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’Tis the season for Holiday shopping and toddlers aren’t the only ones with high expectations.
Customer expectations will be at an all-time high too, and deep holiday discounting from major (and minor) retailers are already in full swing. But as a small business that may or may not have a retail prescence, and doesn't have the same deep pockets as the big box or amazonian online stores, how can you compete?
- Convenience is key. Insights from the Shopper's Voice® show that almost half of consumers indicate that they love holiday shopping, and 72% say online shopping for gifts has made life easier. No wonder! We are all so busy that any opportunity to save a few minutes in our day and have the convenience of shopping from the comfort of our own home or office (HR might not appreciate that) is a golden ticket to brand preference. So if you're looking to pitch a new product or service, the Holidays are a great time to zero in on your target audience — what do they want or need; where and when do they typically shop — and offer them the convenience of doing so, with you!
- Leverage loyalty programs. If you have a loyalty program already in place, kudos to you! (If not, consider it as part of your 2018 marketing plan). For those who do, make the most of your program by doing as the name implies — give your most loyal customers the TLC they expect and feel they deserve. Use purchase history, online behavior, email engagement stats, and social actions to show your customers that you understand them, and them show them the love with a promotion or offer that will encourage them to give a gift from your establishment, but while they're at it, gift themselves with a little somethin' while they're at it.
- Help them with their wish list. Surveys suggest that of those who plan their holiday shopping, 73% create a list for each person they plan to buy for. So why not make their life easier? Help them create their wish list, including last minute gift ideas that their loved one (or coworker) will love. Use any data you have available on your target customers so you know what products or services will appeal to them most; or... take a look at your inventory and see where you could stand to move some product at a discount to make way for next year's goodies.
- Personalize your pitches and don't put them all in the same basket. When we speak of "personalization", it's not a matter of using merge tags for "Dear Joe". We're referring to using data to know what "Joe" is most interested in and cares about, and leveraging that information across multiple marketing touch points (email, mail, video, social) to drive home the fact that you understand Joe best, and he's more likely to return the favor when he heads out to shop - be it in store on online.
If you're not using data to support your marketing decisions and budget building, you'd better add this to your resolution list for 2018. After a few months, you'll have the insights you need to exceed customer expectations, who will in turn brighten your bottom line.
Ready to crank your marketing up a notch or two? Please complete the fields below and one of our CMOs will contact you within 24 hours, or feel free to call us at 410.366.9479.