AD Club Leaders: Holiday Marketing

This month, The AD Club asked a handful of valued thought leaders in the industry this question: What’s new in holiday marketing? With e-commerce holiday sales set to increase 16.6% this year, up from $61 billion in 2013, marketers everywhere are trying to make the most of the holiday season. What are some new practices, ideas, approaches that marketers can take in their strategies this holiday season? Here’s what they had to say…

Hank Summy, President North America, Global Commerce Practice, MRM//McCann
Hank Summy MRM Worldwide
Because it’s one of the few times a year we spend so much time thinking about our loved ones, exploring what makes them happy, what they’ve done that year, where they are heading in the next is exactly what reaches into our souls during the frenzied holiday shopping season. Retailers that find a way to create meaningful experiences that embrace this unique combination around love and shopping will benefit from creating even more passion and loyalty from their super fans and will attract new ones as well.So how does a retailer tap into this psyche this season? Empower the customer through real time tactics around unearthing what is most important to them that day, that hour and creating flexibility in addressing that desire in their store, online, on the phone, or wherever the customer wants to shop.  Think flash sales based on social crowd sourcing, in-store analytics and communication tools to share special deals based on customer buying patterns by hour of the day.  Then, in conjunction with running the typical holiday advertising, promote the fact you want the customer’s input and that they are in control of what you will discount and how they can get what they want, when they want it!

Rick Bonti, National Account Manager, The Washington Post

Rick Bonti
Like so much with our Holiday Season, marketers in 2014 can draw from Tradition and discover something that feels new: investing in print media. Why? Because print, notably Inserts, moves consumers to buy.A usage survey conducted by Valassis, via Meta, concludes that traditional print media plays an important role in shopping routines for Boomer, Gen-X and Millennial consumers alike.

Every age group finds print to be believable and trustworthy, as well as a reliable way to compare prices and save money.  Plus, all recognize and act on the value of coupons and Inserts in newspapers.

18-34 year-old Millennials, America’s new Deal-Seekers, said so in the research:

·      91% who use Inserts said, “Inserts save me money.”
·      60%—more than any other age group—said, “I would shop less without Inserts.”
·      Newspaper Inserts also guide Milliennials prior to shopping by alerting them to sales, reminding them of a need, and helping them decide where to buy.

Trustworthy. A way to compare and save. A catalyst to online shopping. The perfect combination for Marketers who want to generate the best ROI…and a Happier Holiday Shopping season.

Laurel Rossi, President, Havas Worldwide Strat Farm
The idea of Black Friday has become synonymous with holiday shopping yet one-upmanship, sale days happening earlier and earlier in the season, has jaded consumers. At Havas, we are using a much more intimate strategy this year, one that worked well when we tested it last year with several of our clients and, that is, to reward our very best customers withprivate deals early in the season to gain greater share of wallet. Not only do they appreciate the attention, but the after effect of treating them better than a prospect pays enormous long term loyalty dividends.

Kevin Clegg, President, Americhip Inc. 
In today’s age of smart devices and instant access to information, advertisers are looking to meet objectives by engaging and connecting with content-hungry consumers.  While digital and mobile campaigns are popular now, they often come up short in terms of their ability to breakthrough and connect with consumers.  A popular new combination of technologies called “Digital Print” integrates emerging technologies such as Video, Mobile, NFC, RFID, BLE, and AR with traditional print.  The results?  Highly effective communication devices that deliver content, special offers, product and service information and holiday sweepstakes to consumers right at the point of contact.Bridging the physical and digital worlds is a great way to utilize new marketing technologies, while also harnessing and enhancing the proven power of print, creating an engaging experience that literally connects advertisers with consumers.

Jeremy Lewis, industry manager of tech and e-commerce, Meta
 Jeremy Lewis HS_2014
A successful holiday campaign reaches people where they are spending their time, which today means across multiple devices – phones, tablets, desktops. Today we see that 40 percent of consumers begin an activity on one device and finish on another (source: Multi-Device Usage Study, GfK, 2013). Marketers need to take an approach that is consistent and effective across devices.Additionally, the holiday shopping season now starts a lot earlier than BlackFriday. Mobile has enabled people to make shopping decisions and purchases whenever, where ever. In fact, 79 percent of online adults have their phone on them all but two hours of the day (source: Always Connected Report, IDC, 2013).

Ultimately, holiday marketing, especially on mobile devices, has to be personal, relevant, and driven by great creative. Video ads make for rich storytelling with sight, sound and motion, and should also be considered this year for successful holiday campaigns.