As businesses of all sizes approach the end of the year, retailers are pushing hard to grasp their customer’s attention with effective holiday marketing campaigns and hit their end-of-the-year targets.
However, to break through the clutter, small-to-medium businesses (SMBs) are seeking innovative ways to compete with industry giants and place their brand at the forefront of their target’s top of mind. Due to their practicality, SMBs usually count on less staff and less budget to build their campaigns. The following tips will help small businesses optimize efforts and convey value to their target audience as they prepare and forecast quick wins for this holiday season.
1. Experiment with new marketing technologies
The proliferation of marketing technologies has made it easier for small businesses to access helpful tools and platforms to help scale their business. Since there are a plethora of apps and platforms available, most of these are free or have a very low or zero cost of entry. The timing couldn’t be better for SMBs to start experimenting and reach more customers easier and faster:
- Buffer: This platform helps schedule social media posts on different platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and Linkedin, offering up to 10 free posts per week.
- Google Analytics: If you’re not already tracking your website activity and engagement, you’re missing out on opportunities to enhance your customer journey. After all, how can you improve if you don’t track it? Google Analytics help measure your current marketing strategy’s success and helps you leverage or highlight the sites (pages) with the most interactions and traffic. Once identified, you can replicate the strategy in other key sites and gain a greater understanding of your visitors.
- Canva: Visual marketing helps grasp your target audience’s attention and stand out against your competition. Canva helps marketers improve their design and visual marketing with free templates and optimized sizes for any social media platform, website heading, or other elements needed.
- MailChimp: While SMBs start building their email list, MailChimp helps ease this process allowing them to create and send surveys, tags and basic audience segmentation.
- Mobiz: A mobile marketing platform that helps build and send effective personalized SMS landing pages at scale, helping to boost engagement and receive insightful analytics to build your customer database.
2. Create unique, limited-time offerings
Nothing catches a customer’s eye more than a good deal on a product or service. That’s why it’s highly effective to offer special discounts to make your clients feel valued and acknowledged. This will help build your marketable audience and start solidifying your loyalty program.
However, your messaging and strategy should go beyond just a special offer. Tailor the message to engage with your audience and build a meaningful relationship. The rewards of a personalized offer are heavily reflected in sales, proving to be a cost-effective solution. Currently, out of the $140 billion to $200 billion that vendors and retailers spend in trade and shopper marketing, only 5% of that amount is spent on personalized offers. Yet, shifting their focus and investment to personalized offers can potentially generate top-line growth of more than $70 billion in increased annual revenue.
3. Focus on the shopping experience
One of consumers’ dramatic and lasting behavioral changes during the pandemic was heavy e-commerce use and digital-first marketplace adoption, forcing businesses to respond by focusing on the retail and shopping experience itself and not just the special on the item.
For example, Solfire, a small Brooklyn-based retail shop, offers their customers a juice and smoothie bar along with a “fitness oasis” where clubs can meet and exercise. The ultimate goal is to provide high-quality products and deeply connect with individuals who are passionate about fitness and wellness. This community-centered approach allows like-minded individuals to stay connected and up-to-date with the brand and their community, building a near-perfect engagement rate.
4. Omnichannel experiences
Today’s modern shopping environment includes multiple key components, from curbside pickups to online shopping and in-store collection. The e-commerce channel, for instance, has become an extension of brick-and-mortar shops where about 98% of customers are constantly switching devices throughout the day. This means that businesses need to focus on simplifying the customer journey experience by integrating multiple channels seamlessly where shoppers can quickly move from one device to the next, whether it’s digital or in-store, completing purchases and receiving their items at any location.
5. Ask for direct feedback
Who better than your customer to know what sort of discount or product deal would best fit their needs and prompt a sale? Not only does direct communication help build a strong customer relationship, but you’ll be able to craft specials to suit your target’s needs and pockets. Obtaining your customer’s opinion is an effective way to properly enrich your customer data to push personalization and send tailored and relevant promotions, which have proven to be an effective marketing strategy to boost sales.
End-of-the-year sales quite often pressure and push businesses to innovative and practical strategies to help boost their sales. Whether it’s through gathering valuable consumer insights and properly implementing personalization techniques and messaging to enhance the shopping and retail experience, small businesses have an opportunity to score big this holiday season. SMBs don’t necessarily need a huge budget and staff to compete with industry giants. Following these simple tips can surely help guarantee a successful closing and season.