We're in the final quarter of 2020 and at the cusp of the holiday season. Coming up soon is Black Friday and Cyber Monday. There are also several major holidays in the months that follow.
Under normal circumstances, these are times when businesses ramp up their marketing and create special offers. There's widespread preparation for big sales.
However, we're looking at the first year in which the holiday season is affected by the pandemic. So, what can we expect and how can we market to customers during the holidays in the context of a global pandemic?
In this post, we'll look at marketing strategies for the holiday season in 2020. Here's how to make the best of it so that you grow your customer base and business.
Starting campaign awareness and rewarding customers for taking action early on can be the key to a successful holiday marketing campaign.
Even though there's uncertainty about what to expect, there’s a strong likelihood that sales during the holidays will be as high as ever. A market research study by Adobe on the expected holiday spends shows some promising outcomes:
70% of consumers are saving more money than they did before the pandemic
Nearly eight out of ten consumers intend to spend at the same levels or more during the holidays
Over 80% report that they'll shop online more than before or at the same rate as they did last year
There's good reason to continue your marketing efforts during this time. Remember that many brick and mortar stores have been forced to move their work online, so spending will continue from both B2B and B2C customers.
Create awareness of your holiday sales early so you can give your customers time to plan and choose the products they really want. It's also a way to stand out from the crowd.
Design ads, social media posts, and other content formats to boost email subscriptions. Grow your email list and send out newsletters with gifting ideas, savings, and other information early on.
When the holidays do arrive, your audience will be ready to buy as they’ll have the information they need to make a smart purchase.
Provide value through discounts and free shipping
Usual marketing strategies involve convincing customers to buy more. However, during these challenging times, people are less likely to spend compulsively or splurge. Traditional offerings like BOGO (Buy One Get One) deals may not work for some product categories. It would be wiser to focus on savings in your marketing to reflect the situation.
Your audience is likely looking for discounts, good deals, and other ways to save money. One of the best ways to make your offering appealing is to provide free delivery and shipping.
Highlight aspects like free shipping in your product description. Also, offer coupons and other forms of savings in your email newsletters as a way to appeal to customers.
Generally speaking, it's helpful to remember that people are cautious, doing thorough research, and are looking for purchases that make sense.
Use the right tone
The Adobe research study referred to earlier provides an interesting insight into how businesses should communicate in this climate.
Different generational groups prefer businesses to use different tones in their communication messages.
Younger generations, the Gen Z and Millennial group, prefer entertaining content. This means that you can use humor and spin a positive message in your emails and website content. Making video ads that combine entertaining content with your business's best deals will work well with this group.
Older Gen X and Baby Boomers prefer money-saving content which means that for this group, you can focus on how to save money with discounts and special deals. Highlight risk-free experiences with your brand, top-notch customer service, trial periods, and refund guarantees.
It can be a challenge to make communication on savings light-hearted for the younger group, but doing so also speaks to the spirit of the holiday season.
Come up with a few different versions and test your content on different age groups. As you get data such as click-through rates, email open rates, and conversions, you'll know what to scale up and what to discard.
Leverage multiple channels
Now that there are more businesses online competing for attention than ever before, consumers may be overwhelmed with choices. And more than that, they’ll find it hard to trust new businesses that have come online.
People will look for information from reliable sources including the news, radio, and other media that provide authentic and trustworthy news. Because of this, you need to consider including traditional marketing channels along with modern digital marketing efforts.
In general, it is vital to have a strong presence on several platforms including social media, local news channels, business listings, and more.
Optimize for mobile
While we just covered how important it is to have a presence on multiple channels, it’s worthwhile highlighting mobile marketing as a significant platform to use.
Today, more than half of all online shopping happens on mobile. Google also indexes and gives preference to websites that have a solid mobile site first.
You need to prioritize user experience and your web design on mobile, especially when the holiday season is at hand.
Your audience is not willing to download a separate app for each online store they want to explore. They will prefer websites that have a fully functional mobile site, which is why you need to make it more user friendly by adding secure mobile wallet payments, mobile-friendly forms, and live chat support features so that customers can get answers to their questions fast.
Create targeted campaigns
How can you build trust and create a positive impression during a time where customers are reluctant to take a chance on new and small businesses? The key lies in creating personalized content.
Personalization is particularly effective when you apply it to your email marketing campaigns. Remember to segment your customers based on demographics and other parameters such as previous purchases and other activities on your site.
It's also helpful to leverage CRM platforms to create a thorough profile of your different segments. We already looked at how different generational groups prefer different types of content, i.e. the younger group preferring entertainment while the older one looks for savings.
Combine this with the demographic information you have to create even greater personalization. You'll be able to make relevant product recommendations, address common needs, and create a better experience for your customers overall.
Although the current global pandemic has impacted the economy and created uncertainty, there are also markers that holiday spending will continue. A significant number of people have increased their savings and there are many who will want to indulge in a sensible manner during the holidays.
Consumers around the world will also expect the opportunity to save money during this time, which makes it important to focus on risk-free purchases, good customer support, and discounts.
Make use of the tips given in this post for you to create thoughtful marketing campaigns that hit the right note with your target audience. You'll build trust in your business and help customers by giving them what they need too.