As the winter holiday festivities are slowly coming to an end in the U.S., it’s time to finally rest, relax, and recharge with your loved ones. Throughout this season, you’ve probably seen, heard, and experienced thousands of holiday campaigns and messages designed to influence specific actions (whether you realized it or not).
There are plenty of creative ways for marketers to leverage the holiday season to drive their business objectives across the customer lifecycle–gaining mindshare, acquiring new customers, retaining and selling more to existing customers, and bolstering loyalty. As we have always maintained, holiday marketing isn’t just limited to the retail and travel industries, and it’s not just reserved for winter holidays. Marketers across all industries such as consumer technology, higher education, and financial services can benefit from strategic holiday marketing throughout the year.
Let’s take a look at six holiday campaigns that drive the customer journey and what you can learn from them:
At this early stage, your goal as a marketer is to make your brand both known and relevant to your potential and existing customers. Whether they’ve engaged with you or not before, it’s important to keep your brand top-of-mind as they encounter other campaigns from all sorts of companies.
For the holidays, tie your content and campaigns into the same theme. For example, this digital ad from Bath and Beyond, a home goods retailer, spreads holiday ‘cheer’ across the web, raising awareness about both their brand and products with a consistent theme and message.
Once buyers are familiar with your brand, how do you earn their business? Offer your audience educational, useful, or entertaining content to pique their interest and build trust. By listening to their behaviors and responding with targeted, relevant messaging with a marketing automation platform, you can offer them value at the right time and in the right place (email, social, SMS, etc.) to nudge them closer to conversion. Jenny Craig, a weight management and nutrition company, provides their audience with tips on how to meet their health goals while not compromising the holiday fun–a concern that often comes up during the holidays.
Campaigns focused on acquiring and converting new customers have been in abundance this holiday season, similar to previous seasons. As consumers are shopping online more than ever, check out (below) how Visa promotes online payments on its website for both potential and existing customers. According to NPD, the average online holiday spend per buyer last year reached $418 from November 1 through December 26—an increase of $74 from 2014.
However, be careful not to focus your strategy and resources solely on acquiring new customers and driving them to purchase once. Think beyond the initial purchase and strategize how you’ll not only retain your new customers but grow their lifetime value and loyalty to your brand.
To retain customers in today’s competitive landscape, it’s important to continue offering them something of value and foster their loyalty. The holidays are a perfect time to show you value your existing customers, whether it’s by explicitly saying it or giving them special offers.
Bank of America’s email shows their customers their appreciation for their business:
Uber, a ride-sharing app, partnered with Hotels.com to offer existing customers a $30 discount for their loyalty:
Leverage the holidays for customer marketing by speaking to their needs around the season. You can do this by tracking their behaviors and interests, developing personas and segmenting your customer base, and then mapping your products or services to each segment. Below, Geico provides an answer to a strong, but often under-addressed need for consumers to protect their identities as they shop and share their details with multiple merchants.
Harness the power of your customer evangelists during the holiday season to drive referrals and recommendations. Another example from Uber shows us how this season is ripe with opportunities for marketers. Most consumers likely don’t think of ride sharing when shopping for their family and friends, yet Uber packaged and promoted its services for anyone looking for a unique but thoughtful gift.
What are some of the most impactful campaigns you’ve seen this season? I would love to hear about them, so please feel free to comment below!