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The five phases of retail holiday marketing: Phase 4

Steve Olenski
Master Principal Sales Architect

Over the past 3 days we've touched on the different phases of holiday retail marketing.

On Monday, we discussed Phase 1: Pre-Holiday AKA the time before the onslaught of marketing messages and consumers making their lists and indeed, checking them twice. Some examples of these types of pre-holiday marketing ideas are Spring Black Friday and Christmas in July.

On Tuesday it was Phase 2: Black November, which covered the growing popularity among retailers to extend Black Friday into an entire month.

Yesterday saw Phase 3: Thanksgiving Weekend where we talked about that the entire weekend from Thursday to Sunday has become a prime time for retail marketers to get their holiday message to the masses.

Now before we get to today's phase, a word to the wise: Be sure to read this entire post for at the bottom is a special surprise for all retail marketers working on their holiday retail plan for 2014.

Ok enough of that, today it’s Phase 4: Countdown To Christmas

Ryan Hofmann, Director, Retail Industry Solutions, offers the following advice when it comes to this particular phase.

"The critical thing to remember in the Countdown to Christmas period is that shoppers always have on one primary question in the back and sometimes the forefront of their minds, 'Will I get my present in time for the holiday?' The key to success is to ensure clear communication on shipping cutoff dates everywhere, on the site, in email, and even via SMS and push notifications to maximize conversions, and then after they convert, allow them to opt for shipping and delivery notifications in more than just the email channel.

He adds that delivering messages via mobile during this crucial time carries an inherent value over other channels.

"SMS alerts and mobile push notifications that come immediately to my lock screen on my smartphone telling me my package has shipped and when it will arrive or that it has been delivered and is waiting for me on my doorstep are more valuable to me than an email notification that gets buried in my inbox, especially during this critical run up to the holiday cutoff."

Here are some examples that fall under the heading of Countdown To Christmas:

Countdown to Xmas 1

Countdown to Xmas 2

Countdown to Xmas 3

Surprise, Surprise 

In addition to breaking down the five phases of retail holiday marketing, we also have a very special bonus to help retail marketers plan for the upcoming 2014 holiday retail shopping season: A webcast, which was held about a month ago which is available for full download by clicking here.

Co-hosted by the aforementioned Ryan Hofmann, Director, Retail Industry Solutions and Wacarra Yeomans, Senior Director, Creative Services, the topics discussed dealt with key retail marketing strategies and tips holiday image 1for the upcoming holiday season. Hoffman and Yeomans explored the five stages of holiday retail digital communication, and how effective storytelling can be used to drive engagement throughout the entire season.

The webcast also included a deep-dive into leveraging purchase intent, social media and wishlists with key automations.

You can now watch and listen to the webcast in its entirety just by clicking right here. It’s that easy.

If you’re a retailer, time is definitely of the essence when it comes to holiday planning. So whether you already have a plan in place and just need some additional ideas or you haven’t even started your 2014 holiday marketing planning yet, you will want to watch this webcast.

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