Break Through the Marketing Noise in the All-Important Holiday Season

September 13, 2018 Liz Mclemore

Imagine yourself in a noisy, crowded space like Times Square in New York City. You are surrounded by sights, sounds, and smells — each one vying for your attention. This is like the media environment consumers find themselves in everyday. It’s hard for any individual message to stand out in such a crowded environment.

Now imagine that space suddenly gets 10 times noisier — like Times Square on New Years Eve. This is what Q4 feels like for consumers. Every company is trying harder than usual to get the attention of their customers and the overall effect is a wall of noise.

How can you make sure your message breaks through?

As we approach prime time – Q4, or Holiday Season – it’s a great time to revisit the State of B2C Marketing. In partnership with SmarterHQ, Liveclicker, and MailCharts, we surveyed hundreds of B2C marketers to find out their top priorities, investments, and strategies. This report features expert guidance about breaking through the noise in the current marketing landscape.

Focus on personalization

Our brains are hardwired for personalization. You can tune out background noise, but if someone says your name, it immediately cuts through — even in a crowd. It’s not the loudest voice that gets your attention. It’s the one that’s speaking directly to you. Therefore, it’s no surprise that 51% of report respondents said increasing personalization was their number one priority.

However, there’s a lot more to personalization than just including your customer’s name in an email. You can send product recommendations based on previous purchases, invite them to an event at their local store, or remind them about a discount they’ve earned through your loyalty program. Think about all that first-party data you collect about your customers and how you can use it to deliver unique messages that show you understand them.

Find and speak to the right people

Many brands are still “batching and blasting” the majority of their campaigns. There’s nothing inherently wrong with mass marketing, but if that’s all you’re doing then you’re in danger of wasting your time and money speaking to the wrong people. The 80/20 rule applies – 80% of your future revenue will come from 20% of your existing customers.

Custora’s research shows that the top 5% of your customer base can account for 30-40% of revenue. Maximize time, effort, and resources to identify and flag your best customers. Analyze their behavior to build that relationship. Treat everyone well, but treat some folks better.

Get inspired by the competition

As you further refine your customer-centric approach, you must also regard them holistically. They aren’t yours alone. Unless your service is a necessity like utilities and mortgage, everyone is competing for a share of the same pot of disposable income.

On top of that, brands must stay agile and vigilant in the age of Amazon, which is a formidable competitor in many verticals. 95% of retail marketers surveyed said Amazon has impacted their marketing plans.

So how is Amazon winning? Their bread and butter is e-commerce, and that gives them extra incentive to use their data well. Furthermore, they learn what works and optimize their program to act on it. 35% of their revenue comes from behavior-based emails and personalized product recommendations on the website. They also have a relentless push for an easy conversion experience with numerous reviews and recommendations, simple payment options, and compelling shipping and return policies

Put it all together

Rolling out these best-in-class practices for your program starts with commitment to a data-driven communication strategy with relevant triggers based on behavior.

Multi-channel retailers especially can also shine in these areas:

  • Establish loyalty and rewards programs, product exclusivity, and a rich and interactive in-store experience. According to the survey, half of millennials are still shopping in store.

  • Promote philanthropic or charitable causes you support.

  • Study competition where you have actual insight into how the programs are performing. Receiving an email doesn’t guarantee that it is effective.

The best part is that all of these recommendations can be implemented by marketers with the right strategy, data, and partners. Focus on personalization, find and speak to the right people in your audience, get inspired by the competition, test what works for your program, and put it all together for success.

About the Author

Liz Mclemore

Liz McLemore is a Senior Strategist, Marketing Consulting at Cheetah Digital. She is a cross-channel marketing professional with nearly twenty years of experience in the fields of marketing, software development and technology. In her current role, Liz provides strategic program recommendations and actionable industry trends to several industry-leading brands. As a public speaker, Liz has represented Cheetah Digital across the country, providing expertise, insights and best practices in digital marketing. She began her career with the company ten years ago in Client Services, with clients spanning a variety of verticals including publishing, media, consumer products and services, travel and accessories and apparel.

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