Depending on your industry and type of business, you could reap huge rewards from developing a holiday marketing campaign. After all, according to the National Retail Federation, consumer spending is expected to jump 4% during this year’s holiday season. Wouldn’t it be great if part of that money was spent on your products and services?
“93% of all U.S. consumers plan on making a holiday purchase this season.” (1)
“Holiday spending is expected to reach $692 billion.” (1)
Underlying Marketing Principles Stay the Same
Although today’s tactical marketing methods are vastly different from the those of the past, the lessons learned from previous holiday marketing campaigns still apply. It’s true that those past campaigns, conducted by ourselves and others, would look a bit different if search engine marketing came into play. In the final analysis, however, the psychology and science of consumer behavior remain the same.
Let me prove that theory out by sharing one of my client’s proven marketing campaigns and then provide insight as to how it can apply to your holiday marketing efforts. I then want to show you that these universal principles still work, symbiotically, with today’s search engine marketing methods.
Personal Success Story – by Julian Aston
Some years ago, I helped facilitate a market research focus group for the makers of Rogaine, the hair regrowth medication. One of the participants in the focus group – we will call him Franco – unknowingly revolutionized the company’s whole marketing strategy.
Franco was a swarthy, hirsute young man of about 22-years old. Picture him with an unbuttoned shirt, prominently displaying a chest thick with black hair. Atop his head flowed long, black, curly tresses. In short, he was a very hairy man. It was this young man’s story that became the inspiration behind propelling the development of an extremely successful marketing campaign for the Rogaine brand.
You see, Franco harbored a real fear of losing all that beautiful hair. Even at his young age, he worried over that possibility so much, that he sought the advice and guidance of his hairdresser. Just the fact that his confidante was his HAIRDRESSER, and not his spouse, set my team’s creativity ablaze.
What We Learned
We left the focus group knowing that our primary target audience had changed. Our focus shifted from the men who already experienced hair loss to the men who were simply “afraid of the thought.” We also realized that to reach that audience, we needed to target those who influenced them most, their hairdressers.
It also reminded us of another profound truth – TIMING IS KEY! Market research aside, we knew that by communicating our message at the beginning of January, we would reach a greater number of motivated customers, more receptive to our message than ever. The time to hit them was before their commitment to seeing through their “New Year’s Resolution” fell on deaf ears. This one marketing truth formed the basis of many of my successes through the years.
“[Rogaine] sales more than doubled from $67 million in 1989, to $140 to $150 million in 1991,” (2)
For certain types of products or services (i.e., hair loss, diet, fitness, elective surgery, new car, investments, and so on) an absolutely key time to up your media spend is pre- and -post the holiday season.
Think Outside the Box – Test New Marketing Ideas
Consider what happened with the Rogaine focus group. Our marketing group didn’t reinvent the wheel, we just propelled it down a different path. Keeping an open mind to new ideas may mean you find a way to “beat” the competition.
Search Engine Marketing is not a new idea – if you are a millennial. For the rest of us, it is a new concept that requires a small learning curve. However, my experience with search engine marketing has shown me that marketing principles haven’t changed, just the delivery method.
So, to help you develop your holiday marketing campaign, consider these basic questions:
- Who comprises your target audience? Identify your primary, secondary and tertiary targets.
- Who influences your target the most?
- What type of offer would best initiate the trial of your product or service?
- What communication methods can effectively deliver your message?
- Should you use different methods based on your target (primary, secondary, influencer)?
- When is the best time to reach them?
- Is your product seasonal in some way? (Rogaine normally wouldn’t be thought of as seasonal, but in our case it was)
- What is the message you need to communicate?
- Why should the target audience care about your product or service? What are the benefits your product or service delivers? “Don’t sell the steak, sell the sizzle!”
Tailor Your Holiday Marketing Campaign to the Right Audience
We all know that today search engine marketing comprises a good part of a company’s marketing strategy. Exposure on the web is a must because today’s shoppers are smart. They research potential products before buying. Therefore, testimonials and reviews have become the internet’s version of word-of-mouth advertising.
But how do you get those testimonials? How can you encourage positive reviews?
That is where the principles of marketing intersect with the mechanics of web development.
|Your Marketing Consultant||Your Web Designer and Web Developer|
|Uses data, research, and past experience to determine precisely who your primary, secondary, and tertiary customers are.||Designs the look of your website to appeal to your audience and develops appropriate landing pages for marketing campaigns.|
Identifies what motivates or influences the customer to make a decision.
|Creates the best digital campaigns to ensure the most conversions and diligently tracks and analyzes the results.|
|Knows how to write content to create the desired response – reviews, email registration, SALES!||
Builds out the mechanics to post social messaging, deploy to email lists, write and obtain testimonials, and much more.
Build Your Search Engine Marketing Strategy
The best message in the world is worthless if people don’t read it. Who are your customers, with what method do you best reach them and what is your message? If you market to teens, you need one of the best social media campaigns you can come up with. Conversely, there are fewer octogenarians surfing the web – but their caregivers do. Where do those people hang out?
Effective search engine marketing requires a good deal of research. Certain rules need to be followed just to get your website to show up in search results. Ad campaigns are competitive. You need someone who knows how to find that neglected niche where new customers may be lurking.
Most important, you need to transfer the proven principles of marketing – such as holiday marketing – to the virtual world. The Rogaine marketing plan was good, but it was the timing of the marketing campaign that made it blow up. Remember that New Year’s resolutions figure prominently in customer’s decisions to make purchases they normally wouldn’t.
Your marketing consultant needs to understand search engine marketing and how to write a holiday ad campaign for the internet. This takes time, so you can’t wait until the season is on top of you to start putting it all together. The sooner you start identifying your audience and setting goals the better. Ask them to help you. They should get it.
Tactical Uses of Search Engine Marketing in Your Holiday Marketing Campaign
Your holiday marketing campaign needs to support the brands’ underlying marketing strategy. Remember, it doesn’t end at the close of the season. A really good holiday campaign gives your business a shot in the arm, but it takes a long-term strategy to capitalize on that boost.
However, to get the most out of search engine marketing during the holiday season you need to:
- Coordinate the timing of your ad campaign with the appropriate season
- Research keywords and phrases that draw both the customers and the search engines.
- Provide clear call-to-action instructions
- Test more than one holiday marketing campaign to find the one that reaches the most
- Follow-up with customers using email marketing – a personal phone call doesn’t go astray, especially at this time of year.
Find a Marketing Consultant That Can Do It All
Perform a google search for “digital marketing consultants” or “web designers” and you will return millions of hits. Every person who ever set up their own blog now thinks they can build websites. The young intern who figured out how to write a Facebook Ad now fancies themselves a social media expert. How in the world do you find a web marketing consultant that can really grow your business?
- Look for EXPERIENCE! Do they have a marketing background? Can they provide proof of success?
- Are they part of a team? Does the team include multi-generational members, from diverse backgrounds?
- Who are their clients? What sort of reviews or recommendations can they offer?
- What sort of services do they offer? Web design? Web Development? Search Engine Marketing? Social Media Marketing or Branding?
The competition in today’s marketplace is so stiff, you must find someone that can seamlessly handle all of your marketing needs. Holiday marketing campaigns are just one aspect of the whole marketing strategy. Every component is important.
The leaders at intouch Business have proven track records. The Rogaine campaign is just one of our many success stories. Our experience is paired with some of the most cutting-edge methods of search engine marketing available.
So, now that you are thinking about your potential needs for a holiday marketing campaign, shoot us an email or give us a call.
Grow your business by letting the experts at intouch Business plan your holiday marketing campaign this year!
(1) Mintel, 2016; eMarketer, 2016.