As experts tell the BBC that children’s pester power is losing some of its impact in the run up to Christmas, thanks to increasing financial pressures on families, it’s clear we marketers must adapt and use sensitivity when promoting children’s toys and products.
As the cost-of-living crisis really starts to bite, brands will have to work hard at striking the right balance between acknowledging peoples’ financial positions and asking them to spend what they have on Christmas gifts.
And while brands will be hoping to maintain their sales targets, it makes sense they do it in an approachable and marketable way.
With the cost-of-living crisis very much on everyone’s mind, brands will have to acknowledge the perception of their marketing techniques. Last Christmas was very much about encouraging people to get out and start spending after a pandemic, but this year parents will be less likely to impulse buy and will be seeking more valuable purchases.
In 2022, brands will see themselves in competition to be that product of value.
Communicating the value of products
Price sensitivity will be extremely important to many parents this Christmas, but others will look at the quality, brand IP, usability or joy the toy gives to their children. Communicating the toy or product’s key features is therefore vital. To be in with a chance of beating the competition, brands must ensure the message they’re delivering to parents is authentic and true to what the product offers.
And remember, communication is a two way thing. Listen as well.
Utilising social listening to track sentiment on your toy or product will enable brands to get directly into the peer-to-peer conversation. Social listening can offer insights into how the toy is being received and if any parents have questions about the toy, if possible, they should be responded to as a brand. Engaging with your audience will give parents more reasons to trust the product and its authenticity.
Marketing sensitively this Christmas
There’s no reason for anyone to be all ‘bah humbug’ about Christmas either. It’s a joyful time of year for most and there is a way to be mindful while getting the most out of your campaigns, particularly when it comes to digital campaigns.
Remember that in a world where retargeting is so powerful at closing the sales funnel, it also can be a huge annoyance to consumers. Christmas will have a large amount of competition across all platforms from META to TikTok, PPC and beyond. If parents are bombarded with digital ads during November and December and do not convert, but you keep trying to get them to purchase, it will seem intrusive and could lead to further annoyance towards your brand. It’s therefore important to ensure that your biddable campaigns keep an eye on frequency and how your retargeting is structured.
From speaking regularly to families within our ‘Family Collective’ we hear that toys, books and games that entertain children, as well as teach them something new, are invaluable for parents. That’s why it’s important to reiterate that marketers must show what value they can add.
In addition, our research revealed that parents don’t feel pestered by their children asking for toys in this bracket and see it positively as a pro-active choice from their children, so it’s essential this messaging is highlighted.
When we talk about ‘adding value’ it isn’t only about communicating authentically about the key elements of the product that help support the price or engaging your audience, responding to questions, queries and celebrating the positives around the product, but also about representing your audience in the marketing material to show how your product is enjoyed.
This includes influencers and if you’re using them within your strategy, then ensure they’re a true representation of your target audience and not a world away. Parents and children want to see themselves represented in marketing.
The final Christmas message for brands
This Christmas may be a bit different, but as with other years, life will go on pretty much as normal. Pester-power hasn’t completely lost its influence – it takes more than a pandemic and a cost-of-living crisis to keep our children quiet. Parents and children alike will simply want to see more value out of the sought-after products this year, and brands have it in their power to make this happen.