This is the second part of a two-part series. Check out more insights here.
Holiday season is here, which means brands are rolling out their biggest seasonal campaigns in hopes of captivating customers from Black Friday, into the New Year. We asked some of the top marketing leaders to share their advice on how brands can make the most of the 2018 holiday season. Here’s what they said:
Optimize consumer experiences
“Optimizing consumer experience should be a key priority of every holiday marketing campaign. Consumers overwhelmed by the noise and clutter of holiday marketing are likely to tune out messages and advertising that doesn’t speak to their needs or respect their preferences. “The long-term goal here is to build and strengthen a durable customer relationship by paying attention to what content drives consumer engagement. Once a brand earns a consumer’s trust, the consumer lifecycle lengthens and lifetime value grows.“
– Nick Worth, CMO, Selligent Marketing Cloud
Tailor your website for the holiday season
“Tailor your site to match the in store experiences they would have. This doesn’t mean you need to redesign your whole site, but by adding elements and imagery that reflects the occasion you keep people in the festive shopping spirit which helps increase your conversions and sales.”
– Natalie Athanasiadis, owner, head of growth, Ormi Media
Mind your in-store music
“Music is such an integral part of that brand experience, it’s so important to get it right. Holiday music can create or reinforce emotional bonds and connections and can serve a very critical role, but treat it as you would any other merchandising effort. Think of holiday music through the lens of your brand, and not from a sense of default. Avoid choices that will create jarring or awkward experiences, or just choices that don’t “fit” your brand. You’ll know it when you hear it.
We also recommend taking a measured approach with how much holiday music you play and when, building slowly until Dec. 25 rolls around. It’s such a delicate balance as holiday music can be so polarizing. The best way to incorporate holiday music is to gradually add more as the season progresses. It’s an easier transition for your brand, and maybe, more importantly, for your employees — your true brand ambassadors. Remember, whatever you choose will be their soundtrack during this most important quarter!”
– Danny Turner, global SVP, creative programming, Mood Media
“Many of the most well-known and successful brands understand that creating a memorable and Instagrammable in-store experience is vital to capturing consumers’ attention, even if the consumer is ultimately making a purchase on the retailer’s website. The store of the future is less about selling merchandise, and more about selling ideas and experiences to build long-lasting customer relationships.
Brands should also consider how activations may appear in photos, as socially sticky events generate word-of-mouth buzz through platforms like Snapchat and Instagram, which has proven to be effective for engaging teen audiences. In many cases, the social engagement generated from an interactive experience is more effective for the long term than merchandise purchases in the moment.”
– Adi Biran, CEO, Splacer
Have a voice search strategy
“One idea for how retailers can use voice this holiday season is to build an experience for each of the common voice assistants that lets customers track their holiday packages. They can simply ask, ‘okay Google, where are my adult-size duck onesie pajamas?’ It’s a low-entry tactic that will reduce stress for harried holiday shoppers.”
– Drew Burns, group product marketing manager, Adobe Target
Connect with customers in real-time
“Retail marketers looking to improve conversions during the holidays should utilize dynamic, real-time marketing tactics to personalize the experience and drive those all-important holiday sales. During the festive season, retailers can get creative by putting “daily offers” in an ecommerce advent calendar email series, or create a holiday Pinterest board to directly feed into email campaigns. Cart and browse reminder emails are especially important during the holidays, when customers are gift shopping for others and can easily lose track of all the items they’re browsing and carting. Shopping recovery messages will offer retailers an opportunity to convert those missed sales.
– Mike Austin, CEO, Fresh Relevance
Learn from your data
“Holiday season is prime-time for capturing valuable data and generating insights that help re-strategize marketing programs for the upcoming year. Emerging channels like voice and location-based mobile marketing are giving brands the ability to more effectively target, understand, and create better experiences for customers. Brands leveraging data to make tough decisions — like where to open a pop-up shop for the holidays or who to target with their store displays – will certainly be better positioned to connect with customers than their competitors.”
– Gladys Kong, CEO, UberMedia
Leverage Amazon with care
“Nearly half of U.S. consumers now start their product search on Amazon, meaning the retail giant offers an attractive model for brands hoping to capture the attention of active buyers during the 2018 holiday shopping season.What makes Amazon so different from Google and Facebook is the fact that they are (to brands): an advertising platform, a marketplace, and a retailer/competitor. As brands increase their reliance on Amazon, marketers should take note that the goal for Amazon is to create reliance on their advertising platform/marketplace and then leverage that to extract the highest amount economic value they can get.”
– Ryan Kelly, vice president, marketing, Nanigans
Build loyalty beyond the holiday transaction
“It’s easy for marketers to get swept up in the holidays. It makes sense – it’s the last chance for brands to either hit or exceed their sales goals and set themselves up for a successful 2019. However, if marketers don’t want to lose their customers after the holiday gift is purchased, they need to focus on what it takes to keep customers happy and engaged year-round. To make sure a sale isn’t just a first and final touchpoint, or a last and final interaction, marketers must look ahead to how they’ll convince buyers to come back. Start thinking about how to incentivize customers now to keep their loyalty strong in the New Year.”
– Lynne Capozzi, CMO, Acquia
Have any holiday marketing tips of your own you’d like to share? Let us know in the comments below!