Each month, Street Fight sources experts insights from the businesses in our ecosystem on our theme. This month’s theme is the Hybrid Holidays, and our experts share their takes on mobile strategy, interactive advertising, customer service, and empathetic messaging.
Sheeva Banton, AdColony’s VP of Sales, West, on Mobile Strategy
Brands need to know how and where to advertise. Based on what we learned last year, mobile is the prime place to gain potential shoppers. Time spent on smartphones skyrocketed in 2020, solidifying consumer dependence on e-commerce. As it turns out, consumer commitment to mobile shopping remains strong, so this year’s holiday shopping season offers brands an opportunity to strengthen marketing and advertising tactics within the mobile space.
Our recent data shows that 81% of consumers shop online and get products delivered, with only 13% saying they’re planning on shopping in-store this holiday season. Our data also highlights that shopping on mobile in-app is the preferred way to shop. Therefore, brands should focus their advertising and marketing efforts towards that sphere as consumers have developed specific preferences for online shopping.
In terms of preparation, there’s now more than ever a need for brand websites and apps to be prepped, polished and ready to go. Consumers have made it clear that they prefer the ease of adding to cart without leaving their home. If an app loses that simplicity, it’ll lose the customer, too.
Tod Loofbourrow, CEO, ViralGains, on Interactive Advertising
A recentMcKinsey study revealed that 75% of US consumers have changed their shopping behavior during the pandemic, with 40% percent saying they have changed brands. This means it’s more critical than ever for brands to rethink how to leverage their digital advertising as we head into the holiday season.
The most successful advertisers are incorporating interactive elements into their digital advertisements, breaking away from the standard advertising model of simply talking at consumers, and instead using interactive digital advertising to talk with consumers. Instead of simply driving awareness or driving site traffic, brands can then deliver powerful campaigns based on consumer engagement and feedback.
By leveraging two-way conversation, brands are capturing real-time customer sentiment and preferences to get valuable insight, while also creating an enhanced experience for the consumer. Interactive advertising boosts brand loyalty in a competitive marketplace during the holidays but also provides the brand marketers with stronger insights to inform wider business strategies, no matter the KPIs. If marketers aren’t doing this during such a peak part of the sales season, they’re not only wasting their media budget, but also losing out on the opportunity to convert customers for life.
Jim Johnson, VP, Account Planning, VDX.tv, on Serving Customers
No one in the retail industry offers more potential upside to a single transaction or recurring customer lifetime value than a floor associate with an in-depth knowledge of products, inventory, and the ability to interpret a customer’s needs and respond with relevant solutions. As retailers prepare for the holidays, their digital marketing solutions should follow suit.
One challenge this season will be ensuring inventory is managed correctly across the multiple sales channels that have been a lifeline over the past 18 months, including e-commerce and third-party marketplaces. An API that tracks real-time inventory across sales channels should be plugged into digital marketing creative based on local availability and sales volume. This ensures less friction during fulfillment for shoppers no matter how they choose to buy.
Further, household targeting amplifies the ‘digital floor associate’ strategy, allowing marketers to develop localized creative for their most native use cases by device, such as connected TV ads to introduce new products, video units with shoppable functionality and APIs for store locations, and mobile creative with one-click fulfillment based on local inventory. Sometimes the old way is still the best way, and digital marketers would do well to learn from the best in the business.
Stewart Barrett, Head of Growth, Upflowy, on Empathy in Marketing and Management
The holidays bring about an opportunity for many to gear down when it comes to their work. Often many are excited for time off, but the stresses from work can prevent them from disconnecting. As far as mental health is concerned, this change of mindset is important for staff. The messaging to staff over this period should be all about disconnecting and unwinding. The business should be prepared for all outcomes to make the life for staff over the break easier.
When it comes to messaging customers over this period, make sure to provide genuine value, not necessarily about your product, but engage with your audience about the context they’re experiencing. Do not be the company that is talking deals during the holidays; people will see you as the telemarketer calling during dinner. Use your brand identity, use your brand voice to contribute to the social conversation that is happening, use this time to connect to your audience. Be genuine and authentic. People will see through cookie cutter messages and copy, so express the real sentiment you wish to express.”
This article originally appeared on Street Fight.