message 7 times at minimum is most likely to lead potential consumers to take action to buy a product or engage a service. Depending on the number of products or services a company offers, this may not always be the best approach as too much of a good thing can be a bad thing as too many messages lead to what is known as “brand fatigue.”

This is where holiday marketing and general marketing principles intersect. Under normal marketing times many marketers skirt the edges of “too much messaging,” but during holiday marketing periods where the excitement of the season and the urgency to capitalise on the Christmas buying trends too often the filters are overwhelmed and so are the email servers. (As of writing, this writer estimates her Gmail inbox may only be cleared of holiday messages by the end of February 2021.)

There are ways to ensure that your messages get in front of the eyes of potential consumers without drowning in the annoying noise of the Christmas Specials deluge.

  1. Regularly review your campaign performance continue updating your strategy

An early tell-tale sign that brand fatigue is setting in is when engagement starts to slowly drop the deeper into a campaign you get. This is more likely to be a quicker drop during the Holiday Season. At this time, it is wise to assess past performance of campaigns and where the drop off started on those campaigns – maybe you sent out too many messages or not enough. Knowing where previous campaigns ran out of steam and how they were revitalised is a sure-fire way to plan and manage both “brand fatigue” and “Holiday Marketing Fatigue” during the Christmas Season.

  1. Always work to get closer to your followers

A great way of preventing any fatigue is to build a set of personas that you know your products and services resonates with. (Read more: Marketing research & Consumer Insight) Use these personas, tailored according to market research, to build a relationship with your potential consumer audience. This enables you to execute a campaign that is relatable, relevant, memorable and will not annoy your audience.

  1. Customize Messages for each marketing channel

Brand fatigue, on its own and as a precursor to Holiday Marketing Fatigue, is caused by excessive repetition, If  a potential consumer sees the same messages in the same way everywhere they find your brand, your brand will soon fade into the background. This is where a strong content marketing strategy is essential to create and distribute valuable and relevant messages to your audience to guide them along their consumer journey. (Read more: Funnelling sales in the new digital era)

Written by Lèanne van den Berg

Founder Lèanne choose to practice passion and ignite integrity, Halo Group.



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