The holiday season is a mess for retailers, marketers and salespeople alike. Winter is coming. With it comes the various December holidays and New Year's. Everyone wants things to be shiny and perfect. Before the end of year holidays, Black Friday is the big holiday purchasing day. Every year, there's a retail frenzy and things go wrong for stores and marketers. It's almost inevitable, as the day becomes more and more hectic. This is also because of the change in marketing and the shift to technology. As the marketplace has evolved, traditional marketing has become less effective. Cyber Monday is skyrocketing in popularity. Marketing is developing a need for a digital, versatile presence to which resistance is futile. Successful marketers will adapt these features into their plans in ways that save time and other resources.
So how can the average marketing staff, with limited resources and specific needs, match the current market? More importantly, how can they save resources that will allow them to do more for their customers? We want to help marketers the world over learn the essentials for navigating the marketing nightmare before Christmas. Black Friday is hectic, we know. Here are some tips for managing the marketing rush and generating the most profit possible.
1. Twitter Referrals are on the Rise
Cyber Monday has grown by 16% year over year. Alone, this fact isn't incredible. What transforms this is that overall social media referrals have grown by almost 53% divided between Twitter, Pinterest, and Facebook. Some studies expect mobile to have an impact on 87% of all purchases during the holidays. These factors mean that customers are not just pitting you against your competitors in real time but also while they're browsing your offerings and prices. They're checking you against places like Amazon and other online retailers who often offer different deals altogether. How can you counter something like that?
In the gaming industry, physical store chains often compete for buyers using store-based exclusives or by offering specific versions of a given game. This is a part of it, however automated distribution of marketing and flash sales should be liberally applied to retail and sales. There are already a substantial number of people shopping, so why not give customers who might otherwise go elsewhere new hope by holding flash sales on specific products? Offering Twitter alerts to shoppers who are looking for good deals is a good way to generate interest in such a sale. It also provides an incentive for people to join your messaging list so they are the first to know. The social media alert rewards people following you on those sites and encourages others to follow you. As well, this gives you a number of ways to encourage people to join your mailing list for even more exclusive deals. Automate and roll out consistent reminders of deals throughout the Black Friday/Cyber Monday holiday period.
2. Mobile Marketing is Huge
The hulking potential of mobile marketing is displayed by the 87% of consumers who plan to use their devices to shop or seek retailer information. Mobile marketing was already a force to be reckoned with overseas, and now it is becoming more and more important all over the world. More than half of consumers surveyed said they wanted to receive deals via their mobile. How can we help you get a handle on mobile marketing and make it work for you?
Automating your SMS marketing is an excellent method of announcing flash sales or exclusive deals for your mailing list or loyalty program members. In addition, you can send out trickles of information before a big announcement. On top of that, contests and more can be held using the power of SMS short codes. (This is currently a service SimplyCast only offers in Canada.) SMS automation assists with affordable and effortless sending of mass messages to your customers, giving you time to ensure that even if better deals might be available elsewhere your customer experience keeps your customers saying "what's this?!" in awe.
3. Online Purchases are On the Rise
Based on a study we found on marketingland.com, 41% of purchases in 2012 were made online. That number will have increased substantially since then. That's almost half of your purchases during the busiest time of the year. If you track online behavior and interact with customers through online marketing, you'll know what your customers are looking for most. You can then use this information to optimize your marketing campaigns. There are three fronts on which you can push that marketing in order to catch customer attention.
- One of the most popular methods of online contact is social media, where you can automate posts for flash sales, hot deals and even daily specials in a flash. You can hold contests and more, building hype and attention for your Black Friday/Cyber Monday events. Social media is one of the fastest growing platforms, with huge growth and engagement. We offer automation for both Twitter and Facebook, two of the largest among social media giants. Automation allows you to automate one post or a whole series over time that can be seamlessly slipped into your usual posting without any changes. You can even stagger posts out, so that they appear to be normal daily posts rather than an automated stream. Stitch together a killer deal with social media engagement and then follow it up with the next method of online marketing.
- Email marketing is the most-used marketing tool that you can use in any holiday situation. In some surveys surrounding Black Friday and the holiday season, respondents said that more than half of them look for sales in their email inboxes as each holiday approaches. You could easily be king of the pumpkin patch with a well designed, eye-catching email. Your email should ideally lead the customer to take some kind of action. Provide more than meets the eye when you set up a multi-channel holiday marketing campaign and you'll be remembered for your extra effort.
- Of course, neither of these communication methods can reach their fullest potential unless the customer has a place to go after the initial message is received. This is where the third internet marketing front comes into play. Use custom-built forms and landing pages to encourage customers to act on those emails, social media messages and other forms of communication and sign up for more updates and news. Be transparent, friendly and helpful, and offer unique forms and landing pages for each holiday and special promotion. Trust us, your customers will notice.
With these basic tips in mind, and a veritable multiverse of content available on our website, we hope that we've helped to make your marketing nightmare before Christmas a little more jolly and a little less frightful. Remember, this post can be used for any holiday, we just happened to be focused on Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Sign up for a free holiday marketing demo below! Then check out our marketing automation page to get a bigger picture view of how we can help your holiday marketing.