4 Holiday Marketing Ideas that Go Beyond Promotions

Our inboxes are overflowing with holiday promotions from marketers. They usually include a limited-time percentage savings or free shipping (or both). Promotions are great. But there are other ways to engage customers during the holidays. Here are four:

1. Incentivize customers to give back to the community
When the White Stripes’ guitarist/singer/songwriter Jack White moved to Nashville a few years ago, he brought along Third Man Records, his combination recording studio/concert venue/record store. He proceeded to become a pillar of the community, with good works that include putting a spin on the venerable tradition of giving turkeys away at the holidays.

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Instead of just giving turkeys away, Third Man Records makes it easy for customers to give away thousands of food items to those in need. And it rewards people that give, with discounts at the Third Man store and other incentives, which this year include 30-percent off a ticket to one of White’s concerts and more.

2. Brand your holiday hashtags
This technique is easy, inexpensive, and effective. Anthropologie took the daring step of replacing Santa(!) with its #DearAnthro holiday hashtag.


“In a world where engagement influences conversions, you’d be crazy to miss out on using branded hashtags throughout the holiday season,” writes Elise Dopson at Sales and Orders. “It’s much easier to be the first brand shown when you’re tweeting #BRANDtips, rather than #HappyHolidays—where you could be competing with competitors for a user’s attention. Start by creating a simple hashtag that’s easy to understand and relates to your brand. Then, you’ll need to use it in every holiday marketing message you’re pushing.”

3Use AR to create a ‘must-see’ holiday experience
“AR allows for immense creativity, personalization, and interactivity,” writes Brian McLaughlin at HuffPost. “It can bring a fresh opportunity to brands who want to connect with consumers by offering them a holiday fantasy. Making an AR experience an annual, must-see tradition would be a great way for any retailer to get in on the ground floor of a technology that is rapidly integrating itself into our everyday lives.”

Examples of how to put AR to work include creating “magic mirrors,” helping consumers visualize how furniture will look in their homes (or on the street!), and selling sneakers. It can also make your gift-wrap come alive.

Here’s more about AR from Andrew Deutsch, Movable Ink’s Senior Creative Technologist.

4. Remind customers about what you value

The bond with between corporations and their customers is not always just about the products customers purchase. Customers often chose to purchase from companies whose values they share. The holidays provide a unique opportunity to remind your customers about why they have a relationship with you. United by Blue turned Black Friday into “Blue Friday” to remind customers about their mission.


Writing at the Get Response blog, Michael Leszczynski writes about how impressed he was by a message he received from United by Blue, a company that sells “responsible durable goods. The message described how their employees turned Black Friday into “Blue Friday” by coming together to pick up trash in a local park. The effort is keeping with their pledge that for every product they sell, they will remove one pound of trash from oceans and waterways

The bottom line

When you know your audiences well enough, you don’t always have to use your main CTA to sell. Focusing on your mission or engagement is a great way to continue to build relationships with your audience.

Want to know what Movable Ink’s three-year financial impact can be?

We commissioned Forrester Consulting to conduct a study that demonstrates how brands can use Movable Ink’s visual experience platform to drive business goals – and, spoiler alert – we’re thrilled with the results.

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