Campaigns are launched, emails are queued, and your revenue attribution model is already starting to give you insight into your holiday marketing performance. As a marketer and consultant, I’m always fascinated with the seasonality of retail marketing and retail marketing advice. It’s a brilliant, red-ocean ecosystem that captivates me year in and year out.
The underlying advice is always the same — strategists urge marketers to “cut through the noise” and offer something of “core value” to customers. But you’re still in a violent competition to claim a small percentage of the $738 average spend per consumer as reported by the National Retail Federation.
As a result, many retailers exhaust all their resources on the days leading up to a holiday, missing potentially lucrative blue-ocean strategies for exiting the retail season. To help get you started thinking about how you might approach this time period, I’ve outlined two “post-holiday” marketing strategies you can use to set your company apart and capture revenue that would otherwise have been overlooked.
1) The “I’ve Returned the Junk I Didn’t Want” Campaign
Brands have tried to keep the money in-house with the advent of “gift receipts.” But let’s face it, we’ve all gotten a gift we didn’t want or need and returned it. What do you do with the store credit or cash? You typically buy something you wanted but didn’t get, or use it to pay off holiday bills.
The busiest days for returns are the days immediately following Christmas. Create a promotion that puts your brand top of mind, like UPS did in 2013 when it created “National Returns Day.” Have fun with the concept. Maybe you suggest customers take a picture of what they returned and a picture of what they got, and post it to your Facebook or Twitter page. Create a contest to reward the best gift swap photo.
- Email Subject Line Example: “Once you return those socks, show us what you got!”
- Preheader Example: “We’ll highlight the best gift exchange on Facebook.”
2) The “You’ll Need This Other Stuff” Campaign
Snowboards need boots and bindings. Printers need ink. iPhones need protective cases and chargers. The recurring sale of complimentary goods is often more lucrative then the sale of the initial product. If you can identify customers who’ve received your product as a gift (e.g. through registration), drive additional revenue by entering them in a replenishment or maintenance program.
According to the NDP and as reported in 2013 by Gamespot, for example, Xbox One users purchase an average of 2.1 games with their console. Since many of those games are exclusive Microsoft products (like Ryse and Forza), it’s easy to see how Microsoft could drive additional revenue with a post-holiday cross-sell campaign aimed at gift recipients.
- Email Subject Line Example: “Your new gift is going to keep on giving”
- Preheader Example: “Check out these exclusive items!”
Winning Big After Christmas
These examples may or may not work for your brand, but the idea is to get creative and think about you might keep the holiday momentum rolling after the holidays. To that end, many retailers have agencies that work with them to come up with post-holiday campaigns and strategies. The key is to create a program that builds an emotional connection with your brand without relying on discounts.
Once you’ve developed a program, maximize exposure and reach with an integrated, omnichannel communication strategy. Also, make sure all customer touch points are linked through a common source (CRM, digital marketing platform) so you can attribute revenue to the proper medium.
By thinking outside the box and navigating into blue oceans, you can start to break the hold retail seasonality has on your brand and recognize untapped revenue potential.