Last year's holiday season conclusion was that the Internet stole Christmas. This year, all signs indicate that mobile is the new north star. With more than 50 percent of all web browsing done through mobile, this platform is a "make it or break it" arena for brands everywhere.
That said, a well-known marketing fact is that consumers rarely make a purchase the very first time they are exposed to a brand. Building a gradual process is the way to go, and marketers with more sales on their Santa wish list should already be hard at work this October. But if this is news to you, don’t panic. The following is a step-by-step timeline to get you ready for this holiday season.
October: The introduction stage
We all know how awkward it is when Christmas decorations hit stores early in October. You should keep that in mind in your mobile marketing efforts and know that while the purpose is to maximize Christmas sales, your first ads shouldn’t be so obvious. Keep your messaging broad and focus on storytelling instead of directly pushing your product or services.
Mobile is a relatively challenging platform for storytelling because user attention is constantly being pulled in multiple directions. So how can marketers combat that? One option is using rich media and creating clever video ads. For those who lack the required resources to creating video ads, GIFs will do the trick. Follow each ad with strong retargeting across various platforms to keep the momentum going and make sure your brand values gradually transmit.
Early to mid-November: The browsing stage
After getting your brand noticed by the right target audience, it’s time to make prospective customers link your brand with their shopping list. The way to do this by telling them more about the products and services you have to offer in an intriguing, visually stimulating way. Carousel ads on social networks, especially those that are more visual based, are perfect for that. Don't forget to invite customers to visit your social page or mobile website in order to take things to the next level.
You must keep in mind that at this point, consumers still aren’t ready to purchase and therefore, you shouldn’t be offering them a specific item or include a call to action, but rather show them a wide array of products. This way, the next time you target these users they’ll have a better sense of your brand, what it has to offer and what it is that they’re looking for.
Late November to December: The purchasing stage
It’s time! After investing in brand awareness and remarketing, your audience is now receptive for a clear call to action. At this point, you should already have collected enough data and information about hyper-segments of your target audience to enable a specific offer based on consumers’ interests. Such personalized advertising ensures your ads are effective and generate more sales.
An extra boost that pushes users to respond to your call to action is the use of coupons, and there’s valuable stats to prove it. Three out of four shoppers say they’ll make use of a coupon they receive in the mail, and more than half of shoppers will visit a brand’s website in order to search for one. Using mobile technology, not only can you tell which consumers will be interested in coupons, but also what kind of coupons they’d be looking for.
Everything you do from this point on is detrimental to consumer retention. If the mobile commerce experience you offer was positive and enjoyable, consumers will keep coming back. Remember: a solid mobile strategy could turn this holiday season to a sales launchpad for your brand and is the single most important thing your marketing team should be doing right now. Get started and good luck!