By: Kate Walter, MA, APR
Just a few weeks after Black Friday and Cyber Monday and now well into the holiday season, we’ve all been inundated with ads, coupons, promotions and sales for pretty much any product or service we’ve ever Googled. But through the onslaught, we (as PR professionals) have noticed a few marketing trends that would benefit businesses all year round. Here is our top 3 list.
1. Previews/Advance Sales
Even before Nov. 27 and Nov. 30 (Black Friday and Cyber Monday respectively) companies were sending out enewsletters, Tweeting and advertising sales and specials. They pre-empted the two largest days of shopping in order to make it easier on the consumer and probably easier on their website hosting companies who have to support the influx of e-commerce shopping. I’d be interested to see the data, but I have a suspicion that by offering these promotions earlier, the companies made a higher profit margin than what they would have from just offering the promotion on Black Friday or Cyber Monday. This is a good lesson for all companies- Instead of just offering a whisper code or 50% off on a specific day, consider offering a smaller promotion leading up to the big day as well.
2. Bounce Backs
You saw these- the “Buy now and get 15% off, get 25% off later!” This concept is successful in a number of ways. First, it increases the likelihood that the customer will purchase something from your store. Secondly, it increases the likelihood that your customer will return to your store to buy something at a later time. To make this even more successful, you might have certain qualifiers in place in order for your customers to receive the coupon. For example, your customer would need to provide their email address or like your Facebook page to be able to access the coupon. Not only would you now have a good chance of a return customer, but you’d also have a way to continue to communicate with them.
3. Use All Your Touch Points
In marketing and communications we use the term ‘touch point’ to refer to the different ways that you can reach your audience. This could be a newsletter, a TV commercial or a phone call. Best practices dictates that you should always try to have at least three touch points in order for your product or service to be top of mind to your audience. When it comes to offering promotions (or just in general) you want to make sure that your audience sees the promotion and is guided to make a purchase. This can be done very effectively through email marketing, Pay Per Click Advertising and Facebook Remarketing.
If you have a database of email contacts, it’s easy to send out an email invitation, discount, etc. that includes clickable links back to your website or shopping cart. This not only encourages customers to make a purchase, but they have the ease being directed straight to their purchase. Pay Per Click (PPC) advertising is another way to allow customers to click directly on your ad and guide them to the point of sale. PPC is available to set up through Google Adwords and your ad would appear on Google when someone’s search matches the details of your product or service. Facebook Remarketing is another tool that can be very useful. Say someone visits your website, puts an item in the cart, but doesn’t finalize the purchase. You can actually set up ads through Facebook that would recognize that individual had visited your website, looked at an item, but didn’t purchase it. The Facebook ad would then target that individual by once again showing them the item and (if they clicked on the ad) directing them back to your website for a second opportunity.
There are new marketing opportunities popping up every day and these are just a few that stood out to us. What are your favorites?