4 Tips for Optimizing Holiday Messaging
Researching the perfect gift is a vital step for consumers as they plan their holiday shopping, with 54 percent saying they begin their fact finding in October or earlier, according to the National Retail Federation (NRF).
A RetailMeNot survey also revealed that 45 percent of consumers planned to start shopping before Nov. 1, and nearly 80 percent of retailers indicated they would begin holiday marketing efforts earlier this year.
Audience is Key
For retailers to stand out during this busy shopping time, they must activate the right consumers with a combination of precision and scale, identifying and engaging the correct audiences and presenting pertinent offers all at the right time during the shopping journey. As the holiday season can make or break a retailer’s year, the first point of action is to get into the consideration set during the gift research stage. To do so, brands should engage consumers with relevant deals across multiple media channels. An integrated approach is critical, as recent Valassis research revealed that 41 percent of value-seeking consumers use an equal mix of print and digital coupons.
Here are a few additional tips to engage the right consumers with meaningful messaging this holiday season:
- Know your target audience. Identify and reach consumers based on their interests, demographics, online media consumption and frequency in visiting specific retailers. Understanding their shopping plans and habits will enhance targeting efforts as well — e.g., knowing that 67 percent of shoppers plan to spend the same amount or more time researching savings on the Sunday during Thanksgiving weekend (aka Sofa Sunday) than actually shopping on Cyber Monday.
- Study past purchase behavior as well as current intent. Use insight about previous purchases and current interests to reach shoppers in the market for electronics, games, toys, clothing, gifts and more. Begin messaging early in the holiday season with specific, personalized offers and recommendations for gift giving.
- Create an integrated shopping experience. In-store and online shopping shouldn't exist in silos. Consumers want more flexibility to combine those worlds. After all, they spend much of their time in both. Cater to their preferences, providing options to order online and pick up in-store, arm store associates with iPads to order items for home delivery, and offer a mobile app that shoppers can utilize for in-store savings.
- Leverage the power of location. Not only do shoppers respond to offers and opportunities that are pertinent to them, they respond to promotions that offer deals for nearby locations. In fact, 51 percent of shoppers make a purchase based on a mobile notification in-store, according to the 2k17 Coupon Intelligence Report. By tapping into online and offline data, retailers can engage on-the-go shoppers at the right time and place with local, relevant opportunities during the holiday shopping season. For example, those living in a neighborhood near your brick-and-mortar store would likely respond to a special offer received via direct mail, while shoppers on their lunch break and in close proximity might respond to an offer sent via mobile. Having and leveraging the right consumer intelligence can help retailers reach shoppers wherever they are along their path to purchase.
With the right approach, brands and retailers can step up their marketing game to break through the holiday noise and “win” this holiday shopping season.
Curtis Tingle is chief marketing officer at Valassis, a provider of intelligent media delivery solutions.