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December 23, 2020

Holiday Marketing Do’s & Don’ts & for 2020: Holiday Marketing Guide

Winter is here and so is the holiday season. Unlike most years, 2020 brings an unusual holiday season with the economy still inching towards normalcy and businesses still striving to get back to pre-covid numbers. Many holiday traditions will notice a change and may look different this year as the digital side of celebrating these holidays embraces a new character. Despite all the uncertainty, we believe that the spirit of the holiday season will be stronger than ever. People will want to connect with each other, physically or virtually, and celebrate the holidays together.

Here is a look at some Do’s & Don’ts for planning Marketing Campaigns this holiday season:

Do’s

  • Optimize and ensure a solid Mobile Marketing and Omnichannel strategy is set in place before driving any marketing campaigns for your products/ services. According to Adobe’s 2019 Holiday Recap, 84% of e-commerce growth accounted for in the holiday season in the United States was carried out through smartphones. A holistic plan intending to cover all touchpoints performs comparatively better.
  • Focus on emotion-driven messaging. Holidays are all about emotion. Campaigns with emotional content perform better than rational content. It would help to build extremely relevant campaigns around offers/deals.
  • Customization. Curate offers/ deals with easy to gift ideas. Simplify the process and enhance the customer experience by providing curated gift ideas. People tend to pick the most relevant and cost effective options while shopping online.
  • Improve navigation on your website. Ensure website navigation and overall UI/ UX is on point and ready to take on holiday web traffic.
  • Let social media influencers take your brand to new levels. Partner with influencers to maximize branding and create quirky, byte sized content which is engagement worthy.
  • Last but not the least, leverage email marketing. The forever golden marketing channel is particularly effective for sending targeted campaigns to customers who have already shown an interest in your brand

Don’ts

  • Not planning for the influx of orders. Nothing can disappoint customer experience quite like poor website navigation, checkout experience and unpreparedness for handling bulk of orders during a sale season.
  • Lack of live chat and support. Having a conversational AI Chatbot tool on your website can help with delivering a seamless customer experience.
  • Not leveraging social media engagement strategies to reach the masses.
  • Focusing on just one channel and expecting sales to spike. A holistic omnichannel strategy is key for any ecommerce business. 87% of retailers recognize the omnichannel marketing strategy as crucial for their business.
  • Being lazy and going with one blanket deal viz. 50% off across the board.

Marketing Strategies to Implement for Holiday Season 2020

As a marketer you need to ensure your campaigns are focused on joy, togetherness and celebrations. Holidays usually revolve around emotions and human connection. Marketers need to keep in mind how the emotional turmoil this year has already impacted us and prepare their marketing strategies accordingly for the holidays. Here are a few:

  • Focus on Digitization: Adopting digital channels are the obvious choice for retailers. Online retail sales were higher in June compared to the pre-pandemic average in February.
  • Increased relevance of curbside pick-ups: Contactless delivery is the key; customers look forward to brands that take optimum safety measures which eventually also builds trust. Curb side pick-ups are going to be huge this holiday season to avoid the in-store rush and the waiting lines.
  • Leverage geofencing to target users where they are: During the holiday season, take your marketing initiatives to the next level by geofencing potential customers within a specific geographic radius. This is particularly effective for targeting users who might be traveling home or elsewhere during the holiday season.
  • Attract users by setting up in-app offer zones: Showcase the exciting offers and amazing deals you’re providing during the holiday season by setting up an offer zone inside your app.

Past Holiday Marketing and Social Media Trends

  • With the highest share of customers and purchases in India in 2019, Amazon’s Great Indian Festival clocked record sales of 7.5 billion rupees in the premium smartphone category.
  • In Southeast Asia, Alibaba’s Singles Day Sale recorded revenues of $38.4 billion in 2019.
  • In 2019, Cyber Monday recorded a sale of $9.4 Billion in the United States.
  • Estimated revenues of $3.9 billion were generated from Black Friday sales in Australia in 2019.
  • 106 million emails were sent on Cyber Monday with 95 million emails sent on Thanksgiving.
  • 64% of holiday revenues generated through social media in 2019 in the United States came from smartphone users. Marketers allocated 25% of their holiday marketing budget to social media marketing in 2018.

(Source: MoEngage Holiday Marketing Guide )

While this year does bring its challenges and may not have the usual holiday cheer, we strive to come out stronger by keeping the festive spirit alive. Let the holiday cheer begin!


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Unnathi is a marketer with a passion for learning anything new and indulging in various cultures while travelling. She enjoys a good read and a cup of coffee any time of the day.

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