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How Retailers Can Make The Most of the Holidays – Part 1

How Retailers Can Make The Most of the Holidays

The holidays change people. Someone’s otherwise stoic Aunt Jane turns into a stand-up comedian and someone’s otherwise sober Uncle Reginald becomes a lush. But the holidays also change how people consume content and make buying decisions. We’ve worked with a host of retailers to help them analyze their data in order to identify⎯and adjust to⎯these holiday anomalies and surprises.

Let’s talk turkey for a moment, but know that the fundamentals of this case apply to every retailer, whether you’re selling women’s jeans, electronics or hammers. Last year, our client had planned to invest in a sizeable marketing effort focused on Thanksgiving and, specifically, “the center of the plate,” meaning the turkey. This client had a right to play in this space, so why not, right? The bird is the star of the show and it’s what most Thanksgiving cooks focus their skills on⎯and spend their time preparing. The initial plan was to offer consumers lots of turkey-focused recipes and advice. Everyone assumed that our target hungered for such content. A look at the data, however, proved otherwise.

Our study of search metrics, website analytics and social listening helped us appreciate that our client’s consumer felt she had the turkey well under control. That’s not where she wanted and needed the help. What the target did want, however, was assistance with just about everything else, specifically how to get it all done without completely stressing out. With this in mind, we created content focused on appetizers and desserts (with options for both newbie and seasoned cooks), as well as general information about managing holiday pressures. Our campaign⎯which included paid search, banners, content recommendations and other elements⎯outperformed previous holiday metrics by more than 10%.

Another way in which consumers’ mindsets change during the holidays is how they perceive value. As an example, we helped one of our clients appreciate that their price-sensitive consumer was far less so during the holidays. Savings messages didn’t engage this audience nearly as much as notions of impressing. It’s not that people aren’t interested in savings; it’s just that the “mental calculus” for many consumers changes during the holidays and they’re willing to spend more, be that on others or themselves.

How do the holidays change how your consumer thinks and behaves? The answers are in your data and we would be happy to help you find them. There’s still time to make this holiday season your brand’s best ever.