Christmas dust

Ground into dust: harness the power of employees this Christmas

The season for retail Christmas marketing is nearly upon us.

Every year in November, retailers release their much anticipated Christmas ads.

Over the past decade more and more brands have followed the lead of John Lewis & Partners, embracing storytelling to create massive excitement and word of mouth around their festive ads, to drive awareness, footfall and online sales.

The Christmas of 2019 is one our team remembers well.

We’d been working with John Lewis and Waitrose for a couple of years at this point, having already helped them launch their #WeArePartners advocacy programme.

But 2019 was the year PR Week reviewed the success of leading retailers’ festive ad performance… and EXCLUDED John Lewis from their analysis. Why?

‘Well, because John Lewis smashes everything else out of sight. It doesn’t just win the Christmas ad battle, it destroys the competition to the point where they’re ground into dust at the foot of the chart.’ Matt Edwards, PR Week.

The result of the Excitable Edgar campaign was phenomenal.

It was the first time the two brands, John Lewis and Waitrose, collaborated on their Christmas ad. But crucially, it was also the year they took the decision to allow partners to launch the ad, sharing it on social media via our Togethr App*, between 6-8am, two hours before it was launched on the brand channels.

The result? Within 60 seconds it was trending on Twitter in the UK and globally within the hour. They achieved 1.5 million impressions in that first hour from posts shared through the Togethr employee advocacy app alone.

This wasn’t a one hit wonder. John Lewis was building on evidence they had from the previous year’s success:

‘The decision to give employees control of marketing its iconic 2018 Christmas campaign on social media has not only driven stronger consumer take-up of in-store services for John Lewis & Partners, it’s also improved employee engagement.’ CMO Australia

Other brands have since followed suit.

The Post Office empowers their postmasters to share content via the Togethr app to raise awareness at this critical sales point of the year.

The result? A massive spike in impressions and engagements in November and December, the time of year when customers want more information about postal services and postmasters rely on the increased footfall in store.

2020 was an anomaly and many retailers are still regrouping in 2021, wondering where best to put their marketing efforts.

After the financial hit retail has taken during the closures of the past 18 months, brands are seeking innovative, cost effective ways to increase marketing impact and reach new customers, drive footfall and online sales.  

Inviting your employees to share relevant timely content to their followers over the festive season means you increase your reach by over 10x, engagement by more than 24x and drive 2x more clicks to your website (MSL Group).

The reason it works?

Every post becomes an opportunity to connect with customers old and new.

Every post tells a story. And stories connect people. They make people feel something, people remember them, they share them, they tell their friends about them.

And having your employees share on your behalf enables you to share what your brand stands for.

Employees have a role in shaping the future of marketing. And sharing content on behalf of the brand is a reimagining of marketing for the world we live in now.

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