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Smart Digital Marketing During the Holidays Can Lead to Year-Round Consumer Engagement

December 4, 2012 By Klay Huddleston
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Now that the presidential election has come and gone, the barrage of political ads beaming from televisions, blasting from radios and blinking from websites have quickly turned into holiday shopping ads. Retailers know the precious time between Black Friday and Dec. 25 can have a dramatic effect on their year-end numbers. Historically, retailers eager to entice holiday shoppers focused their marketing efforts on traditional approaches such as radio and television ads, direct marketing circulars, and couponing.

While those efforts still prove effective, today's retailer also has many digital marketing options that can not only boost sales during the holidays but also build valuable relationships with consumers that last year-round. Here are four digital marketing efforts that retailers can implement immediately for this year's holiday shopping season and repurpose throughout the year:

1. Mobilize. Did you know that half of all local searches online are performed on a mobile device? Consumers are becoming increasingly more dependent on their smartphones, which presents new opportunities for retailers. A great way to make sure your message is heard during the holidays is to capitalize on mobile technology that drives consumers in-store and encourages them to shop, save and share offers throughout the season.

Location-based mobile marketing allows retailers to become a quick resource for busy holiday shoppers. For example, they can provide store location information, exclusive information on Black Friday sales, push reminders about special offers via SMS, etc. The key is to use mobile as a tool that allows activation at the point of inspiration; use that tool year-round.  

2. Enable group gifting. Holiday shopping is always more fun when done with friends. This year consider hosting a digitally driven, Secret Santa-like gifting experience across your digital properties. By leveraging mobile, social and destination experiences, consumers can choose a group of friends to participate in the online fun. You can also create additional brand engagement opportunities by hosting events where gifts purchased online can be exchanged in person. While the holiday season is an ideal time to launch a group gifting program, it can also be easily repurposed for other gift-giving holidays like Valentine's Day and graduations.

3. Reward customers. Everyone likes to feel appreciated. Fortunately, there are many ways you can use digital marketing to reward your loyal customers for their patronage. Consider the many ways you can make their lives easier. Simply by leveraging SMS, mobile apps or even your website, you can host a contest that allows customers to skip long checkout lines, permits early entry into your store on Black Friday, and alerts them to upcoming doorbusters, offers and events. It's also important to reward customers for more than just making purchases. Give them a way to earn credit for reviewing products and sharing information about your brand on their social media pages. This simple tactic can easily be used throughout the year.



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