Best Practices for Merry Marketing Campaigns

516912437By Nikole Haiar

While consumers look forward to decorating, gathering with loved ones and purchasing gifts for their friends and family, retailers have other things on their mind. As the holiday season draws near, vendors should prepare marketing campaigns built to increase brand awareness during this critical time of year.

The holidays aren’t just a time for good tidings and cheer – the level of competition rises among merchants. For this reason, these companies must use their website and email to their advantage to ensure that consumers have their brand in mind this holiday season.

Top holiday offers and sales conversion days
According to SteelHouse, organizations find success by offering specialized promotions and see the highest conversion rates on certain days.

Researchers found that the top three holiday offers were free express shipping, buy-more-save-more promotions and post-holiday sales. Furthermore, these deals produced higher conversion rates on Nov. 28 and 30, Dec. 6 and 18. However, the highest general conversion rates came, not surprisingly, on Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

Holiday email marketing campaigns
Email marketing campaigns also help the brand message reach consumers.

E-commerce predictive analytics software provider Custora suggested that the brand should begin subtly and not seek to shout its message too soon in the season. Furthermore, when it comes to email marketing campaigns, visuals are very important. Custora pointed out that some organizations leverage attention-catching graphics or unconventional design styles to ensure that their message stands out. Some campaigns also take innovative approaches, including encouraging shoppers to not only buy gifts for their friends and family, but themselves as well.

“During a season dedicated to buying gifts for others, a few retailers take a different angle,” Custora stated. “They appeal to consumers’ not-so-secret desire to treat themselves during a hectic and sometimes stressful time.”

Social media marketing campaigns
Reflect a consistent brand image by ensuring your social media campaign messaging matches your emails.

Public relations firm Eastwick noted that holiday activity on social media peaks from Nov. 15 through Jan. 7. These posts should be specifically tailored to suit the brand, while offering discounts and not excluding any particular consumer groups.

“Tactics will differ for every brand, but simply throwing ornaments and glitter on your Facebook or Twitter avatar won’t do the trick,” Eastwick noted.

Finally, it’s important to keep in mind that social media users are looking for advice and engagement, not advertisements. For this reason, companies should seek to highlight the holiday-specific benefits of their promotion or featured product instead of simply providing a call to action.

 Nikole Haiar is the director of marketing at Hostway Services, Inc.

The 7 Deadly Sins of Marketing

tom patty and john pietroCome to the first Women in Business Breakfast of 2015!

February 6 2015, Friday, from 7:30 AM to 10:30 AM

Featured Speakers: Tom Patty and John Pietro, Marketing Gurus and Authors.

Do you sometimes think your business could be doing much better? Are you frustrated that no matter how hard you work, you just can’t seem to generate more sales and revenues? If so, you need to learn how to “Avoid and fix the 7 Deadly Sins of Marketing,” presented by two marketing gurus who have worked with such companies as Nike, Pizza Hut, Wendy’s, Nissan and Chiat/Day Advertising to develop successful marketing campaigns that resulted in dramatic growth.

Find out the seven reasons why your business may be stalled and what you can do to drastically improve it, starting right now. Don’t miss this great opportunity to give your business the boost it needs to propel you into orbit.
Women’s Breakfast Location:
Center Club
650 Town Center Dr, Costa Mesa 92626
Click here to view map

February 6 2015, Friday, from 7:30 AM to 10:30 AM
Cost: $35 pre-register online by Feb 3; $40 AFTER Feb 3 and at the door (cash or check only). Valet Parking included.

Startup Investments Down in Orange County

orange countyReported in a recent Orange County Register article, Orange County startups raised fewer venture-capital dollars in the third quarter than a year ago. Startups received almost $159 million, a 23 percent drop from the same time a year ago. The number of closed deals also fell, to 12 from 17.

Clearly, startups could benefit from classes and workshops on how to attract and secure investment dollars. Orange County SCORE networking group offers a variety of workshops to build your small business. You can also make a no cost appointment with a counselor to get expert advice.