The holidays are rolling around and yes 'tis the season for shopping. This means the time of needing to get inspiration on what to buy and information on the best deals via emails, catalogues, websites, recommendations etcetera. So how do marketers prepare themselves for this mad shopping rush?
Whether referring to Thanksgiving, Black Friday, Christmas or New Year's it is time to get your checklists in order not just for Santa but for your customers and your brand. This is an extremely busy time for people while they are on the go. Whether they are spending time with family, getting an early start on shopping or preparing delicious meals your brand is still fighting to be heard in order to reach the attention of your customers. Today customers don’t just favor one channel, they are active on many channels and each customer is different. Therefore you need to be available to them and reach out to them via email, web, social and mobile. But within each of these channels we have compiled our list and tips to help you steer the sleigh smoothly - all the way to New Years. Starting with pre-holiday marketing tips all the way through to post-holiday tips, are you ready?
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Tips for Pre-Holiday Marketing Madness
It is becoming more and more prevalent for customers to plan early for the holidays. So much so that you will start to see Halloween candy before school even starts. With this in mind it is important to help your customers get ready in advance from the get go. By now most marketers are in the midst of the holiday marketing planning. Be sure, while planning your marketing strategy to take a step back and access your success and failures from the previous year. Think about what you can learn from your peers from last year. Last year Coca-Cola introduced the Share-a-Coke campaign, integrating their brand into your holiday table with personalized Coke bottles. This is not anything new with Coca-Cola, they have been selling these bottles/cans with people's names since 2011 and their sales have only continued to soar. Although this is playing off a pre-existing concept, they revamped their successful efforts into a new creative way. This plays perfectly into your customers planning efforts. And why not help them out?It is not only important to look at the previous year but to predict complications that may arise for the current year. For instance, make sure to ensure your servers have enough capacity to handle traffic spikes. This is a crucial step in the planning process. Imagine you have put all the time and effort into creating the perfect campaign and then your automation lets you down just when it's your time to shine. For all this planning prior to the holiday this is your chance as a marketer to take advantage of resources. Call on Rudolph and friends to bring in the holiday spirit. Get your brand out there and utilize the multi-channels for the largest outreach opportunities.
Call on Rudolph along with #multi-channel efforts for maximum #holidaymarketing outreach
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Starter Holiday Marketing Tips:
- Employ holiday themed emoji's: With all the competition out there during the holidays you are going to need a boost, so make those messages attractive! Keep it fun and simple and be sure to add holiday visuals to add holiday spirit.
- Offer coupons online and in-stores: Coupons act as a motivator to encourage customers to purchase that item they just aren't sure about. Be sure to offer coupons online and in your brick and mortar stores for even more encouragement.
- Offer in-store pick up: Those associated with Curbside can even pick up their order without even leaving their cars. This convenience could be just what your customers are looking for.
- Give thanks: Take the opportunity to give thanks and wish your customers happy holidays.
- Send relevant push notifications: Send out targeted, personalized messages based on your customers’ needs and behavior. This will ensure a better chance at giving your customers what they need to pursue your brand.
Week of the Holiday Marketing Tips
According to Statista, the holiday retail sales in the U.S. for 2015, was $630.5 billion. The holiday seasons are considered to be a mad rush especially when it comes to shopping. The key to keeping the communication lines open with your customers at this time is mobile. Mobile is with them on the go and in fact shoppers rely on their smartphones while they are shopping. This is your chance as a marketer to plan your campaigns accordingly. Sephora really leads the way when it comes to innovative marketing efforts. Last holiday season they proved themselves again with Sephora's Black Friday offerings. They took the opportunity to increase downloads of their mobile app by utilizing social media channels like Snapchat. Here they gave customers a sneak peek at the various products that would be going on sale days before Black Friday.
#Sephora steers the #socialmarketing holiday sleigh by offering sneak peak sales via snapchat
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This was an excellent move to ensure that shoppers would be rushing to their stores to get in on the exclusives sales that were only taking place in their brick and mortar shops. Showcasing some of the products included in this year’s Black Friday deals. Upon the finale of their Snapchat Story, they gave incentive to download the Sephora To Go mobile app in order to participate in limited offers. These deals were later shared via email. This is a great way to get shoppers excited about your brand amongst the many promotional offers from competing brands.
Here are more holiday marketing tips:
- Offer incentives: Offer an attractive discount or incentive to shop with your brand over this holiday that they can’t refuse. This can also be a good tactic for encouraging new customers to sign up. Be sure to add mobile only incentives. Remember, the more exclusive your offer, the more attractive it will be to customers.
- Bring back abandoned cart shoppers with exclusive deals: Send out an abandoned cart reminder 24 hours after the item is left in the cart. This will increase your conversion rate and will turn your customer into a loyal one.
- Host a holiday competition on social media: This is a great way to increase the excitement for the upcoming holiday and at the same time increase awareness for your brand.
- Offer in-store engagement: Mobile can be extremely helpful to customers physically in your store. According to a study done by Point Inside, a shopper will put 12 items in their cart as opposed to 3 with a location technology feature.
- Promote individual gift guide items on social media: If you want to boost a particular product what better way than getting the word out on social media. The more exclusive the offer the better.
- Offer free shipping: Lend a hand to your customers at this busy time. Make their lives easier with throwing in free shipping to their order.
Don’t leave your customers high and dry for the New Year. Make sure to meet their needs for the end of the holiday season too. What do you need from them at this moment and what do they need from you? This is the time of year where customers and are obsessed with new year's resolutions and goals, they are thinking ahead to the upcoming year, keep that in mind and give them what they need to start their year off on the right foot. Madewell's retail store sent out a smart campaign just to let their customers know that though the holidays are over - they aren't done giving. This is a wonderful message to send your customers right after the holidays. You want to let them know that your brand still cares and are there for them.
Follow #Madewells holiday campaigning technique by letting your customers know your brand cares
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Final Holiday Marketing Tips:
- Last minute shoppers: Send messages offering a last chance opportunity to purchase leftover items in their carts/wish lists: You may have undecided shoppers so give them an incentive to close the deal!
- Last on the shelf promotion: Present new offers to push stock left from the holidays.
- Give appreciation: Stress your appreciation on the past years commitment to your brand
- Ask for feedback: After a well invested year with your customers and the added investment you gave them this holiday season, now is the time to ask for feedback.
- Cease the moment: Keep in mind what your customers are focused on at this time of the year post-holidays. Possibilities could include: New Year's Resolutions, fitness and health and new possibilities. Tap into what is at the top of their list.
Jingle All the Way
The key to winning over your customers hearts is by connecting with them in real-time across multiple channels. Your brand is expected to meet your customers' demands and predict their behavior. This is especially relevant during the holiday season when customers have their hands full with holidays shopping.Think of the holidays as an opportunity for your brand to shine and give your customers the love they deserve. Implementing these techniques can help steer your sleigh this holiday season even more successfully than last year and keep your customers engaged and smiling. If you want to talk with us on more inspiration for your holiday marketing campaigns, contact us. Please do share with me your thoughts and holiday marketing challenges below. To keep you updated with more marketing tips and trends, sign up for our digital marketing news.
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