For businesses in the retail space, the end of the year is the most important period of all. With the poor performance in much of the sector this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, there’s even more emphasis on getting this year’s festive season right to make up for lost ground and end the year on a high note. Campaigns around this season focus heavily on story-crafting – creating a narrative about the season and your business’s role within it. Here are some tips from our digital marketing and ecommerce marketing teams for creating a powerful campaign that will help maximise returns.
Ask: What Do My Customers Want?
Because this year has been so unique, it’s important to throw out all ideas about what your customers have wanted in the past and start fresh. The best way to start is by creating new customer avatars – a few profiles that categorise who your most valuable customers are. You can find free templates to guide this process or you can work directly with a digital marketing team. Look at frustrations your customers are experiencing in their lives as well as what kind of media they utilise, what they are interested in, what their values are and what their lifestyle looks like.
Ask: How Does My Product or Service Contribute?
Think about how your products and services fit into what your customers are looking for. They might want affordable local gifts that can be delivered right to their door, conveniently gift-wrapped for under the Christmas tree. They may want exotic, luxury treats that remind them of better years than to relieve the frustration of 2020. They may want faster delivery, discounts that make shopping more affordable in a tight budget, fun freebies or competitions that take their minds off of a difficult year.
In this stage of the process, it’s all about focusing on how your product or service can benefit the customer, either by creating that fun summer feeling, the joy of the holidays or by giving them access to a solution to an issue they’re struggling with that’s relevant to the season.
It’s a great opportunity to think out the box and show your customer that you care about them, your community and your staff. For example, many customers hate the rush, madness and frustration of Black Friday and Cyber Monday. A good holiday marketing campaign would be to recognise that feeling in your customers and spread the sale out over a week before the big day, creating less stress for your staff and reducing the frustration of shopping online (and the crashing websites it brings) on the big day.
Position Your Customer Front-and-Centre
If you’ve ever watched a seasonal ad then you know it’s all about creating a very specific feeling within the viewer, and the way these holiday marketing campaigns achieve this is by making the customer the centre of the story. If you want to tug at people’s hearts and make them fall for your brand, you need to create that connection with them using strong but sincere emotions.
Go Out on All Channels
Your holiday marketing campaign should be sent out on all your channels, including social media, so that every viewer sees a consistent message across platforms. This has to be backed up by your website content itself – once you’ve created this warm, fuzzy feeling in your customer, you don’t want them jarred back to reality by the website. Add fun features that link up with your campaign – seasonal banners, festive specials, and pop-ups.
Scale Up Your Resources
Make sure you have the resources and capacity to deliver through this busy season – after all, there’s nothing more frustrating about this retail season for customers than long queues, products running out, delays and slow/crashing websites. This can quickly damage your reputation and make your customers vow never to shop with you again at this time of year.
Keep the promises you make in your emails, communications and holiday marketing campaigns, especially when it comes to shipping costs and delivery estimates. Test your website and ecommerce pages to see if it can handle large volumes of customers. If a problem does come up, get on it quickly and communicate with the client to keep them up-to-date on where their items are and when they will arrive. Have a plan in place for every eventuality and always stay in touch.
Get a Team of Digital Marketing Specialists to Create, Manage and Run Your Holiday Campaign
Want a little extra help to make this year’s retail season run smoothly? Our teams cover every digital marketing service you need, from web design and email marketing to PPC and social media marketing, and our aim is to give you a holiday marketing strategy that works – no fuss, no big price tags, and no so-called quick fixes – just good marketing done right.