What Santa Knows About Marketing

20/12/2010 17:03


What's that ringing sound you hear at this time of year? It's the sound of store registers ringing up the sales generated by Santa Claus.

Just because he's old, overweight, long haired and unshaven and dresses funny, don't overlook his marketing success. Santa is a marketing expert and you can become one, too, if you follow his marketing methods.

What's that you say? You don't believe in Santa Claus or you don't celebrate Christmas?

It's true that Santa may be mostly mythical, but ask almost anybody who Santa is and what he does, and they'll tell you. And there are millions of children who are convinced he's real. So put your doubts about Santa aside for a moment and take a look at why he’s so good at marketing.

A. Knows How to Be Unique Whether it is his trademark red suit, his unconventional transportation, his belly laugh or his occupation, Santa is different. He's one of a kind, and makes quite an impression, one your unlikely to forget.

B. Gets Free Publicity He's a master at getting press. He's mentioned in the media constantly during the winter holidays. Many songs, movies and books have been written about him.

C. Is Customer Focused While everyone knows about Santa, his marketing isn't focused on his credentials. He rarely talks about how long he’s been in business nor does he bore people with long discussions of his work processes.

Instead, Santa makes a huge effort to learn what people want. It is estimated that each year over a million letters are sent to Santa.

Santa supplements this effort by appearing in thousands of shopping malls around the country, listening to an average of nine thousand children per mall. He does all this just to learn what his customers want.

D. Gives Something Away While most of the presents under the tree are from family, including the annual fruitcake from Aunt Bernice, typically at least one gift bears Santa’s name. How can you not love someone who gives so many presents away each year and whose only expectation is a couple of cookies and a glass of milk?

E. Knows What He Is Selling Santa knows what he is selling, and its not just games and toys. Santa sells hope, whether it is for the latest video game, a warm sweater or happiness.

Use these five ideas to market more like Santa all year long.

1. Clarify how you and your firm are unique, and what it is that separates you from the crowd. You don't need to put on a red suit or slide down chimneys. Define yourself by the problems you solve, the expertise you provide and what your customers say about you.

2. Get media attention for your business, not just during holidays but all year round. Sometimes imaginative stunts like appearing in a sleigh help.

3. Ask your prospects what they want and then provide services and products that give them what they've asked for. The better you understand their concerns, the better services or products you’ll provide.

4. Give something away. It could be an article, a report, a book or a workshop. Use your free offer to prompt people to contact you and demonstrate your expertise. It works for Santa and it can work for you.

5. Know what you are selling. Your products and services bring in the money, but what do they stand for? What do they represent to your clients? Sell your prospects on achieving their objectives and dreams and deliver with tangible results they can appreciate.

Whether or not you celebrate Christmas, market like Santa and you too, can have many happy clients this and every season, without having to squeeze down a single sooty chimney.

The author, Charlie Cook, helps small business owners and marketing professionals attract more clients, whether you are marketing in print, in person or online. Sign up for the Free Marketing eBook, '7 Steps to get more clients and grow your business', full of practical marketing strategies you can use to increase profits at www.MarketingForSuccess.com.

By Charlie Cook 

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