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MarTech Planning & Optimization

Santa’s Marketing Transformation | 2022 edition

The world is built on traditions passed on from generation to generation. This time of year is especially rich with them — Grandma’s shortbread recipe, Uncle Jim getting a little fluthered on holiday punch, and of course jolly ole’ Saint Nick. Speaking of Saint Nick, there are some troubling signs coming from the North Pole. One that only a marketing transformation can help.

Here’s the back story. Events out of his control are conspiring against Santa. Climate change is threatening his homeland. The declining birth rate is causing him to restate revenue and earnings. His elves are addicted to their screens, which has caused a massive drop in productivity. And, unwisely, Santa invested in crypto currency on the FTX exchange.

So, Saint Nick took a good look in the mirror and decided a marketing transformation project was needed to rekindle his story to young and old.

He naturally turned to some of the best marketers on the planet for help.

Inflation drives restructuring

Demand Spring’s Leap Advisors did a lot of work with Santa and his leadership team (ahem, Mrs. Claus). It was badly needed after the inflationary impact on his supply chain. The Great Resignation also skyrocketed his labor costs—the elves were in high-demand from AI companies who valued their big data experience and ability to execute with immovable deadlines. He had to reimagine his product mix, finding a balance between the desires of his ICP and the reality of being a non-profit business. 

Delivery failures averted 

It wasn’t only supply chain and HR challenges hampering this venerable organization. Santa’s business processes also needed some significant work. Working throughout the spring and summer, our strategy consultants audited and optimized Santa’s demand system. They found some big gaps. There were a lot of data issues, including significant gender errors in their CRM system. Santa’s wish list registration form was being blocked by Chrome privacy settings. And his BDR team was comped on volume, not SQL’s (Santa Qualified Leads) which was a complete mismatch with their supply chain capacity. There will be new Squishmallows under the tree this year for our strategy team.

Buyer Personas needed updating

With the impact that COVID had over the past two years in connecting in shopping malls with his target personas, Saint Nick was really starting to fall behind in understanding the needs and wants of modern buyers, ahem children.

So, we led a significant buyer persona research project for Santa. We interviewed children from throughout the world to better understand what they are thinking, feeling, and doing in each stage of their Christmas list making process. 

We uncovered some big surprises that will significantly reshape Santa’s marketing strategy:

  • Blitzen left Santa’s organization to become a YouTube influencer last year. He has a big impact on shaping the Christmas wish lists of tweens.
  • Lego remains a favorite after all these years. Even with young generations, sometimes you just can’t beat a classic.
  • An old standard remade for a new generation is the Shifu Orboot augmented reality globe. Wow!

To continue to monitor the buying patterns of his ICP, Derek Boshkov’s MarTech team at Demand Spring helped him deploy Marketo (with Donner as his administrator and power user), with a heavy emphasis on behavioral scoring.

Santa’s gifts to modern marketers

Lo and behold, Santa’s Marketing Transformation yielded strong results. Not a surprise really. His move to cloud-based technology was a pretty easy transition for a guy who steers eight tiny reindeer through the atmosphere.  His “why” is pure. He used his leverage to attract some pretty amazing guests to his podcast: Coal or 18 minutes with Santa? It’s a pretty easy choice.

As a result, Santa has decided to give back to the marketing community in a big way. Here are some of the marketing toys that the elves are working on to meet Santa’s December 25 ship date:

ABM strategies: Savvy Santa knows it’s the missing foundation in many Revenue Marketing plans. There is a lot of great content development and ABM technology being deployed today. How much of it, though, is missing the mark without this strategic framework?

New technologies: On to the beepy things. Here are three of the hottest technologies that Santa will be delivering this holiday season (batteries not included):

  • Drift: Santa has specialized in bots that talk for years.
  • ZoomInfo: Santa’s a reference account for this data leader. After all, his brand value would plummet if Cindy Lou Who got Clark Griswald’s presents. 
  • 6sense: Uncovering early intent signals is a game changer for supply chain planning for Santa’s elves.

Marketing and sales alignment
: Data from Gartner identifies that, when considering a purchase, B2B buyers spend only 17% of their time meeting with potential suppliers. Much of their evaluation process happens online. It’s the reason behind Santa’s recent joint alliance with Amazon (we are worried that Jeff Bezos’ next acquisition might in fact be S. Claus Industries). The buyer is in control today. It’s imperative that marketing and sales work together in an interdependent manner.

Stocking stuffers

It’s not all big gifts under the tree that excites modern marketers. Here are the stocking stuffers Santa is working on for us:

Lululemon pants: With hybrid and remote work continuing, athleisure wear is a must for all good little marketers. 

Peace on Earth, goodwill towards marketing: From brand to demand and art to science, today’s marketers are driving significant, measurable pipeline contributions. May 2023 bring peace, respect, and goodwill from the CEO and Sales.

Content: Like socks, you need just the right asset for each occasion.

There you have it. A preview of what you may see under your tree on Christmas morning.

Happy holidays to you and yours!


Mark Emond

CEO, Founder and Executive Chair

Mark Emond has a tremendous passion for developing advanced, yet pragmatic Revenue Marketing strategies that deliver early results and long-term growth for our clients.

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