By Shweta Jhajharia, founder, The London Coaching Group
One of the most effective ways of learning is to mimic the best. When it comes to encouraging us to buy – Santa Claus must be up there among the very best!
The UK spends on average £568 per person at Christmas – that's pretty hefty spending that Santa's managed to rack up. And he gets milk and cookies at every house!
So how does he do it?
Shweta Jhajharia, from The London Coaching Group, takes a look at the marketing lessons we can learn from one of the most popular figures in the world – Santa Claus!
Lesson 1: Keep Your Promises
Santa Claus is Coming to Town
You run down the stairs on Christmas morning and the presents…aren't there. You're confused, angry and disappointed.
Promises were made – and broken. You start to dislike and distrust Santa.
Santa doesn't make this mistake and nor should you: if you don't deliver as promised, your marketing isn't going to help you. In fact, it's going to you’re your reputation. So make sure you've got a secure delivery system in place.
Lesson 2: Always Be Giving
A Bag Full of Toys
Santa is widely loved by people because he's always handing out gifts.
Think about how your marketing messages sound. Do you sound like you're trying to "get" something from your customers?
Bring the value that you're providing your customers up to the front and centre. Deliver value year round and you'll earn loyal customers that come back to you over and over again.
Lesson 3: Build Your List – and Qualify It!
He's Making a List, Checking it Twice
Santa doesn't just make a list. He checks it twice. He even finds out who's been naughty and nice.
Santa has been gathering support for years. Constant building of your list is important. But it's also important to qualify – who are the nice ones that deserve your best gifts?
Lesson 4: Be Recognisable
A Belly Like a Bowl Full of Jelly
Santa has arguably one of the most recognised uniforms in the world.
What is it about your company's branding that makes it instantly recognisable?
You need to have something – a uniform, a logo, even a colour – that you can claim as your own and that people will immediately recognise as yours. Then you can be constantly visible without even being there personally.
Lesson 5: Systemise
Elves, Reindeer, Malls and Parents
Santa doesn't actually do most of the work. About four days of the year he's on top of it, but for the rest of it he's relaxing. How? He has representatives in every shopping centre drumming up the crowds, Mums and Dads delivering the gifts, and the Elves making and packing. He has clear systems in place that run without his direct input.
Make it your mission to systemise at least parts of your business. Hire a hardworking team to make you look good (your elves), create a great delivery process (your reindeer), run repeatable self-promotion events (shopping centre representatives), and create autonomous groups that can manage things locally (the parents).
Lesson 6: Limit Your Access
I'm Sending a Letter to Santa Claus
You can't get a direct line to Santa Claus. He's far too important to be that accessible. Even if you write to him the elves will screen the letter and if they can deal with it in the factory, Santa never needs to be bothered. Only the most important of messages get through.
Are you making yourself too accessible to your customers/clients? Remember, your time is incredibly valuable and precious.
Customer service is critical, yes. Set up a system – there should be someone else answering the phone, screening calls and bringing you only the most important things.
The man in the big red suit has a bit of a head start, but it isn't actually that hard to grow big fast. Learn from the best, implement the right tools and strategies and you could be relaxing in your own North Pole before long, while your elves get the work done without you.