What To Include In Your Holiday Marketing Strategy
As has been the case for the past few years, holiday marketing efforts may have to pivot to meet the consumer where they are. In recent years, consumers adjusted to the realities of celebrating holidays during the Covid-19 pandemic. Many stayed home with immediate family, and their media consumption patterns and preferences changed, as did their attitudes and outlooks.
This year, as we adjust to situations more like those we knew before the pandemic, consumers continue to shift their habits and expectations to reflect these developments. Savvy marketers know that to continue reaching these consumers effectively, it is essential to anticipate their behaviors and preferences around this holiday season.
Here are eight holiday marketing opportunities that reflect the most recent observations of consumer behavior. Strategies adopting the following concepts may provide the best chances marketers have of reaching and engaging consumers at the end of another eventful and unpredictable year.
Don’t Delay Digital Marketing Efforts — Bring the Holiday Home Early
Consumers are by now well accustomed to doing the bulk of their holiday shopping earlier — and increasingly online. Digital marketing campaigns with holiday messaging need not wait until the first frost to be effective, especially those that seek to increase brand awareness ahead of the heaviest shopping days and early sales in October. Look for major online retailers to adopt a similar approach; industry data indicates a shift in consumer preference for e-commerce persists.
Combine Multichannel Efforts to Boost Engagement
Holiday marketing campaigns designed for TV and digital experiences have the best chance of sparking consumer interest. As many of us turn to personal screens for entertainment and online shopping while watching TV, messaging designed for that hybrid, split attention environment may be quite effective.
Marketing efforts that take advantage of this overlap and those created with the blended environment in mind will drive engagement best through interactivity, offering ample opportunity to reach the consumer with seasonal offerings. Email marketing may finally be making some headway in the home, and messages crafted for this medium should bear in mind increased proximity to other personal screens.
Create “Glide” within E-Commerce Capabilities
Consumers continue to express comfort and satisfaction with online shopping, which presents an array of convenience. From guaranteed on-time delivery, contactless store pickup options, and increased availability of highly sought-after items, core e-commerce features, and capabilities geared toward increasing ease of purchase will continue to be essential.
Retail Amenities — Online
Consumers have embraced increased online shopping opportunities with enthusiasm and now expect much of the “retail experience” to be present online and in their local brick and mortar. That includes convenience, customer service, and other amenities. Marketers and brands capitalizing on the increased online availability of popular in-store items will likely continue to succeed as consumers turn toward e-commerce solutions with growing expectations.
Adopt Digital Retargeting to Increase Online Sales
Many consumers are returning to traditional in-person shopping. But rising fuel prices are inspiring some to adopt the path of least resistance and shop from their homes or offices without having to sit in traffic, fight for parking, and watch the needle drop to indicate an increasingly expensive empty fuel tank. Multichannel marketing efforts or those designed to take advantage of retargeting opportunities will likely inspire consumers to stay conveniently at home while shopping seasonal deals.
Messages Inspiring Gratitude Likely to Land
As the Covid-19 pandemic appears to be in slow but inexorable retreat, many consumers may be spending their first holiday of recent years with extended family. Messages reflecting our gratitude will continue to be timely and will likely inspire engagement and support broader marketing efforts.
Updated, Clear, and Concise Shipping Information
As ongoing supply chain and logistics concerns show no signs of abating, and fuel prices continue to reflect the uncertainty of our times, consumer expectations telegraph a desire for increased convenience and decreased wait time. Item availability, restocking information, accurate shipping estimates, and updated delivery dates—and times—may help consumers who are wary of the unpredictability inherent in these times.
Simple, Elegant, Upbeat Messaging
The past few years have been a consistently eventful time for many of us, and the holidays are not known for their calming effect. Because of this, simple and optimistic (but understated) marketing efforts are likely to be received more favorably than messaging that expects the consumer to reflect or otherwise engage with a message containing empathetic, hopeful, or otherwise emotionally weighted content. This year, less may indeed be more, and consumers grateful for a little quiet headspace may find themselves appreciating marketing that lets them have a moment.