Marketing expert Laryssa Wirstiuk talks about last minute vacation strategies for a successful advertising campaign.
What do you think is the biggest challenge for retailers trying to establish a marketing strategy this holiday season?
This may not necessarily apply to all retailers, but one challenge I see this year actually relates to the supply chain and shipping delays, which in turn affects marketing. Many retailers are unable to meet holiday demand or have to take holiday orders very early to ensure holiday delivery. Circumstances are forcing retailers to run a holiday marketing campaign earlier than usual, which could wear consumers down.
Another challenge is the rapid evolution of social media marketing and advertising. Retailers scramble to keep up with all changes on platforms like Instagram and Facebook while producing relevant and engaging content to ensure they stay on their followers’ feeds.
Should retailers invest their marketing efforts in digital first, even if customers are showing signs of wanting to return to stores?
Definitely yes. Even if customers come back to the stores, they are probably still doing their initial research and planning online. They want to compare prices and options from the comfort of their own homes on their digital devices before they venture into a store. Consumers expect retailers to be everywhere they are, including on a website, live chat, email, social media, and more. It is important that retailers adopt the multi-touch approach.
Do you think the holiday season is always the turning point for retailers?
It depends on each retailer, but in general I would say “yes”. Many jewelry retailers rely on gift giving opportunities to motivate the consumer to buy. Bridal jewelry retailers and retailers with easier-to-buy items may not have this problem, but most traditional jewelry stores will experience the most traffic and interest during the holidays.
What targeted marketing strategies would you recommend?
I would definitely recommend a combination of email marketing and SMS (text message) marketing, the latter not being used often enough by jewelry retailers in my opinion. This combination really puts the power of data back in the hands of the retailer, since they don’t have to be at the mercy of social media algorithms. With these two approaches, they can communicate with customers in a more personalized, controlled and immediate way. Both of these channels also provide opportunities to share valuable content, such as useful and educational blog posts.
What innovative initiatives have you seen that have proven to be successful in previous years?
Hosting a vacation-themed in-person event is always a great way to improve the customer experience, create a vacation vibe, and inspire customers to shop in general. A festive in-store event encourages people to come in and enjoy the atmosphere, especially if refreshments and entertainment are involved. I don’t know about you, but once I try on a few jewelry I’m much more likely to buy something than if I were just browsing photos or videos online.
Any other tips you would like to share?
I just think it’s more important to be creative instead of wondering what the “magic pill of marketing” will be. How to wow and dazzle your customers? What have you never tried before and can do this year? How do you push the boundaries a little and get people talking? This will force business owners to step away from the status quo and have a brainstorming session. They will need to be prepared to experiment and be open to the unknown.
Article from Rapaport Magazine – November 2021. To subscribe click here.