Black Friday and Cyber Monday Are Over. Now What?

Engagement Marketing


I am depressed.  After seeing  “Door Buster” ads 1,327 times in the past week, I got up in the wee-hours of Black Friday and before I had finished my first cup of coffee, I was waiting in line at the local big box retailer waiting for the doors to open.

Yes, I am one of those shoppers convinced to brave the dark, and the hordes of other people, to buy a new TV. It is beautiful. It is huge. I love it.

But if that is the case – then why do I feel used and taken advantage of?  I opened up my wallet and shelled out a few hundred bucks for a shiny new toy. I should feel happy and proud, but instead I feel used. Why, you might ask?  It is simple: I know that I am nothing more than an invoice number, a SKU and a speck of the daily sales goal to the TV maker and the retailer. They don’t know me, and they don’t care to. I’ll never hear from them again.

And that is a shame.

You see – this past week, retailers will have spent nearly $800 million in advertising to lure me into their store, according to Kantar Media an ad tracking division of WPP. Yet, few are thinking about how to engage me afterwards.  A simple follow-up, a note to check in on me, would go miles — it isn’t rocket science, really.  Make me feel like you are thankful for my money and when I come back to your store – remember me.

Instead, the next time I go into the same store – it will feel like I’m in the movie Groundhog Day.  They will pretend as if it is the first time I have ever been in the store. The TV maker won’t know I bought a 50-inch model two weeks ago, and the whole process will feel surreal.

And I have to ask the question why? Retailers and brands spend all of their money to get my attention, but then very little money, or time, building a relationship with me. Then they go on to spend more money trying to get my attention all over again. Given the amount of data and analytics out there today; given the ability to use marketing software, like Marketo’s Engagement Marketing Platform, to put that data to use — I have to wonder if some of that $800 million might be better spent not only on acquisition but in the follow up too.

Amazon and Netflix are well-known examples of how to go the extra mile, and frankly the work they are doing to make suggestions and recommend additional related items is pretty basic. But at least they make an effort. The trick is to take the local, shopkeeper level of attention that we all adore and make it happen at scale.

To be sure, there is a ton of money at stake during the holiday season – $480 billion to be specific (according to the International Council of Shopping Centers).  Obviously, brands and retailers want to grab as much of that money as possible. But, brands that figure out how to go just a bit farther, to remember and engage me after the purchase – they will be the winners in the long run.

Do you have an example of a brand that did it well? Share your story in the comments.