Innovative Marketing Strategies for Your Holiday Campaign
The holidays are a time of festivities, fun, food, and celebration, but as many business owners know, it's also a time of hard work and determination.
This year's market is set to be saturated with the competition but loaded with potential for large profits and an influx of new customers for those who employ the right marketing strategies. The 2018 holiday season was one of the best in years for both traditional brick-and-mortar shops and e-commerce businesses, with revenue for traditional stores raising 3.9% from the previous year to $874.42 billion and e-commerce revenue soaring 16.7% to $123.90 billion.
If your company or business wants to make the most out of the busiest shopping times of the year, it's best that you and your team put together a comprehensive multi-channel or omni-channel holiday marketing campaign.
For that purpose, we’re giving you some
innovative holiday marketing strategies and ideas
that you can implement this season.
The Early Bird Gets the Worm
The holidays may stay the same but for some, the holiday shopping season starts earlier with each passing year, which means that holiday marketing does too.
When it comes to holiday shoppers, there are generally two types: those who prepare for the holidays earlier, and those who wait until the last minute to buy their gifts.
Approximately 59% of the consumer population is the prepared type who plan out at least some of the gifts they want to buy in advance. For these shoppers, an important marketing approach is to make sure that you have wish list capabilities on your website.
Of course, there are often times when consumers add products to their wish list, but don’t end up buying it. An innovative idea for driving sales with these customers would be to send customers who have had a product sitting in their wishlist for a while a personalized email with a special wishlist offer. You could say something like, “We’ve noticed that you’ve wanted this item for a while, so we thought we would help you out!” Alternatively, you may want to say something holiday-themed to spread the good cheer. A special offer like this would be a successful marketing tool because it would not only remind the customer of the product if they have forgotten about it but would also be a clear indicator of the personalized experience your company can offer its customers, something that is likely to increase customer loyalty to your brand during the hectic holiday season.
As a more generalized marketing approach, it is good to keep in mind that you should be sending out deals and promotions as early as a month in advance of whatever shopping day(s) you are promoting for.
Be Helpful With Holiday Lists
There is so much going on for consumers during the holidays. There are countless meals to cook and presents to buy. Often it can be very overwhelming, so a little bit of help can go a long way. One of our most recommended innovative holiday marketing strategies is to create holiday lists. Here are some examples:
If you are a grocery store, send out emails with delicious recipes with ingredient lists and offer holiday deals on the ingredients. If you want, you can even take it a step further by providing the isle locations in a number of your local stores.
Customers who come to your store won’t just buy those items. Once they are there, they will probably make a whole shopping trip out of it. After a positive experience, they will be more likely to come back to your store for more of their holiday shopping. Of course, these ingredient lists need not be limited to email. You could hand out a pamphlet with a similar list as people walk in the door, or promote these lists on your website’s front page.
You don’t have to be a grocery store to make holiday lists. Really, any store, both brick-and-mortar, and e-commerce can benefit greatly from holiday list strategies.
One of the best strategies is to create a page on your website with different kinds of lists for different people. For example, you could have a “For My Husband” list or a “Holidays for the Kids” list. For big shopping days like Black Friday and Cyber Monday, you could have a “Top Deals” list or a “Best Sellers” list.
Moreover, lists like these are great to send out in emails, especially if they are paired with promotions and deals. However, it is important to remember that if you take this approach, you should use your customer data to personalize the emails so that different customer segments receive lists or products relevant to them. If done correctly, personalized emails like this have the potential to significantly increase customer engagement with your website and make them far more likely to shop with your business.
On the flip side, you risk annoying your customers if you send them emails that are not relevant to them. So, for example, someone with no kids doesn’t want to receive a holiday list with kid toy suggestions. If you decide to pursue this strategy, make sure to use your data correctly or seek assistance from professional solutions.
Compete with Brick-and-Mortar shops with Comprehensive Product Imaging
During the Holiday season, people are making purchases that often carry a lot more weight than their purchases during other times of the year. Generally, a husband thinks a lot more about what he is going to buy his wife for Christmas than, for example, about what underwear he is going to buy in June. During the holidays, people want to make sure that what they are getting is just right. If you are an e-commerce store, this means that you are going to have to compete with the benefits of seeing products in person.
According to Gartner L2’s index, 85% of last years holiday shopping occurred in physical stores, and eMarketer’s research suggests that it is mostly because physical stores provide the main thing that e-commerce cannot: 65% of customers bought more than half of their holiday shopping list in stores and 75% of those cited being able to see the objects in person as their main reason.
To compete with this, e-commerce stores will have to close the gap between in-person and online interactions with products though comprehensive and effective product imagery. If product imagery is done correctly, customers should feel like there is nothing to gain from seeing the product in person.
The holidays are all about showing gratitude, no less for businesses than for people. Rewarding your best customers can go a long way towards increasing customer loyalty and making these customers think of your brand when it comes to shopping for the holidays.
One of the most innovative strategies for doing this is by providing specialized holiday deals and promotions for your best customers. These deals can take many forms.
For example, on big shopping days like Black Friday and Cyber Monday, you could offer your VIP customers the same Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals as everyone else, but give them access to the deals a day or a few days earlier. This and similar strategies will make these customers feel special and appreciated, making them more likely to return this gesture with more brand loyalty during the holidays.
Good Ole Fashioned Direct Mail
In the digital age, people are saturated with online ads, making it necessary for companies to come up with innovative strategies to stand out. While it is certainly recommended to apply innovative strategies to the digital ad and email market, sometimes what is most effective is taking a completely different route, especially if a new route is what it takes to give your customers a pleasant surprise during the holidays.
One of those different routes is direct mail, which lends itself to a number of innovative strategies to draw customers to shop with your brand or business during the holiday season.
Firstly, direct mail taps into the nostalgia already circulating around the holidays. The holidays are times where people celebrate traditions that often stretch many years into the past, meaning that direct mail, which harkens to the years before the media frenzy which consumes so many of our lives, will stand out and, at the same time, feel comfortably appropriate. Secondly, direct mail can often better tap into customer’s wish for sincerity than other forms of advertisement.
One innovative method to maximize the effectiveness of your direct mail campaign is to combine direct mail with a social media campaign or website promotions. For example, you could give out prizes in your letters that require customers to interact with your website to redeem. Customers receiving mail would then interact with your website and be exposed to the rest of your products, holiday promotions, and deals, leading to more purchases and sales.
This could be particularly effective if combined with a campaign for rewarding your most loyal and best customers, who may be the top demographics that you want to target with your direct mail campaign. Sending thank-you letters with prizes or promotions just for them will seem like a sincere holiday gesture.
Holidays are a busy but incredibly fruitful time for business owners of all types, meaning that the competition is fierce. Implementing some of these innovative marketing strategies for the holiday season could be just the trick for making the most of this wonderful time of the year.