December and January, though cold and somewhat depressing months in many countries, are replete with holidays around the world. Pancha Ganapati, Kwanzaa, Hanukah, Christmas and New Year – these are just a few of the many occasions for people around the globe to celebrate in good spirits with their families, spend some time off work, have a festive dinner and buy gifts for loved ones. The constellation of consumers’ festive mood, free time and gifting plans makes this a prime season for retailers. Learn more about holiday marketing ideas in this article.
1. Analysis: revise and keep the best practices.
How did you do last year? Revise past campaign performance, identify the channels which proved the most helpful in reaching your audience, and root out the causes of bad conversion. Accumulating campaign performance data and making sense of it is crucial: according to Bain & Company’s research, 33% of business leaders make their budget decisions based on metrics. Did your customers complain about the load time of your site? This year, don’t lose the 53% of potential customers who visit the site from a smartphone: every second of delay in load-time causes a 12% conversion fall.
Bain & Company: “Engaging with consumers at just the right moment makes a huge difference in revenues and customers convenience.”
Keeping track of all your marketing activities at once requires careful organization, and if you’re lost in your performance data, it’s time to turn chaos into order: integrated, well-tuned marketing software with automated reporting allows for faster analytics and decision-making. There’s no time to lose during the shopping season!
2. Market segmentation: target the right people.
Bombarded daily by onslaughts of information, promotions, and marketing, consumers hate being targeted by irrelevant ads. At the same time, there’s a significant backlash against the invasion of privacy which many people associate with certain types of manipulation. How does one offer relevant promotions without creeping the customers out?
CMO by Adobe: “Targeted advertisements are, on average, almost twice as effective as non-targeted ads.”
One way is to be transparent about it, as surveys indicate people are actually willing to share their data, especially younger audiences (60% among Millennials). A dedicated app not only increases conversion but also allows brands to send Push notifications – which boosts higher click-through rates, while avoiding privacy issues, as the feature is “opt-in only” – whereby you only reach people who want to be reached.
Using mobile advertising, create effective targeted marketing campaigns based on criteria such as gender, age, the city of residence, the average amount of mobile communication costs, mobile phone operating system, mobile phone model, and subscriber roaming time.
3. Personalization: let the customer feel like you’re talking to her, not at her.
On holiday seasons, the humanness, and personality of the brand becomes especially important: let the customer see the people behind the brand, not a faceless business indistinguishable from thousands of others.
Whether it’s personalized emails with data-driven content, an engaging chatbot providing a personalized customer support experience, or finely-targeted SMS marketing, personalized promotions simply works better (at least 65% of marketers agree).
4. Visual effects: grab your customers’ attention with vibrant visuals.
As holiday season marketing gets intense, you will be facing severe competition for customers’ attention, and everything that helps your brand stand out is vital.
There are many ways to create marketing promotions which stand out visually. Instead of out of business messaging services, where SMS has the least to offer, consider using Push notifications and OTTs such as Viber, where they really shine.
Get creative with visual materials: from something as simple as boosting your Push promotions with beautiful visual assets and brand logo, to securing featured banner presence with a unique branded sticker pack to go viral among Viber users (over 1 Billion people across 193 countries).
5. Multi-channel marketing: diversify, optimize and integrate.
It is no secret that using multiple communication channels has a positive impact on conversion. But simply setting up several channels doesn’t exhaust the potential of multi-channel marketing.
Leadpages & Infusionsoft Research: “Successful small business owners will look to integrate marketing channels to ensure a cross-platform experience that is seamless and sales-oriented.”
A well-integrated multichannel marketing strategy uses the insights from data gained across channels to maximize the efficiency of communications, ultimately boosting performance. To help achieve this synergy, GMS made sure that its multichannel messaging platform Hyber provides real-time statistics, extensive customizable settings, and a user-friendly interface. Choose and combine channels, gain insight, improve your communication strategy, and take your marketing to the next level!
6. Shopping season: use holiday promotions to attract new customers and improve loyalty.
Here are 3 perfect channels to drive promotions and discounts:
- Social Media: 72% of consumers want brands to share discounts and sales on social media;
- Push notifications: overall positive perception, high click-through rates, and they are read almost instantly allowing on time marketing;
- Viber Business Mmessages: these combine the text of your promotion, pictures to grab the user’s attention and, most importantly, links – a combination which easily engages, facilitates the interaction and makes it simple for the customer.
7. FOMO: communicate urgency to promote sales.
Why not activate consumers’ FOMO or “fear of missing out”? During holidays when there are a lot of seasonal discounts and promotions, use language which presents your offer as being in a limited supply, or urgent: “online only”, “only in store”, “limited edition”, “only [few] left in stock”, “offer ends tonight”, etc. This can encourage a customer who is wavering to seize the opportunity (your offer) as well as share their ‘catch’ on social media.
8. Launch a Holiday Gift Guide.
Useful for consumers – profitable for you: to showcase your proposition, offer gift guides by theme (holiday or another occasion), gift-receiver’s profile (parents, jewellery lover, gamer, “gifts for him”, etc.), and by price (“20 gifts under $20”, “50 5-dollar purchases worth every penny”, etc). Use site analytics and customer feedback to track performance, update continuously, feature them in emails, and create “quick navigation” paths for shoppers to easily find and shop the guides.
9. Long are the days of winter shopping: the season doesn’t end with the year.
First of all, there is a significant number of holidays at the beginning of the year: from Lunar New Year to Eastern Orthodox Christmas, the gift-giving (and getting) season goes on. Secondly, a new year is an opportunity to highlight new products and services, as well as to cater to the post-holiday cravings of the audience. Use content and promotions long into the new year letting your customers know of new product launches, discounts for the winter season, and more. Communication doesn’t stop after the holidays.
Adobe Digital Insights forecasts that consumers will spend $124.1 billion online this holiday season in the U.S. alone, which means 14.8% YoY growth. 57% of retail visits will come from mobile devices. These two facts are hallmarks of the growing importance of integrated, data-driven multi-channel marketing and retail.
However, as the competition for consumers’ attention is intensifying it is crucial for marketers to get the most out of their holiday marketing campaign, and that requires sophisticated, fine-tuned analytics, utilization of cross-channel insights, and careful planning. GMS will help you to reach your holiday shoppers through the most reliable and cost-efficient channels.
New year – new level: let’s grow your business together!