With Labor Day sales behind them, retailers are now gearing up for the busy holiday season and are cautiously optimistic about what they hope to be the most profitable time of year. In the 2013 holiday season, 60 percent of retailers expect growth in excess of 10 percent, which lines up with industry forecasts.
As you plan your digital marketing strategy for the coming months, now is the time to evaluate your customer data and marketing efforts to ensure you’re getting the most bang for your buck — in four key areas.
1) Is your customer information complete?
Having incomplete or incorrect customer information can be just as bad as lacking any information at all, so be sure to capture any demographic data that’s particularly relevant to your products or industry. For example, one of our execs routinely receives email promotions from a leading shoe retailer, spotlighting purses and high heels. The problem is, he’s not into women’s shoes — which is exactly what he told the company when he called and asked for his profile to be changed.
If you sell products targeted toward a specific demographic, you want a marketing automation solution capable of collecting the relevant data and ensuring you’re only reaching out to your target audience.
2) Is your marketing relevant?
Capturing pertinent demographic data about your customers is just the starting point. What really strengthens and customizes your marketing efforts is tracking behaviors and delivering content based on these actions.
Another Silverpop leader has a teenage son who plays baseball. Each spring, he buys his son baseball equipment from the same sporting goods store. Yet, the company routinely sends him offers for ice hockey and lacrosse equipment, even though he’s never once purchased products for those sports or visited Web pages featuring them. Avoid this scenario and get to know your customers — their interests, preferences and purchase histories — by using behavioral marketing to reach out to them as individuals.
3) Is your information dated?
A popular baby store still sends me emails promoting infant products, despite the fact that my son is now well past his second birthday. This retailer’s data must show that I haven’t bought diapers or newborn clothes for quite some time, so why am I not receiving information about toddler clothes and toys? The store would benefit and reduce my frustration by using a unified digital marketing solution that assures all of its content is fresh and relevant to me as an individual.
4) Is your marketing forward-thinking?
Knowing what your customers want and need right now is great, but how can you use the data you’ve gathered to predict what they’ll need in the future? Maybe visiting Web pages for five different types of speakers within the course of an hour indicates a 10 percent likelihood to buy that day, but after a week the conversion rate dips to 1 percent. Or maybe if that prospective buyer visits those same five pages but also views a video on selecting the right speakers, the purchase rate increases to 25 percent. By using an advanced marketing platform that automatically ties behavioral data to special campaigns – and in some cases, tapping the power of a business intelligence or predictive analytics platform – you can identify customers who not only need your products or services today, but also down the road.
For more on how to get the most out of your digital marketing efforts, check out our white paper, “Creating Real-Time Individualized Campaigns Around Every Imaginable Behavior.” And stay tuned for more ideas about how to make this holiday season your most profitable one ever!
1) Ebook: “Print Money Today: 7 Emails Marketers Should Automate to Drive Massive ROI”
2) Blog: “Holiday Marketing Quick Tip: Include Shipping Options and Deadlines in Holiday Retail Emails”
3) Blog: “4 Tips for Fine-Tuning Your Holiday Approach This Year”