Marketing lesson from the master

Volume 1 Letter 7

He’s only open one day a year but demand for his products are high. His customers’ wait in anticipation for that special day and they always seems to get what they want. The excitement he creates is always infectious and spreads to many. He delivers to his customers’ homes on time at the same time every year. He even finds his customers when they’re away visiting out of town. To top it all off everyone loves him and many leave him cookies and milk. He’s a marketing genius.

Marketing lessons from Santa Claus:

1. Understand your customers’ needs: Santa is always on a first name basis with his clients and understands their needs. He is always looking for ways to better serve his clients and is always respected for his insights.
2. Manage your supply chain: Even though he only delivers once a year he plans meticulously – first understanding the needs of his market and then planning his year and supply chain to deliver the products on time.
3. The strategic plan is understood by all: Santa isn’t a lone wolf – it should be called Santa Inc. because it’s really a high functioning team and every team member understands their role in the development and execution of the strategy.
4. Manage the brand: Santa Claus as a brand is wonderful. The site of Santa with his sack and his reindeer still makes my heart jump. The brand evokes emotions and makes a dull time of year (in the Northern Hemisphere at least) thrilling. Santa’s brands bring warmth, familiarity and trust especially in troubled times – do yours?
5. Stay connected with your customers: Santa probably receives more letters and emails from customers than all of us combined. Yet he manages to read them all and responds to each one. This is a critical role, one that he doesn’t delegate to the Elves.
6. Protect your relationships. Santa uses the information he collects about his customers wisely: Santa’s relationship with his customers is paramount and he never shares information about one of his customers with anyone.
7. Visit your Customers (or invite them to visit you): Every December Santa meets his customers first hand and asks what problems he can help to solve. His visits further build relationships and deepen his understanding of his customers’ problems. For executives these customers can also include staff in remote locations.
8. Help those in need: Santa is there for everyone (all the girls and boys) and knows he has a huge social responsibility to fulfill and fills it so well!
9. Have fun: Santa is always laughing and wishing his customers well. He makes our work seem lighter and more enjoyable – we need more of this in our hurried world!
10. And one from Scrooge: Find the joy of Christmas in each day – don’t wait for events to happen – make them happen.

Ho Ho Ho and Merry Christmas everyone – Santa

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