Digital isn't just for Christmas

28th January by Deniz Hassan

Published on


School blackboard

Human's love a good deal. We'll buy nine toilet rolls because it's a better deal than six (and we'll definitely use them); we'll wait until the sales to buy our kids' Christmas presents; some of us will even buy a family feast bucket of KFC rather than a meal for one and eat ourselves into a trans-fat coma because it's only a couple of quid more. 

So why then, as digital fundraisers do we save our biggest activity spurts for Christmas - the most expensive time of year? The time of year when competition for inventory is at its most ferocious? 

So my (soon to be shot down I'm sure) suggestion to everyone is to scrap your concept of your big bang Christmas. And here's why:

  • Digital appeals that start at Christmas start behind the start line. Ad platforms love data and they only hold your data while you're spending. So there's a cost to learning in terms of time and money. By starting your activity towards the end of the year you're spending more of that money and losing more of that time.
  • We're not only training AIs, we're training people's brains. We want our brands to have a place in people's hearts and minds so the hard work is done and conversion is easier vs the competition.
  • Spreading the burden of targets across the year means you don't miss opportunities to scale. It's incredibly hard to know when those windows of opportunity come along and we need to have the flexibility in our budgets and planning to hit hard and maximise opportunities at the drop of a hat. Saving our pennies for one or two times of year increases risk.

So I'm not really saying cancel Christmas (I save that line for my daughter - NOT REALLY) but perhaps view it as part of the bigger picture which might simply have a different creative slant. 

My most successful Christmas appeals have taken me about 5 minutes by slapping the words "This Christmas" at the start or end of my best performing evergreen ads. No July planning, no endless meetings and lengthy sign off processes, no being bumped around by super busy agencies squeezing everyone in. 

I sincerely apologise if I've ruined Christmas for anyone. I promise to buy anyone affected a ginger bread latte in 11 months.