Ghosts of Christmas Marketing Past, Present and Future

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Christmas marketing

Christmas marketing has a very different feel to what we see during the rest of the year. For a lot of people, Christmas will come with their own traditions. The day they choose to put up their tree, for example, will influence when their enthusiasm for the holiday season kicks in. Others may be more inspired by the festive Christmas adverts (despite many thinking they are aired too early). However, to get into the holiday spirit, we thought we would have fun with some spirits of our own, and explore the Ghosts of Marketing Past, Present and Future.


Cold Calling

From as far back as when telephones were first invented, cold calling has been used as the number one sales and marketing tool. Back then, there wasn’t really any alternative other than the postal services. There is still mileage in the cold call depending on your strategy/product and service – however, while it may not be entirely dead and buried, cold calling as a marketing tool has pretty much disappeared. Thankfully most people are put off making a cold call – being a recipient of them puts them in a good place to judge their success rate!

Text heavy emails

Just as telephone marketing took over from postal marketing, email marketing was the next new exciting arrival. In order to capture the attention of the recipient, there was a tendency to get as much information on the email as possible. Now, the opposite is true. People want information that is instant, and relevant to them!

In person

During the marketing antics of the past, the most direct way of selling – and getting a fast answer – was knocking on the door of your target customer and telling them what they needed to know to buy from you. Whilst this direct approach was hard-hitting, the somewhat invasive method has since taken a step back – only to be overtaken by people knocking on digital doors and following you around your browser instead!


Social Media

In the present, marketing is firmly in the social media zone. Both paid and organic social media marketing is a major tool for almost every brand, particularly around Christmas. The best begin to plan their campaign months in advance to stay fresh and innovative. The social team (Aimi, Charlotte and Mary) at Cariad Towers, for example, start thinking about their Christmas campaigns around July/August, writing the strategies at the end of September and doing the execution from October. That’s some planning!


It’s the perfect time to use remarketing when everyone is searching online for presents. Have you ever looked for something online and then for days afterward all the ads you see are for the same or similar products? That’s ‘remarketing’, and it’s become an essential part of a company’s marketing strategy whatever the season!

Google Shopping Ads

Google is everyone’s favourite search engine, and if you’re selling your products online Google Shopping Ads are perfect. Appearing on multiple devices and across Google, you will hit many more consumers. But don’t be haunted by the fact you haven’t yet used this great tool in your marketing campaigns, there are experts on hand to make sure that these are optimised and targeted to get the results you need.


This is a way of using a consumer’s geolocation to give them content based on where they are, for example, an advert for a new burger from McDonald’s when they are close to one of the company’s restaurants. Our very own Justine and Leanne recently passed their exams for how to use ads on the community based GPS Navigation app Waze, which further proves the importance of geotargeting in marketing and its potential for the future.

Pop Ups

Pop Up adverts from websites are beginning to rise. Allowing a website to send you notifications will give them permission to have a pop up appear on the corner of your screen even when you aren’t on their site.



The future is exciting when it comes to Christmas marketing, a wealth of new ideas currently on the fringes are set to become major marketing tools. For example, there are estimates that 50% of all searches by 2020 will be voices searches. Devices such as the Amazon Echo are becoming more prevalent, and it won’t be long before companies will learn to use this as a marketing tool.

Artificial Intelligence

Marketing could change forever with the emergence of Artificial Intelligence. Software such as The Grid has begun designing websites by itself to effectively automate and improve website design. Now that is something to look out for in the future!

At Cariad we predict that some of the methods that have disappeared through time will make a comeback, particularly mailshots. In an increasingly mass-market world, we reckon people will begin to identify more with personal letters, like the good ol’ days. But of course, until that happens, we are on hand to help you make that digital step!

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