The battle of Salisbury and Winchester Christmas markets

christmas-winchester-vs-salisbury-marketingVery interesting to see the publicity that Salisbury Christmas Market gained during its first year of trading. Who needs marketing when the Market makes the national newspapers! Well actually in this case, the publicity was as a result of the marketing.

30,000 people visited Salisbury Christmas Market in the first few days of it opening – a huge number, by the standards of even the most established Christmas markets across the UK.

The national publicity will no doubt have boosted numbers, although to what extent is hard to quantify.

As a marketing person, I dream of this kind of publicity.

The reason why it caused a national stir, was because Salisbury was going up against Winchester in the battle of the Christmas markets for the south west. Just 15 miles apart, the two cities were out to attract shoppers from each other.

In boxing terms, think of Winchester as the long established fighter, many wins under its belt, a true heavyweight. Along comes Salisbury, a feisty first time fighter who’s not afraid to challenge the big boy. All of a sudden, the public have a choice. Instead of automatically supporting Winchester, many locals were to get behind Salisbury.

It was bound to cause a stir.

And then there was the marketing. Winchester Christmas Market had placed a large billboard advert in Salisbury City Centre for a number of years. So this year, Salisbury placed a billboard advert for their own market in Winchester!

Many national newspapers covered the story, and both cities got huge marketing exposure.

So who was the victor in all this? Well, they were both winners. The publicity generated from this cannot be bought. The perceived value of the marketing was many times more than the actual value and will no doubt stand both cities in great stand when the local businesses get their calculators out and tot up their sales figures.