Finding the perfect marketing strategy is tough. Now add in variables like a pandemic and the holidays and it can quickly become overwhelming. Many businesses wonder how they can stand out among the crowded ad display channels. They question how they can market their company as differentiated in order to drive sales. To ease your stress this winter we decided to compile a list of our best tips to help you create a marketing strategy that will make you stand out while respecting and being sensitive to COVID-19 and the various holidays that happen this winter.
Reduce Stress for Your Customers and Express Gratitude
The number one thing you can do this holiday season is take the stress off of your customers. It is essential that you make the shopping experience as easy as possible for your potential buyers. The holidays are stressful enough with the large expenditures people make on gifts and we can’t forget about the stress of having your family in town (eek)! Make the buying experience as easy and user-friendly as possible. This means having good systems in place and having customer support staff available as often as possible. Also, if this pandemic taught you one thing it is probably that your customers are directly correlated to your success and bottom line. Don’t be shy with your love! Tell your customers how grateful you are for them and how much they mean to you. This is as simple as an email sent after they make a purchase or as fancy as a free reward/gift. The key takeaway: make sure your customers know that shopping with you will ease stress – not create it.
Focus on Broad Holiday Emotions
During the winter months an incredible amount of holidays are celebrated by various religions. It is important that you celebrate and welcome all religions and holidays rather than focusing on just a select few like Christmas or Hanukkah for example. If you want to practice mass-marketing then you can focus on instilling broad holiday and winter emotions in your customers. For example, you might focus on excitement, nostalgia, or even the feeling of cozying up inside while the cold weather lurks outside. If you plan to use niche marketing (more targeted marketing) then you can use a strategy called segmentation.
Segmentation is the practice of dividing a market up into segments of similar groups. You can segment your potential customers by geographical location, the benefit they want to receive from your product, by their age, income, etc. During the holidays, you can segment your customers by the holiday that they celebrate. This is much more time consuming and costly than simply sticking to “Happy Holidays.” This strategy involves creating targeted messages for each group. This may be helpful if you realize that a large percentage of your customers celebrate a specific holiday, like Kwanzaa.
Since COVID-19 has entered our lives e-commerce has boomed. That is not to say that people do not shop at brick-and-mortar stores, however, we have found that many people are relying on click-and-mortar – buying from omni-channel retailers. It is absolutely essential that customers have the option to do their shopping partially or even completely online. This is where webrooming comes in. Webrooming is the practice of checking out a product and inspecting it online, the customer then locates a store that carries the product and comes in to make the purchase. That way, they know exactly what they need and want when they walk in the store and they don’t have to waste time looking around. Webrooming is very important this year because many people want to avoid crowds and unnecessary contact with others. In order to encourage webrooming you must have very high quality images or even videos and descriptions of the products you plan to sell. In this situation less is NOT more. MORE is MORE.
Make a Plan Early
During the holidays every company, small to large, ramps up their marketing. They increase the number of sales they offer, the number of inserts they place, and the incentives they offer. The last thing you want is to be late to the ball game. You want to make sure that you devise a plan early. Plan out exactly what message you want to convey, what you want to post, and when you want to drop your campaign. This will boost your confidence by helping you feel prepared and ready for the holiday rush. It is also a good rule of thumb to create content in advance. That way you can focus on giving your customers a superior experience rather than devoting all your time to the internal work.
The holidays are a chaotic time, but we know that with these tips you will be more than well equipped to handle whatever comes your way.
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