This past year changed the way we live and work. As a result, many business owners were forced to re-invent their marketing plans for the holiday season to accommodate shifts in consumer habits. Read on to see how businesses in a variety of different retail markets refocused their strategies.
Jacob Martinez

Jacob Martinez

Jacob Martinez, Founder at SwiftClean.

Invested In Digital Marketing To Take Advantage Of The Massive Active Users

COVID-19 pandemic has indeed affected many companies and businesses. It caused many unforeseen problems and changes and has led many companies and businesses to find new and other ways to operate amidst the pandemic.

As a business owner, this affected mostly our marketing strategy because we have invested more in digital marketing now more than ever. We embraced operating virtually, and we invested in digital marketing because I want to take advantage of the massive active users that the Internet has. This also led us to use digital marketing for our holiday marketing strategy to reach more people locally and even nationwide.

Strategic Data Collaborations

We are a data connectivity platform that works with almost every brand, advertiser, agency, publisher, and tech platform you know today. In helping customers improve their data strategies, we have observed several things from our international client roster pertaining to holiday marketing:

To set the stage, the holiday season is compounding current challenges in retail. The industry is up against a patchwork of phased, regional openings; several big retailers are closed for Thanksgiving this year; the supply chain is under constraints. The holiday shopping season is starting earlier this year (October) to accommodate.

During the pandemic, consumers have become more reflective overall and are prioritizing connections over convenience, meaning they will turn to the brands they know, trust, and have a meaningful connection with. This will be true of holiday shopping as well. Successful holiday campaigns will be reserved for brands who center their data strategy around removing blind spots in the customer journey, and in turn, connect more authentically with customers.

Both during and beyond the fall holiday season, brands should be looking for ways to enter into privacy-first data partnerships with their natural partners, e.g. retailers. Strategic data collaborations allow brands to gain a more 360-degree view of consumers by understanding who their customer is outside the four walls of their store, or app.

For example:

  • Direct-to-consumer who want to start selling in-store should evaluate retailers by the data they can safely and securely share
  • CPGs historically have low visibility into sales of their products by retailers. CPGs can gain visibility into retailers’ POS data by cross-referencing with their media and trade campaign results to assign attribution and streamline media spend
Alice Stratton

Alice Stratton

Alice Stratton is the global managing director at LiveRamp (NYSE: RAMP), the leading data connectivity platform, where she oversees LiveRamp Safe Haven’s new business, customer success, and global revenue growth strategy.
Samantha Moss

Samantha Moss

Samantha Moss, Editor & Content Ambassador at Romantific.

Three More Ways You Can Adjust Your Marketing Strategies

We are living in a different world ever since the Coronavirus crisis came into our lives. As businesses, we have to come up with innovative ideas to strategically reach out and engage our target audiences and followers. As for me and my company this holiday season, we plan to focus our digital marketing on mobile. We want our target audiences and followers to be able to interact and connect with us through their smartphones. Here are three more ways you can adjust your marketing strategies during the COVID19 pandemic:

  1. Your Digital Presence is a must: Use the internet of things to showcase your brand. Use your social media channels. Post YouTube videos. Make your website interactive and engaging.
  2. Humanize your brand: Take your target audiences/followers on a behind the scenes tour of your brand. Showcase the people who work for you and what your brand stands for.
  3. Show love to your loyal customers and followers: Giving discounts, freebies, and rewards to your customers drive sales, but it also shows that you care for your loyal customers and the business that they give.

Providing Eco-Friendly Lodge And Activity Options

COVID has changed how I market holidays profoundly. Due to the ongoing concerns as well as the fact that, as an industry, we can see that some destinations are not going to be popular anymore, I have had to adjust my safaris. What has become clear is that people will start looking at adventure safaris where there are not a lot of people and where social distancing will be easy. I have had to adjust my offerings to this and not pour as much of my marketing spend into the big tourist destinations because people will avoid those for at least the next 1-2 years, I think.

COVID has also brought to people’s attention that eco-friendly tours are the responsible thing to do now. I have also looked at providing eco-friendly lodge and activity options to fit this. Luckily, I work in Africa where both these options are viable and so I am looking forward to traveling opening up soon.

Shaun Taylor

Shaun Taylor

Shaun Taylor, Owner of Moriti Safaris, a specialty safari company based in South Africa.
Sonya Schwartz

Sonya Schwartz

Sonya Schwartz, Founder of Her Norm.

Adjusting To The Rules And Guidelines Of The New Normal

With this pandemic still going on, my holiday plans have drastically changed. My marketing strategies for holidays on my dating website have also been greatly affected by this event. I have to adjust to the rules and guidelines of the new normal to keep my clients safe from COVID. My promotional content has changed from going outside together to celebrate the holidays to staying at home together for more fun and intimacy.

One good thing is that it is possible! We can celebrate the holidays and date our loved ones in the comfort of our own home, and even online through video calls. We just have to find creative ways to have fun and enjoy the moment.

Focus On The Consumer And Conduct More Effective Consumer Research

COVID has drastically shaped marketing strategies for the holidays with a huge emphasis on digital marketing, online sales, and studying consumer trends as the holidays approach. As digital marketers, we’ve had to adapt to the huge shift in a variety of services going online, as well as huge boosts in online sales.

Ecommerce sites have had a huge increase in online traffic now more than ever with users shopping online for just about everything and anything they need. With holidays coming up, Ecommerce strategies are being mapped out conscientiously to plan for potential, common issues: out of stock products, backorders, website maintenance, user errors, etc.

COVID has shaped our content marketing strategies for the upcoming holidays by teaching us how to really focus on the consumer and conduct more effective consumer research to help us adapt to the holiday seasonal shopping. Purchase paths may look a little different this year, and we need to know what they’re going to look like for our industries in order to market effectively.

With more users searching for products and services online now more than ever, it’s our responsibility to get them the information they need, how they need it when they need it. Satisfying a user’s search intent is more important now, and pushing out copy and content that really hits home and connects with consumers is vital for brands and companies. Websites must be working efficiently and providing a seamless shopping experience. Content marketing should be direct, value forward, and transparent.

Elizabeth Weatherby

Elizabeth Weatherby is the SEO Specialist for General Parking in Chicago. She’s been in the digital world for over 5 years with experience in PR, social media, content, and digital marketing.

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