When people start winding down at the end of the year looking forward to the holidays, marketers are gearing up. Q4 has always been the most profitable for retailers, as people stock up on food, drinks, and presents for their loved ones. If you want to do well this season, it is imperative that as marketers you make sure you focus on what is important—targeting the right customers with the right deals, and in the right way.
In this article, I will talk about three approaches to take on board if you want to maximize your marketing effectiveness in the all-important fourth quarter of 2015.
Marketers need to increase promotion on mobile for 2015 holidays
In years past, mobile ad targeting was not of principal concern to marketers, who instead put the bulk of their ad spending on search engine keywords. This year, however, there has been a reversal, and mobile promotion has become the number one priority.
The reason for this is pretty clear—in 2015 mobile overtook desktop computers for the number one way of accessing the Internet. Smart Insights reports that in the U.S., mobile digital media time is now significantly higher at 51 percent compared to desktop, which currently sits at 42 percent.
Even more importantly, it appears that purchases based on ads and made on mobile actually increase dramatically during the holiday season. Studies have shown that mobile buys increase by a staggering 157 percent on Cyber Monday and up to 679 percent on Black Friday.
This all means that mobile promotions should be your top consideration, especially during these key retail dates. You should not only be increasing your mobile ad spending at this time but also be targeting your market using a powerful combination of demographics and psychographics.
Effective demographic targeting includes location, age and gender while your psychographic focus must include individual consumer tastes. You want to track and then categorize your targets, depending on the ‘type’ of person you are looking for. For example, pet ownership, the type of car they drive, the shoes or computers they buy, and so on are ‘taste’ categories.
In this respect, social media advertising management is a great help, as it provides a myriad of details on users’ tastes, as well as their basic demographic information. You know your customers better than anyone, so use the targeting options on the Facebook Audience Ad Network to your full advantage, and make sure your ads are being directed at the people who will benefit from them the most.
You need personalized email promotion
The second biggest priority for any marketing team should be rolling out effectively segmented and personalized email campaigns. Return on investment of email-lead campaigns averages at $38 for each $1 spent, according to the DMA National Client Email Report 2015, and “increased use of targeted campaigns and advanced tactics leads to higher effectiveness.”
This is also backed up by Campaign Monitor, which reports that personalization of email, including dynamic content harvested from each individual recipient’s purchasing history, improves click through rates by up to 14 percent and conversion rates by 10 percent.
The fact is, more than 80 percent of customers signing up for marketing emails do so in order to receive discounts. However, customers can become overwhelmed by email, getting up to one email a day from retailers. Therefore, targeting promotional emails by gender and location alone is no longer sufficiently defined to be effective. The chances are, customers are only going to read a newsletter if the content is targeted directly to them.
When clients sign up to your mailing list, you need to be sure you are offering them products that appeal to them. You should be tracking user browsing behavior in order to start using a dynamic presentation of content—that is, using live data to ascertain user preferences and sending users individually targeted emails, populated with products they are most likely to be interested in.
If a user buys a dress, your system should begin to build up a profile for that customer, and will start to suggest other similar products—handbags, shoes, and accessories, for example. This is a highly targeted way to reach users and is much more likely to be acted upon, rather than marked as spam. If your app uses Facebook for easy registration, then you can easily capture the age and gender of the user directly. This can be your starting point to obtaining more opt-in data about the user.
A good example of this is how Macy’s and some other retailers have adopted the Stripe software ‘buy’ button implementation with Pinterest and Facebook. This allows a user to simply click and purchase directly within the Pinterest app, without being sent by a link to Macy’s to complete the transaction.
Run an effective holiday-focused social media campaign on mobile
Love it or hate it, your third priority this year is mobile social media. According to a Marketing Land survey, 50 percent of shoppers will be influenced by social media this season, and Business Insider reported that social media “increased its share of ecommerce referrals by nearly 200 percent between the first quarters of 2014 and 2015,”
Building a social media campaign can, therefore, be highly effective if done right, although it can also be a complete waste of resources if done wrong. Where you target very much depends on your market. In other words, it’s essential that you choose the right social site for your message. Don’t, for example, try to promote power tools on Pinterest—you’ll do better focusing on fashion, cooking, or pets.
It is also worth bearing in mind the rankings of the various social sites when allocating your marketing spending. According to a Business Insider Social Commerce report, some do better than others: Facebook leads the way with 50% of all social referrals, and 64% of revenue. Pinterest has a smaller user-base than Twitter, but accounts for 16% of social revenue. Twitter, on the other hand, is doing better with local promotions, especially for sports and events.
Again, the message shining clearly here is targeting. Leverage the inbuilt tools provided by Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest to pinpoint your message and hit the right consumers. However, just speaking to your potential customer is not good enough; you have to give them the tools to act. Make sure to always include a ‘buy’ button in your posts, or a link back to an easy-to-use landing page on your website or ecommerce store.
If you can target your content to the right clients, in the right way, and provide them with straightforward ways of making purchases, you will see a big jump in your conversions this holiday season.
Bob Pack is founder and CEO of ShopJester, a mobile shopping app that recommends the best possible sales going on at your favorite retailers and lets users earn points for viewing and buying items. Pack has also held executive positions in advertising and marketing with NetZero and AOL.