The Oracle Data Cloud blog highlights the latest data-driven insights and trends in digital marketing and ad tech.

For retailers, winning the holiday season is not enough

This week's guest blog post is contributed by Grace Zwaan, Head of Marketing for Oracle Data Cloud’s Retail, Restaurant & Travel verticals.

Retailers pull out all the stops for the winter holiday season, when consumers open their wallets and increase spend across the board.

While focusing on this time of year is essential, retailers often rely on that six-week push to make up for any rough patches throughout the year. But if you follow this approach, you’re making a mistake.

Not just reserved for the holiday season, retailers should place as much focus on their digital marketing campaigns during the year to differentiate themselves, beat competitors and take market share.

By creating a full-year strategy fueled by data, you guarantee better outcomes for your bottom line.

In 2016, seasonal spending for winter holidays, back-to-school and other key seasonal events accounted for almost $830B in consumer spend.

While this amount is significant, the dollars from these events only make up 17 percent of the $4.785T in annual consumer retail spend.

The takeaway? Marketers need to stay on top of their game all year.

Where should you start?

1. Use third-party data to:

  • Learn more about your customer.

Who they are, where they go, how they spend and what life stages they are entering.

By understanding more about your customer, you can speak to them in the most relevant, impactful way that aid in driving favorable results for your campaigns.

  • Identify signals from your top customers and find new audiences that look like them.

Start with a seed audience of your best customers and tap into proprietary modeling methods to find users with similar behaviors and characteristics.

Serve up relevant messaging and creative to these prospects to drive them down the funnel.

  • Conquest your competitors.

In today’s volatile retail industry, if you don’t have a solid strategy around stealing share from your competition, you will fall behind. First, identify those who may be spending with competitors.

Perhaps you have your eye on a competitor who is rolling out a similar product to yours. Next, create a relevant offer with eye-catching creative that outlines your value proposition and benefits.

Finally, reach the right users without compromising scale to win over as many customers from other brands as possible.

  • Connect customers across all of their devices.

On average, consumers have 5 devices and 25+ IDs. This makes marketing and accurate measurement a complex challenge.

You may think you’re reaching a mom in-market for apparel when you are actually reaching her teenage son on the family computer. Using an ID graph will alleviate these issues and ensure a unified view for accurate reach and measurement.

2. Focus on post-holiday lessons to fuel your 2018 strategy.

By uncovering what channels and audiences drove the highest performance, you are poised to start the year with lessons to guide you. Take these insights and continue to optimize.

The holidays are always a time of upmost importance for retail marketers as consumer spend spikes.

However, in today’s ultra-competitive retail climate, it’s critical to have a strong full-year plan informed by data. Used in the right way, data is the key to beating your competition.

Ready to start 2018 with your best foot forward?

Contact The Data Hotline today with retail marketing questions. (What's The Data Hotline?)

About Grace Zwaan

Grace is Head of Marketing for Oracle Data Cloud’s Retail, Restaurant & Travel verticals. She runs marketing initiatives that support revenue growth through sales enablement, thought leadership, events and customer programs. 

Grace has more than seven years of experience in marketing and digital media and enjoys following trends and best practices to inform successful marketing programs.

Stay up to date with all the latest in data-driven news by following @OracleDataCloud on Twitter and Facebook!

Image: Shutterstock  

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