Deck the halls and all of that, Christmas is coming! If I have two passions in life they’re food and marketing, so I’ve decided it’s time to definitively answer the (probably seldom-asked) question that’s (definitely not) on everybody’s minds this December: “If Digital Marketing was your Christmas Dinner, which part of the marketing mix would be which food?” Riveting I know: join me as we sort this out once and for all!
Turkey – Content
There’s turkey, and then there’s Christmas Turkey. There’s good content, and then there’s Actually Good Content.
Turkey and content are both the centrepieces of their respective domains, and rightfully so. A Christmas dinner is nothing without a proper slice of roasted meat, and your marketing efforts are going to look equally poor if it’s not backed up with great content. It doesn’t matter how it’s presented, creating blogs, videos, whitepapers and podcasts that actually talk to your audience about what they want to hear is the deciding factor of a marketing campaign that delivers conversions down the line.
There’s no such thing as a last-minute Christmas Turkey! This roast bird needs to be the centre of all cooking activity, and likewise, if your content isn’t the jewel in the crown of all your marketing activity expect to hear more than one “Bah humbug!” from your audience.
Yorkshire pudding – Analytics
If you happen to find yourself at the Manchester Christmas Market this year, make sure to swing by Porky Pig’s stall. There you can pick up their famous Yorkshire Pudding Wrap – full of all the goodness you’d expect in the best Christmas meal – and once you’ve got both hands wrapped around this fluffy package of joy, you might understand what I mean when I say analytics are the Yorkshire pudding that holds your marketing together.
Not with me? Let me put it like this: without analytics, your marketing endeavours don’t mean a thing. You’ve got no way of telling if your campaigns and website are doing well, or to look at it another way, if they are doing well you’ll have no idea why that is and so can’t capitalise on that! Like a good Yorkshire pudding, the reports and insights gleaned from your analytics make sense of the heap of marketing work you do: it soaks up the gravy, supports the meat, and sandwiches the veggies. Delicious!
Gravy – Branding
In my opinion, gravy goes with every part of Christmas lunch. Of course it goes on your turkey and Yorkshire puds, but expect to see all my vegetables drowning in it too, the thicker the better. Branding’s just like gravy in that respect – it should be all over every part of your marketing mix.
Every ad, every blog, every communication with your customers should shout “It’s us of course!” (probably not as glutinously and in-your-face as the gravy I’m gunning for, mind, but still with enough impact to make your messages uniquely yours). This Christmas, don’t be afraid to brand the crap out of your content – you spent a lot of time creating it after all, so why not be loud and proud?
Brussel sprouts – PPC advertising
Sprouts. Google Ads. Love ‘em or hate ‘em, either way you joke that they’re the least appetising part of your plate. Well to the PPC-sceptics of the world let me repeat what my mother told me about sprouts when I was nine: “if you try them seven times you’ll start to like them!”
Pay-per-click advertising, like paid search ads, might not sound like your cup of tea (or glass of mulled wine) but they’re one of the most cost-effective ways for any business to target their exact audiences. Just like those tiny green bulbs, if you’ve prepared them right you’ll be impressing even the most stubborn of non-believers come mealtime.
Stuffing – Advertising
Here’s a fact for you: the first documented stuffing recipe is from an Ancient Roman cookbook. Here’s another fact: one of the oldest advertisements in the world is from Ancient Rome too. Coincidence? Maybe.
Stuffing and advertising both serve the same purpose, by helping get you the most out of your turkey or great content. When I’ve got as much food as I can onto my fork, I always manage to perch some stuffing on top to round it off. Don’t think of your ad as just a means of getting people to your landing page, let it add something to the user journey in its own right.
Roast potatoes – UX
This might only be me, but user experience done right makes my mouth water just as much as the perfect roastie. Ok fine, that’s definitely just me, but I maintain they have more than that in common.
When everybody sits down for lunch on Christmas Day and the meal is served, the first thing that grandma will comment on is how crisp the potatoes are, even before she checks that the turkey isn’t too dry. And when people get to your website, the UX is the most immediate thing your audience pays attention to, so you’d better make sure it’s practically drool-inducing!
The remaining vegetables – SEO
I’m not calling SEO a pile of vegetables to talk it down – it’s probably the thing I spend most of my time doing! But that’s exactly my point: even if nobody dives straight for the carrots and parsnips at the start of their festive meal, without them you can’t help but feel something’s missing.
SEO takes time and a lot of patience, but any marketing mix is incomplete without it and suffers for that. If your marketing plate is light on search engine optimisation right now, it may be worth adding that to your business New Year’s resolutions.
Pigs in Blankets – Social posts
Who says no to this bacon-wrapped beauty? Not me, that’s for sure: and that’s how I feel about tweets and LinkedIn posts. You can have one or you can have twenty, you can experiment with different flavours to see how your guests react, or dip them in different sauces to spice things up. The best social media managers aren’t afraid to try out a lot of options, just to see which get people coming back for more.
Your guests – Your audience
Finally, although not a part of the Christmas dinner itself, it’s crucial you remember who it is you’re putting in all this work for. Just as you labour over this meal to enjoy with your friends and family on Xmas Day, the blood, sweat, and tears you pour into your marketing efforts are given so that your target market can appreciate your offering in all its glory.
Every part of your marketing mix is done with your market in mind, and it’s that audience that you want to walk away from your marketing dining table stuffed to bursting with unforgettable messaging. You want your audience to enjoy every morsel, share blogs between themselves, and, if all goes well, rave about your product for months afterwards.
So what are you waiting for? This December, take inspiration from the humble Christmas dinner and serve up marketing that gets people asking for seconds and even thirds!
And if you think you might need some help in the proverbial kitchen, the NowComms team happens to be very good at all of this (marketing, that is – aptitude in the kitchen varies wildly!). Why not check out our agile marketing stack while you’re here?