What Christmas Taught Me About Content Marketing

Miracle on 34th StreetBy now, you’re probably sick of the holiday season. But, I have to bring it up one more time because this Christmas I learned some truly valuable content marketing lessons from a holiday movie you’ve probably seen—Miracle on 34th Street.  This heartwarming movie tells the story of love, hope, and the meaning of Christmas. It also spins an interesting commentary on the sometimes cut-throat nature of advertising and marketing. The solution this movie offers falls exactly in line with content marketing.

The movie follows Santa Claus—yes, the real Santa—as he starts working as the mall Santa at Macy’s. Instructed to subtly advertise Macy’s products to the children wishing for toys, Santa bucks the tradition by helping the kids locate the toys they really want, no matter the store. At first, Macy’s is appalled by their Santa sending children to other stores. But, they soon reap the rewards of many happy parents who come back to shop out of loyalty and trust.

One happy mother tells a Macy’s representative: “Imagine a big outfit like Macy’s putting the spirit of Christmas ahead of the commercial. It’s wonderful. I’ve never done much shopping here before but from now on, I’m going to be a regular Macy customer.”

Santa’s altruistic toy promotion turns out to be so successful that Macy’s, and all of itscompetitors, implement the method across the country. So all of the movie’s department stores are now filled with salesmen that genuinely help their customers solve their Christmas shopping problems. They even publish an inventory of Christmas toys and where to find them at the best price. In turn, the department stores got happy customers who shop at their stores regularly and also sing their praises to friends and family.

Do you see where I’m going with this yet? Macy’s set itself apart by meeting customers where they were at and serving them in ways that genuinely solved their problems. Although Macy’s did not do this pmiracle-on-34th-strimarily through content distribution, it followed the same principles and achieved the same results.

But, as Santa puts it, “Oh, Christmas isn’t just a day, it’s a frame of mind.”

The same goes for content marketing. You don’t apply content marketing for one campaign or glorify it one month out of the year. To be truly successful, you need to follow the principles of content marketing with every marketing campaign, big or small, year round.

So, isn’t it nice to know that marketing is now living out the idealistic world of Miracle on 34th Street? Personally, that’s a movement I can support. Focus on your content marketing in 2015, and maybe you’ll end up on Santa’s nice list.


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