The best Christmas carolers sing in a harmonious union, one voice indistinguishable from another. Marketers, however, strive for the exact opposite, especially during the holiday season–when standing out from the competition reaches fever pitch.
So what’s a marketer to do? For this week’s edition of “CMO Wants To Know,” we reached out to eight marketers to get their advice.
Nathan Jokinen, VP of strategic development, Amobee, told CMO.com:
Social engagement should be constant, not static. Social media and the cross-channel experience has evolved the traditional sales funnel into a 24/7 cycle. We know online conversations, content creation, and consumption spikes during the holiday shopping time frame. Consumers will express their good and bad experiences with their social communities. Knowing this, marketers should harness the power of real-time digital marketing. Actionable analytics can enhance the consumer experience and drive deeper engagement by optimizing preplanned promotions and offers during the holiday season.
Mark Asher, director of corporate strategy, Adobe (CMO.com's parent company), told CMO.com:
Acknowledge that consumers are now in control. This point of view frees you to think differently and to put yourself in an entirely new creative mind-set. Marketers no longer need to intrude on what people are talking about with advertising; instead, they can provide meaningful editorial that more naturally becomes what people are talking about and embeds the brand. Good examples include BizTech Magazine, published by tech reseller CDW to target small businesses and the technology vertical, and Callaway Golf's YouTube channel, which offers golfing advice and technique to any golfing enthusiast, whether they are a Callaway customer or not. As people subscribe, share, and comment on this content, it fills a funnel that brands can mine for new prospects.
Mark Yackanich, CEO of Genesis Media, told CMO.com:
Data science and quality, and editorial environments, are the powerful combination that is needed to achieve true audience connection with any holiday marketing strategy. Consumers will undoubtedly be inundated with advertisements while online shopping, but those ads are valueless if they aren’t of interest to the viewer. An authentic connection with a targeted consumer can make your holiday ad seem more like a welcomed interruption—the better the connection, the further your last-minute holiday efforts will go. Stretch your digital dollar by capturing the attention of relevant consumers at the right time with ultra-targeted advertisements in professionally produced outlets. Technology and data today can make this happen.
Melissa Wallace, VP of marketing, Bitly, told CMO.com:
Rethink social. Social media is no longer just a channel for consumer engagement, but one that can be held accountable for business success. Especially during the holidays, social media strategy must be optimized for marketing performance. It’s important to match social metrics to results that matter most, such as lead generation, conversion, and ROI. We all know social has become a critical key to marketing success–and it’s not too late to prove it this holiday season by leveraging data found within various social tools and platforms to generate a clear picture of what actually resonates with audiences.
Ed Haslam, SVP of marketing, PlaceIQ, told CMO.com:
Marketers typically view the holiday season as the last push of the year to increase sales and ROI. The only way to enable success and boost efficiency in spending, however, is to strive for accuracy in targeting and measurability of results. Brands should keep in mind that their understanding of consumer behavior plays a major role in a successful holiday season. Data collected throughout the year, such as previous purchases or frequently visited locations, can be leveraged to reach consumers via mobile devices, influence last-minute purchasing decisions, and even grab business away from competitors using geoconquesting. Understanding your target audiences’ behavior allows a brand to connect directly with a consumer and deliver smart messages, ultimately increasing their ROI.
Mollie Spilman, chief revenue officer, Criteo, told CMO.com:
For brands to separate themselves from the inevitable noise during the holiday shopping season, it’s imperative that they send highly relevant, dynamic messages to consumers that will quickly resonate and elicit a purchasing decision. Ensuring that each message delivered is accurately targeted and personalized will increase ROI for the advertiser, creating a winning holiday season for the brand.
Henry Kim, founder and president, Symphony Commerce, told CMO.com:
To get the most out of your marketing efforts, focus your promotions on [the] important days–particularly Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Shoppers are cruising for deals, so set up your email and social campaigns in advance and offer your most competitive pricing via your online ads, automated emails, and social posts to highlight your best deals. In addition, all ads, emails, and landing pages should be consistent and aligned with the same messaging. Finally, 71 percent of consumers expect free shipping; therefore, if you can offer it, be sure to highlight free shipping, even if it’s just on these days.
Alexi Venneri, co-founder and CEO, Digital Air Strike, told CMO.com:
Digital Air Strike recently conducted a study that [showed] consumers are turning to social media more than ever before to help inform purchasing decisions. To most effectively bolster social engagement and ultimately drives sales on Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and well into the New Year, interact with visitors to your social media pages quickly and genuinely. Our recent studies have shown that Internet shoppers who received a response online within 10 minutes were three times more likely to visit the business and make a purchase.
Cory Finding, chief strategy officer, WiredViews Inc., told CMO.com:
Clean up your user experience. Once a customer is on your Web site, make sure they have a great experience by ensuring navigation and checkout is easy and working properly.
Here is what the Twitterverse is saying about holiday marketing: