The National Retail Federation (NRF) released its expectations for the 2016 holiday season and revealed sales are expected to increase by 3.6 percent over last year, one of the highest increases in 10 years. This is based on job and income gains as well as increased use of credit.
With positive news about the holiday retail season, it’s time to start thinking about planning your marketing campaigns for Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Christmas, Boxing Day and New Years.
Here’s what you need to consider as you design your marketing campaigns for the holiday season:
- Develop a consistent brand experience across all channels so everything from blog posts, email blasts, and social media updates to landing pages, holiday gift guides, text marketing promotions, and in-store collateral all reflect the same message and visual presentation. By creating a plan that reflects all the content you’ll use for your holiday marketing campaign in advance, you can ensure everything matches up.
- Create a holiday marketing campaign calendar to execute certain tactics at various times throughout the season to make the greatest impact with your target audience. This would include dates related to Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Small Business Saturday Key dates to consider include specific promotion launches like coupons and sales, follow-up actions, content posting, and in-store merchandising or pop-up shop opening if you have a physical location. This helps your team know when certain parts of your holiday marketing campaign need to be ready to go while providing you with a timeline to see how your efforts align with customer response.
- Prepare as much as you can in advance of the kickoff date for your holiday marketing campaign. Once the marketing campaign is rolling there’s a lot to do, including spending time on tracking responses and results as well as focusing on the actual customer experience or addressing any areas that need to be tweaked. Your customers will appreciate that they’ll have a constant stream of information and promotional opportunities while you also have made time for personal contact for them.
- Get customers involved in the holiday marketing campaigns. This worked extremely well in the past with companies that allowed customers to participate in the campaigns by even putting themselves in the ads. You might consider asking them to send in pictures of themselves shopping or doing their own holiday planning as well as request that they share their own tips and strategies for the holiday season that can be shared with others. Make it as creative and fun as possible as consumers look forward to this type of diversion during what can be a stressful time period. When customers are involved in the campaign, they’re also more likely to share it with others.
- Go for the emotions that are a big aspect of holiday shopping. Since the holiday season is about family, friendship, gratitude, goodwill and giving, always consider how these themes can be included in your holiday marketing campaigns as they appeal to the emotions of holiday shoppers. Along with the concept of social consciousness and the need to do more for others, this offers a warm, inviting, and trusting way to frame your marketing efforts. Creating this emotional bond with customers may also spill over into the time after the holidays, creating long-term opportunities for sustainable revenue.
Over to you
If you haven’t done so already, now’s the time to get started on your holiday marketing campaigns. Many consumers are starting to think about the holidays immediately after Halloween so you don’t want to miss any opportunities at growing those holiday sales figures.
What do you think? Agree or disagree? Or perhaps you’d like to share your tips and tricks? Please use the comment section below to share your views.