Christmas is when most retailers make more money, so it’s a high stakes game that deserves some proper time to plan a marketing campaign. Here are some pointers to get you started.

1. Always follow your customers. Your most loyal are worth more than you know. Marketing these days is more about data than ever, so not knowing what they buy and why they choose you is a sin. First-party data – the stuff you collect about your customers yourself – is gold dust when you start planning your media campaign, especially social.

2. Read the room. This year could be about belt-tightening, or more parties, eating in versus eating out, affordable treats, or going large to make up for last year. Asking your customers and listening to them should be at the core of your planning. It doesn’t matter how you do it: email survey or face-to-face over the counter. Just don’t plan for the peak without doing it – and keep on doing it, every month from now on.

3. Get your voice heard. I’m a fan of TV as an advertising medium through many years of spending numerous companies’ money and measuring the effectiveness. But even on small budgets, some spend is better than none – and the first pound is better spent than the last. Social media, including digital video such as YouTube & Sky AdSmart, is an extremely cost-effective way to generate reach.

4. Convince your organisation to be memorable and well-branded. This is the time to push yourselves to be brave. At Christmas we see a range of Wine-Interested, Hobbyist and Treater customers and you have to catch their interest, regardless of their knowledge. You are a retailer: your job is to make it easy for them to discover what makes you special, heart and head together.

5. Don’t start afresh: the best place to start is where you left off. You should have a presentation somewhere entitled Christmas ’21 Review. Get it out and read it. Not got one? Put it on your to do list for January 4, 2023.