Fortune Favors the Bold (and Prepared): How to Make the Most of the Holidays
Mobile phones are quickly becoming the instrument of choice for people, whether they’re casually browsing, researching their next purchase, responding to your latest email promotion or making impulse buys. Use this pervasiveness to transform your marketing programs into customer service that’s built on what consumers are telling you they want every time they pick up their mobile phone.
But what about social media? Shouldn’t retailers be spending an equal amount of time and resources investing in social media marketing? The answer lies in your analytics data.
IBM benchmark data for retail shows that the majority of retailers are reaping greater rewards from investments in mobile marketing than from equal investments in social marketing. Your specific data may tell a very different story; it should paint a clear picture about where your customers are coming from and what they expect from you.
I like to think about social and mobile as two sides of the same coin: they both go beyond simple shopping trends. They're reflections of how we live our lives. Social media is about authentic, transparent conversations. People are smart. They can spot corporate doublespeak a mile away, and the internet is strewn with case studies about social media done wrong.
This holiday season the savviest, most innovative retailers are sure to be watching their social channels for emerging trends — e.g., what’s flying off the shelves and therefore sold out in X,Y and Z locations (but of course available online, and hey, if you order by this date we’ll even give you free, guaranteed-to-get-there-on-time delivery). That’s when marketing starts to feel very much like a value-added service to your customers. You make their lives easier with useful information and they’ll reward you with something even more important than a simple sale: loyalty.
The last tidbit I’ll share with you is the importance of acting on information ahead of your competitors. Real-time data and trends are powerful not just because they give you the opportunity to marginalize your slower-moving competitors, but because they’ll enable you to demonstrate that you’re listening to what consumers are telling you every time they visit your site, act on an email promotion or post a comment about your products on a social site.