The ecommerce calendar seems to rev up around September. Coming out of winter, ApplePay heats up under our thumbs as sales hit their annual mass rollout. If you own a B2C company with a service or product that is applicable to joining in on the sale frenzy, it’s vital to have a digital marketing strategy that leverages arguably the busiest time annually for retail. The biggest online sale days include Black Friday, Cyber Monday and pre-Christmas sales, that all require careful planning.
Here's a comprehensive guide to help you prepare your digital marketing strategy for this crucial time.
Set Clear Goals
Sure, making more conversions and sales is the obvious goal in this. Profit at known profitable times is worth citing. However, you can leverage this time more significantly if you define your goals using specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound goals.
This process pushes you to see opportunity in other success areas.
Yes, SMART goals will allow you to specifically cite the sales and conversion goals you want (and what those conversions are: traffic, emails, contact etc.), however, they also enable you to dig deeper on those initial goals.
Do you want sales alone? Or do you want continued sales with a newly grown loyal audience? How can you make that happen? The answer could be, sure, have a sale. But, offer a discount code that’s gated, and give shoppers the opportunity to join your email database for loyalty sales, perks and brand news.
Do you want just traffic from your sale-promoting ad? Or, do you want to also keep them engaged through your website? Could a valuable landing page give them that?
Type them out, make them tangible and strategise digital pathways, both paid and organic, to meet your goals.
Review Past Performance
The best way to predict future behaviour is past behaviour. Analyse data from previous years' holiday campaigns to identify trends, successful strategies, and areas for improvement. This will help you make informed decisions for the current year's campaign.
However, also spend time acknowledging and predicting possible caveats that created past performance (bad or successful), if those same hurdles or opportunities exist in the current year, and how to either pivot your previous strategies or leverage them in new ways to get the most out of the period.
For example, your product or service may have had particular interest through Covid, or due to a trend that occurred through the year you’re reviewing. These are events that you wouldn’t replicate a sales campaign around.
Take into account not just what worked, but why, and strategise your current year approach armed with that full picture knowledge to pull together another successful outcome, or a better return than less successful years.
Build a Marketing Calendar
Don’t just lean on an arbitrary idea of high sale periods and then need to quickly ideate campaigns to capitalise on them, against competitors who have been strategising for months. Know what’s coming up, have it in a clearly marked yearly calendar. The most important date is the one you have given yourself as a start point to plan your path to holiday season sales.
Create a detailed marketing calendar that outlines key dates, campaigns, promotions, and content distribution across various channels. Plan the assets you’ll need, the messaging you’ve landed on, the roll-out pace across paid and organic media, the time KPIs for sales and ensuring your internal process is in place to meet projected sales targets to ensure all elements are executed seamlessly.
Segment Your Audience
Divide your customer base into segments enables you to create tailored marketing messages and offers that resonate with each group.
Segmenting your audience involves sorting your customer base into smaller groups based on factors such as age, location, shopping habits, and preferences. By doing this, you can create tailored marketing messages and offers that really connect with each group. For instance, if you have a segment of customers who have engaged with your site, or a cross-interest, you can send them promotional content that speaks to those interests. This personalised approach makes your marketing more effective and resonates better with your customers, increasing the chances of engagement and sales during these peak periods.
Your audience will be inundated with targeted messaging speaking to their location, demographic and interests. Try to make your messaging engaging, valuable and stand out from the rest. The best way to do that is with some competitor analysis, yes… But, most of all be true to YOUR brand. Speak with transparency, nurture trust and offer genuine value for money and their time.
Monitor and Adjust
Keep a close eye on how well your marketing campaigns are doing using analytics tools. These tools provide valuable insights into metrics like website traffic, click-through rates, and conversion rates. By consistently tracking these metrics, you can quickly identify any areas that are not performing as expected. For example, if a particular ad isn't getting much engagement or a specific landing page isn't converting well, you'll be able to pinpoint these issues through the data.
The real power lies in your ability to adapt in real-time. When you spot underperforming aspects, you should be prepared to make on-the-fly adjustments. This could mean tweaking the wording or design of an ad, changing the call-to-action on a landing page, or even shifting your budget towards the channels that are delivering the best results. By staying agile and responsive to the data, you can fine-tune your strategies as the ecommerce landscape evolves during peak periods. This iterative approach ensures that your marketing efforts remain effective, helping you capture the attention of potential customers and maximise your success during these high-demand times.
By following these steps and tailoring them to your specific business and target audience, you can create a comprehensive digital marketing strategy that maximises your success during the busiest ecommerce period of the year.