Santa discovers Digital Marketing

Disclaimer: this blog is not intended for people who are still children in their hearts.

My business relationship with Mr. Santa Claus now goes back several years. We first met in a Finnish sauna in 2008 and somehow ended up discussing marketing. One thing led to the other and suddenly I found myself acting as Santa’s chief marketing consultant. The first assignment, around branding (including a revamped brand positioning) was followed by a business model assessment (focusing on a new distribution strategy) and last year a M&A due diligence exercise. The target was Easter but the deal fell through when the Elves union insisted in obtaining equal family benefits as the Easter Bunnies.

So when Santa called me in November I was not too surprised.
“I’m losing ground, Christian, I’m not receiving half as many letters as some years ago. And those that I do receive, are illegible. What are the kids up to these days? The business model you proposed 2 years ago is crap“. Was the gist of the conversation.
You have probably realized by now as a savvy marketer (or whoever you may be) that the business model had nothing to do with the current situation.
“Santa, you need to go social. Kids today don’t even know how to write, lick a stamp and have never seen a live postman.”
So began a hectic fortnight of frenetic activities. A Facebook page, a Twitter feed, Youtube and all the rest. We designed a SEO strategy. And started negotiations with Google to include live Santa tracking on Google Maps. Although this is not really progressing as Santa is still sulking that his home is not visible on Street View. The last challenge which we just managed to complete in time was to train the 101 elves in VES department (Virtual Elf Support) to handle all the streams. For a month old project, our Google Analytics report looked great .

Mark Zuckerberg is still puzzled on how Santa could have more friends that actual Facebook membership (but I suspect that this is envy speaking).

Santa was really getting into all this to the point that I had to put my foot down when he wanted to change his look to black turtleneck, jeans and Nikes. His look was tweaked though at the end as you can judge from his Facebook page. But this was driven mainly because the Coca Cola Company reduced their Christmas sponsorship contribution.

The only part that did not work out was to get Santa to use the iPad. It just doesn’t work with mittens so it ended up in Mother Christmas kitchen as a picture frame.

I’ll let up judge the outcome although please bear in mind that this was a rush job.

Santa Facebook page

Santa Twitter feed

PS. This email was entirely typed on a recyclable screen. Please do not reply to all and save a virtual tree.

Santa discovers Digital Marketing
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