How Holiday Planning Looks Different For Marketers And Advertisers In 2022

Question: Why Does Holiday Planning Look Different For Marketers And Advertisers In 2022?
Answer: ‘Seasonal’ Promotions Can Drive Sales All Year Long Now.

“Holiday sales and marketing have continued to expand well beyond Black Friday and Christmas, with holiday sales and promotions now starting in early fall and running through the New Year. In addition, Amazon Prime Days happen in the summer, which means there can essentially be promotions all throughout the year that drive consumer sales all year long.”
Jessica Hawthorne-Castro, Hawthorne Advertising

For the full article go to “How Holiday Planning Looks Different For Marketers And Advertisers In 2022” at Forbes.

10 Smart Ways To Leverage Seasonal Products And Retain Customers Year After Year

Holiday sales make up an outsized chunk of some retail businesses’ annual revenue, and without appropriate planning and preparation, they might fall short of their goals. When you have seasonal products to sell, an important key to ensuring your ledger is in the black post-holidays is to reach your target audience with a message that gets them excited about what you have to offer them—not only this year but every year.

Forbes Agency Council

Gaining the attention of potential new customers with seasonal ads and offers can be a good way to tempt them into doing business with you for the first time. Another way to boost end-of-year sales is to ensure repeat business from your existing customers by leveraging those same seasonal products. If you want to learn about other smart ways to draw in customers year after year with your seasonal offerings, the members of Forbes Agency Council share ten smart tips for doing so below.

1. Use Content To Create Affinity And Year-Round Relevance

Products may be seasonal, but brand loyalty isn’t. By leveraging a space—such as a blog, newsletter or social media channel—that provides helpful, practical, entertaining and empowering content related to your seasonal product or service, you create affinity for your brand and product by remaining relevant year-round. By staying connected, you ensure that you and your product remain top of mind. – Jonathan Schwartz, Bullseye Strategy

2. Retarget Customers With Post-Purchase Emails

Seasonal products can be an effective way to introduce a new audience to a brand. These instances allow brands to engage with new audiences and provide opportunities for them to retarget. It’s about managing these consumers after they’ve completed the purchase to convert them into new customers through post-purchase email marketing for your product catalog. – Albert Moufarrij, MACH9

3. Give Your Consumers A Reason To Purchase

Perhaps buying up front will entitle them to a discount, provide them with a value-added offer or even get them to commit to a subscription. Focus on the benefits that your company can provide all year round, rather than just the seasonal product. Your amazing customer service will also help retain your customer base. – Adrian Falk, Believe Advertising & PR

4. Consider Ways To Serve Them Beyond The Season

Approach every customer interaction, even seasonal ones, as the beginning of an ongoing relationship, not a one-off transaction. Consider how you can serve this client in other ways beyond the current season, and incorporate that messaging into the sales funnel when possible. – Hannah Trivette, NUVEW Web Solutions

5. Automate Outreach And Offer Promotions To Returning Customers

Start collecting and planning to leverage first-party data (with every purchase) so that you can proactively target this customer base with marketing automation and email technology. Not only can you reach out year after year, but you can also offer programmatic promotional codes to your loyal, returning customers and create higher lifetime customer value for a fraction of the cost! – Bernard May, National Positions

6. Intensify Media Campaigns Leading Up To Seasonal Events

Seasonal or event-related products—such as those for Back-to-School, Mothers Day, Fathers Day and so on—benefit from intensive media campaigns leading up to the event to support product sales. Once a customer recognizes your product for that holiday and time of year, they will refer back to your product line and you can expand into other options or gift-giving ideas. – Jessica Hawthorne-Castro, Hawthorne LLC

7. Listen To What Your Customers Are Asking For

How can you meet their needs and solve a problem while tying in new products (or launching new products) as seasons change and during the holidays? Brands need to make sure that they are listening to consumer and market needs. – Melissa Litchfield, Litchfield Media

8. Personalize Post-Purchase Pricing Offers For Upcoming Seasons

It’s important not to underestimate the value of loyalty and retention incentives, even for seasonal purchases. To improve retention, an effective strategy is to combine purchase data with the post-purchase communication opportunity to offer personalized pricing offers on upcoming seasonal products. – Chris Martin, FlexMR

9. Position The Product As A Need Rather Than A Want

Be smart about the way you are positioning the product. Although it may be seasonal, presenting the product as a need instead of a want will keep your customers coming back for more. – Spencer Hadelman, Advantage Marketing

10. Connect With Your Customers On A Personal Level

While the product may be seasonal, tie it into who the person or people behind the brand/product are. If people feel a personal connection, they will continue to follow and support you whether they need the next product or not. Tell your story and get yourself out there! – Zack Teperman, ZTPR

Eight challenges retailers should prepare for in the upcoming holiday season

The Business Journals

Like most industries, the world of retail was turned on its head when the Covid-19 pandemic struck in 2020. As the 2021 holiday season approaches, it brings with it a unique set of challenges for retailers to overcome.

While more shops and stores are open regularly and life is regaining a sense of normalcy, there are some things that the pandemic has changed for the foreseeable future. As retailers start laying the groundwork for the upcoming holiday shopping season, they should be aware of some of the specific challenges they need to prepare for. Below, eight members of Business Journals Leadership Trust share their best advice on how to prepare for the upcoming holiday season.

1. Enabling customers to spend more money.
Eliminate any obstacle that keeps customers from spending money or from spending more money on your products and services. One example I see is a resurgence of charging customers 3% for paying with a credit card. Also, not accepting every single brand of credit card available. I cringe when I hear, “We don’t accept American Express.” I believe the customer hears, “Go somewhere else and get my points.” – Vicki Wallace, Transworld Business Advisors of North Dallas/FortWorth

2. Bringing the human touch back into service.
A major challenge retailers need to prepare for is bringing the human touch back. Putting the human touch back into service will be key as we have become accustomed to distance and low-touch engagement. – Donna Michaels, LMGPR

3. Differentiating yourself from the online market.
I believe businesses must differentiate themselves from the online market. Think about why customers shop in your store. What experience makes seeing what they’re buying different from shopping online? – David Wescott, Transblue

4. Implementing a ‘buy online, pick up in-store’ strategy.
There’s such uncertainty about the upcoming holiday season as we watch Covid numbers closely and try to keep employees and customers safe. Retailers that haven’t yet shored up their e-tail game or launched a buy online, pick up in-store (BOPIS) strategy may find themselves at a disadvantage. Staffing for in-store shoppers is equally critical, with workforce shortages across the board. – Jen Vargas, JVComms

5. Getting consumers to holiday-shop early.
Retailers should start planning for an uncertain holiday season now. It’s likely consumers will want lots of options to shop, pay and receive their goods. Supply chain and shipping issues will likely continue for the 2021 season. Retailers should look to get consumers shopping early, before Thanksgiving, and offer incentives for getting their holiday gifts ahead of the rush. – Matt Rosen, Allata

6. Making sure you always have the best offer.
Retailers must be aware that customers can price shop while in a physical store or online and typically don’t wait for any Black Friday or Cyber Monday deals as they know promotions are ongoing. If you want your site or store to be the place where a consumer makes their final purchase of a product, make sure you have the best offer. – Jessica Hawthorne-Castro, Hawthorne Advertising

7. Enabling consumers to buy safely and with ease.
Retailers will want to make sure folks can purchase products safely and with ease. Have a strong online presence, offer delivery and/or pickup options and ready your resources to ensure these processes run smoothly. Now is the time to test processes to work out any glitches. For example, make sure to run tests from a desktop computer and a cell phone to verify that pictures, prices and menus have been uploaded correctly. – Jim Lane, Lane Technology Solutions

8. Dealing with supply chain issues and delays.
The biggest unexpected crisis for many retailers has been the supply chain and delays in getting products like major appliances into the hands of buyers. Retailers in many cases have limited ability to reduce these delays, but they can be upfront with consumers, explain the situation and offer some well-thought-out options. Help solve the problem rather than just being the bearer of bad news. – Scott Baradell, Idea Grove

How Brands Can Partner Up To Gain More Customers This Holiday Season

When two or more brands partner up in a special collaboration, the results can help them boost awareness of their products or services in new markets and potentially gain new customers. In the upcoming holiday season, brands that combine their marketing efforts can get their offerings in front of more consumers, capture the attention of those who are in the shopping spirit and drive business and increase fourth-quarter revenues.

To create the most effective co-branding strategy, brands must be able to lean on the strength of each other’s names and reputations, and ensuring this synergy requires careful planning and strategic thinking. Here, 12 members of Forbes Agency Council offer expert advice on how two brands can launch a symbiotic marketing partnership that will leave their companies in the black after the holiday shopping rush.

Forbes Agency Council

1. Start By Defining The Offering

What can two brands bring to the marketplace together? Does it make sense for the offering to be a cooperative initiative? Who would the ideal audience be? What retail or online channel would be ideal? And finally, will the offering be exciting enough to increase traffic in a retail store or online? Then, branding, planning and execution will dictate the success. – Peter Belbita, Noble House Media

2. Seek To Inspire Discovery And Joy

Find a partner that inspires discovery and unexpected joy for your customers. Coming out of the pandemic, people are vacillating between uncomfortable feelings of uncertainty stemming from a new sense of vulnerability and the idea of what is possible tomorrow, which could be different and better. As a result, they will be seeking to explore with familiar guardrails. – Cheryl Policastro, TPN

3. Pool Funds Into A Collective Budget

I once organized a holiday campaign for ten jewelers located in one mall. Each store contributed an equal percentage toward the total collective budget. The ads promoted the mall as the destination for holiday jewelry gifts, and each of the jewelers’ store names, showrooms and products were featured in the creative. Pooling their funds together created a more widespread campaign and significantly boosted sales. – Chelsey Pendock, Innovision Advertising

4. Bring Something Alluring To Consumers

When partnering up, one key question needs to be answered: What will the consumer get out of it? Partnerships between brands need to bring something alluring to consumers that will incentivize them to engage and shop with the partners. A unique product line or service is a great way to do this. – Lisa Montenegro, Digital Marketing Experts – DMX

5. Find The Right Collaboration

Find a company with the same audience as yours. If you’re a children’s clothing boutique, you could partner up with a toy store on an exclusive offer: “Buy a shirt, get a toy.” If you’re in a niche, find someone else in a niche. If you sell CBD products, partner with a pet shop to offer customers who buy CBD for their pets a discount on CBD for the owners, and vice versa. – Danny Star, Website Depot

6. Use Customer Insights To Inform The Strategy

Think about what your customers need and determine who to pair up with to create a “more complete” solution. Sometimes the best partners are not the obvious ones. Brainstorm around the customer experience journey and see what comes of it. You might be surprised by what you realize when you think about things from different angles. – Fran Biderman-Gross, Advantages

7. Avoid Loop Giveaways On Social Media

Some studies have found loop giveaways to be ineffective at growing an engaged audience. Instead, reach out to a couple (three max) of like-minded brands that have similar audience demographics to create a unique product or experience. Make the partnership small and limited, incentivizing your customers to take advantage of the limited opportunity. – Leila Lewis, Be Inspired PR

8. Team Up To Give Back To A Cause

With the holiday season comes increased generosity, and this provides your brand with an opportunity to team up with another company to give back to a cause—think about your local food pantry, an “angel tree” project or a homeless shelter—and mobilize customers to join in spreading the goodwill. This has the potential to introduce your brand to new customers and earn their trust in the process. – Sara Steever, Paulsen

9. Increase Value With Bundled Products

Providing customers with increased value by bundling products and offering them at reasonable prices is something that can bring in more customers this holiday season. By strategically partnering with the right brands and products, companies have the ability to acquire new customers at a much lower cost. – Jordan Edelson, Appetizer Mobile LLC

10. Make A Statement About Your Shared Core Beliefs

Making a statement about what your brand stands for and supporting that with cause marketing is proving to be quite effective with consumers. Identify a brand that shares that same core belief and join forces in bringing that message to consumers. – Lori Paikin, NaviStone®

11. Target Another Brand’s Complementary Service

Target a partner brand that features a complementary service your brand doesn’t currently offer but which would benefit the consumer. Approach the other brand with your idea and form a strategic partnership that’s ready to launch for the holiday season. – Jessica Hawthorne-Castro, Hawthorne LLC

12. Partner With Your Competitors

Partner with your competitors this holiday season to create one-of-a-kind collaborations. If you’re a vaping brand, pair your brand’s hardware with a competitor’s accessories. Fostering connections with competitors isn’t a bad thing, and customers will respect you for recognizing other brands’ strengths. – Evan Nison, NisonCo