Summer is finally here and with that comes the long awaited warm weather and sunshine! So the last thing we all want to think about is snow, frigid weathers, and even more nerve racking, the holidays, right? Think again! The holiday season is the most prominent time for retailers of any size, bringing in 25-40% of annual sales for some. Because of this, it is never too early to start preparing to make the most of this year’s holiday shopping season.
When I saw this article “Best Buy CEO: Who’s Afraid of the iPad?” http://www.fastcompany.com/1691767/best-buy-ceo-tablets-not-the-death-of-notebooks on Fast Company two weeks ago, I thought to myself “Uh oh, something is shaking up Best Buy…” When Best Buy CEO Brian Dunn first cautioned about the “cannibalization of netbooks” by iPads by as much as 50%, and then he and President Mike Vitelli quickly backtracked the comment by saying how small a percentage iPad sales has been compared to the overall PC notebook market that it simply wouldn’t affect laptop sales.
The headline can also be “The largest retail gain since March!”
Stripping out autos, gasoline and building materials, retail sales rose 0.6% in August. As consumer spending continues to grow at a modest pace in the 3rd quarter, retailers are more optimistic about the last quarter of the year. Most consumers are still spending conservatively, looking for bargain deals.
It’s August and the eTail East 2010 Conference is right around the corner. Joining other senior marketing executives at eTail, we at NetElixir are in full gear preparing for the roundtable discussion of Holiday Preparedness for 2010 – Protecting Every Dollar and Maximizing Internet Retail Sales.
Holiday Preparedness is such a critical concept for retailers. Whether you have brick-and-mortar stores or just online web stores, preparing your store(s) for the holidays mean you have to start planning now.
You know the old saying, “Two heads are better than one?” Now we’re dealing with “Millions of heads are better than one.” Crowdsourcing is a compound of the words “crowd” and “outsourcing” and is defined by Wikipedia as the act of taking tasks traditionally performed by an employee or contractor and outsourcing them to a group of people or community, through an open call to a large group. Jeff Howe coined the term in an 2006 article in wired magazine.
Geoffrey the Giraffe. The Green Giant. The Nestle Bunny. The Energizer Bunny. Wendy. The Rice Krispie Elves. Chester the Cheetah. The Travelocity Gnome. The Pillsbury Doughboy. And my creepy friend, The Burger King. Brand mascots endear us to a product. They create a connection by becoming the face of the brand. So how do they play into today’s marketing strategies? If we once again look to social media as a way to create a community around a brand or product, using a brand mascot can certainly bolster this effort. We are more likely to pay attention to a brand when it has a character to follow on Twitter and “friend” on Facebook. Some companies have the advantage of having a character already built into the legacy of their brand. But only some brands are taking advantage of this. Many companies have already integrated social media into their marketing but who is doing it through their brand’s mascot? Let’s take a look at a few examples.
- Sudden spikes in product sales or spikes in purchase in certain geographies. How can you capitalize?
- Sales Promotion results beat expectations – can you extend the promotion?
- A particular customer acquisition channel does exceptionally well. How much additional budget can you shift?
- Competitive intensity drops for select categories – are you ready to take advantage?
- Twitter buzz about your brand spikes. Do you know why? How can you use this opportunity on other channels?
Analyze the SEM campaign performances for previous years and use the learnings.
- Click pattern versus conversion pattern. (When did people search and when did they buy?)
- What were the key online shopping dates and what percentage of holiday sales happened on these dates?
- What were the most (and least) successful promotions? How were these promoted?
- Plot the daily “(Sales Revenue-PPC Cost)/Click” number between November 20th and December 20th and identify “profit zones.”
- Did you track the competitor promotions during the holidays? How can you use the learnings?
SEM advertising allows nimble marketers to reap huge benefits by utilizing “sudden opportunities”.
Finally, 3 Online Customer Acquisition KPI’s Every Retail Marketer Should Master
To learn how NetElixir can improve your social media and search marketing efforts, visit us here.
It can be a daunting task to dive into email marketing for the first time. To help guide marketers through the nuances, I spoke to Jordan Lane, email marketing expert and author of the blog EmailMoxie.com.
NetElixir: Please tell me a little bit about your background as an email marketing expert.
Imagine you’re a brand with a rich history. Your followers are loyal but sales have been less than favorable over recent years. You need to revitalize your brand and give people new reasons to consider why they loved it in the first place.
Integrating social media into their advertising, the company launched a promotion geared towards amateur cooks. The Real Women of Philadelphia site was created as platform for interaction and engagement among consumers. Philadelphia Cream Cheese partnered with Food Network personality Paula Deen for their venture. The campaign kicked off in March with a YouTube hosted by Paula announcing a cooking contest. Cooks were asked to submit videos highlighting their best recipes…using Philadelphia Cream Cheese, of course. The aspiring cooks were judged on personality rather than technical expertise. Deen and a panel of judges narrowed the field to 16 semi-finalists, who will be invited to a cook-off in Savannah, Georgia on June 3oth. The competition will stream live on the site and there will be winners in four categories: appetizers, entrees, side dishes, and desserts. Each lucky winner will receive a $25,000 contract that includes hosting a weekly online cooking show, participating in publicity tours, being featured in cooking videos, and appearing in a cookbook featuring the community’s favorite cream cheese recipes. After the four winners have been chosen, they will be in charge of soliciting recipes from other women in the growing online community. This contest, held over a period of 16 weeks, will culminate in a winner receiving a $500 prize.
We live in a world of bite sized communication. Our attention spans are short and if you don’t grab our attention in the first minute, we’ve most likely checked out and are on to the next thing. Brands seem to have picked up on this and are producing slick viral videos on YouTube. These are the videos we talk about, which in turn promote brand awareness or product sales. The examples below are the top viewed brand-driven ad campaigns for the first week in June. Though the videos come from established brand names, this is not to say that a smaller company can’t get involved. This is the beauty of user driven video content on YouTube. What makes these videos successful is how they entertain without a hard sell angle. Viral content doesn’t work unless it’s viewed as entertainment rather than a commercial. Take a look, get inspired.