This time of year, creating holiday marketing campaigns that stand out amongst the rest is key to capitalizing on the gift buying season. 2018 holiday retail sales in the United States are forecasted to amount to about 719.17 billion U.S. dollars, up from 687.87 billion dollars spent in 2017. This is the season that retailers can not only gain profits, but often get out of the red.
I had the chance to chat with former private jeweler and founder of luxury activewear Fierce and Regal, Margi Gad, to talk about holiday marketing tips and the strategies that have been most successful for her company. She emphasized that the key to a successful holiday marketing campaign is to analyze your brand and find which strategy is a natural fit for your business.
Bottom line? Get to know your customers and market accordingly.
Get creative with customization.
At at time when most people can very quickly access anything and everything they wish to purchase, the differentiating factor can be customization. It’s an effective way to distinguish your product from competitors while offering a unique benefit to consumers. Fierce and Regal did exactly that and it has paid off.
“We added our favorite influencer’s and trainer’s social media handles to the back of our bras as well as customized camisoles for our loyal clients with their monograms. In no time we had requests from customers to do the same. Now we are looking into making it an option for everyone. It increased our visibility and made it a coveted item for the holidays and beyond. After all, who doesn’t love a personalized piece?” shares Gad.
Customized products are more readily available now than every before, thanks to technological advances such as 3D printing and online design software. And according to a Time Inc. study, approximately 93% of Generation Z respondents want brands to do something new and unique in order to connect with them.
The study also found that 90% of people like the idea of custom content as a way for brands to engage with them, and 89% believe that type of content is a great way for brands to break through the rest of the clutter online.
You can see the success of customization across many retailers, whether it be Coca-Cola’s “Share a Coke” campaign which increased their sales for the first time in four years when it launched in the U.S. or customized Converse sneakers that allow you to create a one-of-a-kind style.
Develop an effective strategy for mobile.
Consumers in the U.S. spend 71% of their time online via a mobile device, according to Comscore’s 2017 mobile phone usage report. More shockingly, 2016 marked the first time mobile search outpaced desktop search as the de facto way consumers search for things online. A whopping 56% of retail related searches begin on mobile devices which means a focus on digital is a surefire way to generate sales.
“The goal is to know and understand customers so intimately that the product sells itself. We do this by getting to know our customers on a personal level. This way it’s not a transaction, it’s a friendship and the brand loyalty they have for us grows over time organically. We have been lucky enough to have fans in celebrities like Kelly Ripa and Tracey Anderson who seem to genuinely love the pieces they are wearing. We want every woman to look and feel their best while being fiercely themselves. There truly is a piece for every woman no matter their shape, size, or needs, and we tailor our marketing, email and digital strategy around that exact messaging,” says Gad.
Given that customers spend such a high percentage of their time on mobile, the company puts an emphasis on the mobile experience. “We capture consumer’s attention in those micro-moments as they’re scrolling through their phones,” she adds.
Make it personal.
“Whether you’re promoting Small Business Saturday or Cyber Monday, there are plenty of opportunities to capitalize on seasonal marketing dates in your email campaigns. We like to make things personal at Fierce and Regal by giving our loyal customers and friends personalized cards with our deal earlier than the everyone else. For us, we like to make that early gift with a friendly discount offer just before the holiday bustle. Even though we’ve been incredibly lucky to grow, we keep that “day 1” mindset by treating each customer as if they are family,” says Gad
Personalization done right requires companies to walk a fine line between a positive experience and a somewhat creepy one. Knowing and anticipating consumer’s needs provides a great experience, but making customers feel that companies are spying on them has the opposite effect.
The instance when Target figured out a teen was pregnant before her own father did, is a perfect example of when this type of predictive marketing can cross the line.
Finding the right balance is key.
Give a gift that gives twice.
Did you know that Americans spend over $1 trillion buying holiday gifts each year with nearly sixty percent of this online spending between Black Friday and Cyber Monday going to only a dozen giant retailers? Thats why it’s a great idea to partner with a charity that is in line with your brands messaging.
“As a small business, we take advantage of this joyful time of year by taking our marketing efforts to the next level and ensuring we are making an impact with each purchase. This year, we decided to team up with the Pink Agenda to give a gift that gives twice by helping women in need fighting breast cancer. By doing so we’ve been able to make an impact while engaging with our customers on a personal level about a cause that’s near and dear to our hearts, and many of their’s. It’s a win-win for everyone involved and makes for a gift with a lasting purpose,” says Gad.