Holiday Digital Marketing: 8 Tips for Success

| September 25, 2013

Young Woman Sitting on Couch Holding Christmas Present and Wearing Santa Hat

 

By Judy Asman

If you’re seeking tips for holiday digital marketing, this article breaks down 8 tips to help you get started today.

Halloween promotions are in full swing.  They not only indicate that Halloween is around the corner, they’re a tell-tale sign that the frenzy of the 2013 holiday season is brewing.

As consumers, we may fall victim to holiday fatigue. But as digital marketers and small business owners, this is our opportunity to think ahead and plan promotions that will enhance consumer loyalty and expand customer base.

And the time is ripe. In her Sept. 10, 2013 webinar “Holiday Marketing Preview – What’s in Store,” eMarketer Krista Garcia content director concludes:

  • “Holiday ecommerce will continue to increase with gains outpacing overall retail sales growth. Digital is growing organically and being driven by mobile.

  • “Mobile will be more pervasive for both shopping and selling. Tablets and smartphones will aid mobile shoppers in any location.

  • “Customer experience is at the core of the omnichannel (in other words, holiday shopping will take place online but a majority respondents in an eMarketer survey, 31%, said they will not shop online exclusively. They will shop at retail outlets as well). Inventory transparency and new fulfillment and delivery models are important but shoppers mostly care about getting the product they want when they need it.

  • “There isn’t a straight path from social media to sales, though attribution is getting better and retailers are becoming more creative. “

What This Means for Us

With increased organic growth of online holiday sales—helped along by more shopping on mobile devices, consumers will still buy products and services where they can. Prepare for holiday success in all channels. Here 8 tips for holiday digital marketing:

Tip #1: Start now. Even if knee-deep in projects unrelated to the holidays, schedule a team huddle ASAP to talk about products and special promotions that make sense for your consumers and prospects over the next few months. Remember that the holidays are a season. Create promotions that will take you over the next several months.

Icons of HanukkahTip #2: Consider all holidays. Holiday marketing goes beyond catering to gift-buying for religious observations. Below are key holiday dates:

  • Thanksgiving. Brings to mind gratitude and spending time with family, big meals, watching football and traveling.
  • Black Friday. The biggest shopping day of the year in the U.S.—people are looking for deep discounts and convenience.
  • Cyber Monday. Some analysts may think Cyber Monday is softening in relevance but others still take it seriously as a key spending day. In the webinar, Garcia cites Jay Henderson, IBM Digital Analytics Benchmark, as saying, “Even though we expect shopping to start earlier, we’re still projecting heavy growth for the key dates like Thanksgiving, Black Friday and Cyber Monday.” In a November 27, 2012 CNNMoney article Henderson says, “Cyber Monday was not only the pinnacle of the Thanksgiving shopping weekend but when the cash register closed it officially became the biggest online shopping day ever.”  The articles adds: “The 30% increase eclipses both the 21% jump in online sales seen on Black Friday and the 17% increase on Thanksgiving day. It’s also bigger than projections from data tracking firm ComScore, which put sales at $1.5 billion for Cyber Monday —  a 20% increase from the same day last year.”
  • Religious holidays. In the multicultural U.S., we observe Hanukah, Christmas and Kwanzaa. Consider whether your products and services have specific interests for consumers who will observe these holidays.
  • New Year’s Eve and Day. Bring to mind special messaging around celebration, safe driving and New Year’s resolutions. All of which offer potential for creative programs that cater to the  mindset. How can we promote our products and services so they reach the consumer mindset and habit goals for the upcoming year?

Tip #3: Offer free shipping.  Consumers want deals during the holidays and expect free shipping. Competition for free shipping is expected to be high in 2013. “Free shipping has become an accepted part of holiday shopping” and “48.9 percent of U.S. retailers expect to increase free shipping in 2013,” Garcia adds.

Tip #4: Offer a consistent experience across all channels. The eMarketer survey found that 84% of respondents view consistent customer experience across all channels to be “very important.” Make your brand consistent across the Web and face-to-face, read this article for advice.

Tip #5: Plan to succeed. Create a special marketing plan just for the holidays to ensure that your messaging is consistent and that you have a plan for set-up, execution and tear-down (follow-up or follow-through) of each key-date campaign. Look at holiday marketing as a program that will happen starting now through the second week of January and don’t forget that Valentine’s date looming.

Tip #6: Include coupons in e-newsletters. E-newsletters are an integral digital marketing tool to help you promote discounts. If you include coupons in your e-newsletters, note that customers can bring in hard copies of the coupons or show the online versions of these coupons on their mobile devices if they want to take advantage of special offers in-store.

Tip #7: Remember the gift of charity. The holidays also present an excellent karmic opportunity for us to give the gift of charity. If you’re with a non-profit organization, you may have special items that you sell during the holidays as fundraisers organization. But remember that donating on behalf of an individual makes for a viable program in and of itself.

Tip #8: Consider the older generations. Garcia says Gen Xers and Boomers will do the majority of holiday spending. Analyze the psychographics of these audiences. Think of Gen X parents with younger children through teens and Boomers who are active retirees, some of whom may even be encore entrepreneurs looking to launch businesses. Boomers may interested in promotions that appeal not only to their role as parents and grandparents but independent individuals on the move. This will drive not only the products and services they decide to buy but where they are when they buy them and on what device and how.

Bonus Tip

As marketers, our goal is to always meet our customers where they are emotionally. Holidays are a time of great joy, excitement and enthusiasm around spending money but they can create stress and raise feelings of melancholy. They can also be as stressor for those who have to travel in inclement weather to be with loved ones. Remember all of these factors as you plan your customer experience. Consumers will expect great deals and convenience but they will also want prompt service and compassion. As marketers, the holidays are our golden opportunity to enhance customer loyalty if we remember our customers’ mindsets and emotions. Tweet this.

What else?

Any questions or something you want me to clarify? Need someone to bounce ideas off of? Leave a comment below or tweet us up at @tmmpdx or @nohasslecontent.

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Category: Content Marketing, Modern Marketing Buzz, Recruit 101, Special Agent Intermediate, tmmBosley, tmmJill, tmmKelly, TMMPDX, tmmSabrina, Veteran Advanced

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Young Woman Sitting on Couch Holding Christmas Present and Wearing Santa Hat

 

By Judy Asman

If you’re seeking tips for holiday digital marketing, this article breaks down 8 tips to help you get started today.

Halloween promotions are in full swing.  They not only indicate that Halloween is around the corner, they’re a tell-tale sign that the frenzy of the 2013 holiday season is brewing.

As consumers, we may fall victim to holiday fatigue. But as digital marketers and small business owners, this is our opportunity to think ahead and plan promotions that will enhance consumer loyalty and expand customer base.

And the time is ripe. In her Sept. 10, 2013 webinar “Holiday Marketing Preview – What’s in Store,” eMarketer Krista Garcia content director concludes:

  • “Holiday ecommerce will continue to increase with gains outpacing overall retail sales growth. Digital is growing organically and being driven by mobile.

  • “Mobile will be more pervasive for both shopping and selling. Tablets and smartphones will aid mobile shoppers in any location.

  • “Customer experience is at the core of the omnichannel (in other words, holiday shopping will take place online but a majority respondents in an eMarketer survey, 31%, said they will not shop online exclusively. They will shop at retail outlets as well). Inventory transparency and new fulfillment and delivery models are important but shoppers mostly care about getting the product they want when they need it.

  • “There isn’t a straight path from social media to sales, though attribution is getting better and retailers are becoming more creative. “

What This Means for Us

With increased organic growth of online holiday sales—helped along by more shopping on mobile devices, consumers will still buy products and services where they can. Prepare for holiday success in all channels. Here 8 tips for holiday digital marketing:

Tip #1: Start now. Even if knee-deep in projects unrelated to the holidays, schedule a team huddle ASAP to talk about products and special promotions that make sense for your consumers and prospects over the next few months. Remember that the holidays are a season. Create promotions that will take you over the next several months.

Icons of HanukkahTip #2: Consider all holidays. Holiday marketing goes beyond catering to gift-buying for religious observations. Below are key holiday dates:

  • Thanksgiving. Brings to mind gratitude and spending time with family, big meals, watching football and traveling.
  • Black Friday. The biggest shopping day of the year in the U.S.—people are looking for deep discounts and convenience.
  • Cyber Monday. Some analysts may think Cyber Monday is softening in relevance but others still take it seriously as a key spending day. In the webinar, Garcia cites Jay Henderson, IBM Digital Analytics Benchmark, as saying, “Even though we expect shopping to start earlier, we’re still projecting heavy growth for the key dates like Thanksgiving, Black Friday and Cyber Monday.” In a November 27, 2012 CNNMoney article Henderson says, “Cyber Monday was not only the pinnacle of the Thanksgiving shopping weekend but when the cash register closed it officially became the biggest online shopping day ever.”  The articles adds: “The 30% increase eclipses both the 21% jump in online sales seen on Black Friday and the 17% increase on Thanksgiving day. It’s also bigger than projections from data tracking firm ComScore, which put sales at $1.5 billion for Cyber Monday —  a 20% increase from the same day last year.”
  • Religious holidays. In the multicultural U.S., we observe Hanukah, Christmas and Kwanzaa. Consider whether your products and services have specific interests for consumers who will observe these holidays.
  • New Year’s Eve and Day. Bring to mind special messaging around celebration, safe driving and New Year’s resolutions. All of which offer potential for creative programs that cater to the  mindset. How can we promote our products and services so they reach the consumer mindset and habit goals for the upcoming year?

Tip #3: Offer free shipping.  Consumers want deals during the holidays and expect free shipping. Competition for free shipping is expected to be high in 2013. “Free shipping has become an accepted part of holiday shopping” and “48.9 percent of U.S. retailers expect to increase free shipping in 2013,” Garcia adds.

Tip #4: Offer a consistent experience across all channels. The eMarketer survey found that 84% of respondents view consistent customer experience across all channels to be “very important.” Make your brand consistent across the Web and face-to-face, read this article for advice.

Tip #5: Plan to succeed. Create a special marketing plan just for the holidays to ensure that your messaging is consistent and that you have a plan for set-up, execution and tear-down (follow-up or follow-through) of each key-date campaign. Look at holiday marketing as a program that will happen starting now through the second week of January and don’t forget that Valentine’s date looming.

Tip #6: Include coupons in e-newsletters. E-newsletters are an integral digital marketing tool to help you promote discounts. If you include coupons in your e-newsletters, note that customers can bring in hard copies of the coupons or show the online versions of these coupons on their mobile devices if they want to take advantage of special offers in-store.

Tip #7: Remember the gift of charity. The holidays also present an excellent karmic opportunity for us to give the gift of charity. If you’re with a non-profit organization, you may have special items that you sell during the holidays as fundraisers organization. But remember that donating on behalf of an individual makes for a viable program in and of itself.

Tip #8: Consider the older generations. Garcia says Gen Xers and Boomers will do the majority of holiday spending. Analyze the psychographics of these audiences. Think of Gen X parents with younger children through teens and Boomers who are active retirees, some of whom may even be encore entrepreneurs looking to launch businesses. Boomers may interested in promotions that appeal not only to their role as parents and grandparents but independent individuals on the move. This will drive not only the products and services they decide to buy but where they are when they buy them and on what device and how.

Bonus Tip

As marketers, our goal is to always meet our customers where they are emotionally. Holidays are a time of great joy, excitement and enthusiasm around spending money but they can create stress and raise feelings of melancholy. They can also be as stressor for those who have to travel in inclement weather to be with loved ones. Remember all of these factors as you plan your customer experience. Consumers will expect great deals and convenience but they will also want prompt service and compassion. As marketers, the holidays are our golden opportunity to enhance customer loyalty if we remember our customers’ mindsets and emotions. Tweet this.

What else?

Any questions or something you want me to clarify? Need someone to bounce ideas off of? Leave a comment below or tweet us up at @tmmpdx or @nohasslecontent.