Marketing Strategy, According to Panto

For anyone who knows me, they will know that my love of theatre does not extend to the seasonal Christmas Pantomime. I’m not sure if it’s something that happened to me as a child, or if I just don’t like the idea of girls playing boys and boys playing girls, but I really can’t stand them.

However, this year I’ve thrown myself into Panto-land and joined the backstage crew for Inverurie Panto’s ‘Puss in Boots’. Performed by some of Aberdeen’s crème de le crème of acting chops, the festive musical has melted my icy heart and I’ve even been spotted toe tapping to the competition song and booing at the baddie!


Puss In Boots is a fantastic family show for this time of year, and I do recommend all my friends, family and followers out there to head out and ‘buy local’ for this year’s Panto offering. Don’t just take my word for it – check out their fantastic review from the Evening Express here!

However, if like me you can’t tell your Baron Hardup from your Window Twanky, then why not consider how the lessons of Panto can help you and your marketing strategy…

Hello Boys and Girls!

Pantos are a firm festive favourite whatever your age, but there’s no denying when Buttons bounds on stage that the story is being told to the younger members of the audience. The bright costumes, slapstick humour and clear storytelling all work together to reach the target audience, and entertain them throughout the show.


It is vital that as part of your marketing strategy a target audience should be identified and your strategy and marketing plan developed specifically for these audiences.

Using market research techniques such as customer interviews, focus groups and industry reviews will help you better understand who your product or service will benefit and therefore, who to go after. You can then begin to design a marketing plan around how you will reach them so they can see you, learn who you are and engage with you so they come and buy from you.

Once Upon A Time…

The majority of Pantomimes are loosely based on fairy tales, with some local humour and current affairs thrown in to also amuse the mums and dads (another target market!). The story is clear for children and parents to follow, with lots of content to amuse throughout.

With content now firmly king in the marketing mix, it is important that your brand gets their copy and content right. Understanding your target market will help you develop suitable and effective marketing content that reaches them best. Consider what age range you are targeting and how they consume their media: is it via social media; what platforms? Do they read newspapers and magazines; are these local or national?


Being able to answer these first questions will then help you develop content around it – whether it be videos, images or blogs – or a mix of all of these, further supported by traditional media channels – television, radio and printed press.

He’s Behind You!

One thing I have always enjoyed about Panto is the audience participation. Having played a baddie before, it’s great to get the boos and hisses – and there’s nothing quite like helping the Dame out with an outcry of “he’s behind you!”

Knowing their audience of mostly children, Pantomimes engage with their market face-to-face and invite them to join in the fun, shouting and cheering out as they go. Children love it – where else do they get to make so much noise, and still get sweets?!


Engaging with audiences is crucial in today’s market place. The successful brands who engage with their customers understand that customers want to interact with brands and learn something of value – which has never been as easy thanks to new and emerging technologies.

They are many ways to engage with customers, whether it’s online on social media, or face-to-face at client events. Importantly brands should build a personalised profile around them – using messaging guides to gage the right tone of voice for the company.

Importantly, consumers don’t want to feel overwhelmed by your content – think quantity over quality and consider different ways to engage with audiences – incorporating new tools such as Facebook Live and Snapchat.

Encore, Encore!

So, next time you go to a Pantomime, see if you can spot how they have used a winning strategy to engage customers, and will continue to do with so with loyal audiences year after year.

If you’re looking for some support to turn your marketing performance into a star performance, then please get in touch with Kyle!


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