The holidays are in full swing in New York City.
At the heart of Rockefeller Center, the traditional massive tree attracts locals and tourists.
It was so crowded police blocked vehicle traffic but still pedestrians couldn’t move.
This year’s tree caused a stir since a live tree was cut down and many residents wanted to use an artificial structure. As a result, the tree will be recycled when it is taken down.
Actionable Marketing Lesson:
- Listen to your audience.
Actionable Marketing Lesson of the Week
► Social Media Sells
If you think that social media is just for branding, then think again. 4Q2021 research from SproutSocial revealed the following about social commerce:
65% of participants made purchases directly through social media platforms. By 2023, US retail social commerce sales are forecast to increase to over $55 billion.
To get the maximum results, use a variety of social media and non-social media marketing tactics. Among those cited by Sprout Social were organic social media postings, paid social media ads and relevant hashtags.
Further, listen to what customers say about how they use social media to make their shopping decisions:
- 34% of customers use social media to learn about products, services and brands. This includes purchases of clothes, jewelry, cosmetics and more.
- 4 out of 5 are more likely to purchase on a social media platform if they’re familiar with a brand. Even better, they learn about brands and their products on social media sites.
Actionable Social Media Tip:
- Use a mix of organic and paid social media to attract audience attention. Among the top performing options are user-generated content, use of videos and photographs to show “How To’s”, and pricing including coupons and savings.
► Thanksgiving Sells
Beyond turkey and travel, Thanksgiving signals the start of holiday shopping in the US. Concerned about lumpy inventory and/or recession, both shoppers and retailers started their holiday season early.
Adobe Analytics found that retailers extended Thanksgiving shopping without necessarily increasing sales. Instead of big sales boosts on Black Friday and Cyber Monday, sales were spread out from the Wednesday before Thanksgiving through Cyber Monday, the Monday after Thanksgiving.
Note that this chart doesn’t include sales from Monday and Tuesday when a number of businesses tried to get a jump on the holiday. Since this year, the Jewish holiday of Hanukah started on the Sunday evening of Thanksgiving weekend.
Interestingly, consumer spending on gifts remains close to last year and slightly down from 2019. The biggest holiday spending falloff is “other non-gift” purchases which remained flat with 2020. This makes sense since these purchases include meals, wine and other food gifts. With concerns about the pandemic, people continued to cut back on these purchases.
NYC Marketing Minute
► Holiday Dressing
As one of the 4Ps, place is important.
So, ensure that your retail presence drives more than sales. Use it to build your brand and provide a customer experience worth visiting.
To appreciate how to use your location to build your brand and increase revenues, examine how the major Fifth Avenue stores dress up for Christmas.
The flagship stores between 42nd and 59th Streets transform Fifth Avenue into a holiday wonderland. They put on their glimmering holiday finery.
After going dark in 2020, these stores went all out this year! Many added LED lights to pump up the colored rainbow. Together they form a must-see destination. And the crowds including buyers lined up outside the top stores.
To help Instagrammers, stores created sidewalk displays. So people lined up to take photos which included branding and related hashtags. This expands your reach on social media.
Saks Fifth Avenue still remains the jewel in the holiday crown. They created a holiday card of colored lights that created a display to Handel’s Messiah and played on a regular basis. They were smart to incorporate their name into the lights so that it showed in the videos passersby took.
Actionable Marketing Take-Aways:
- Create a holiday tradition by working with other local businesses.
- Incorporate your name and branding into your window presentation.
When I was at The Economist, we didn’t post new articles during the last 2 weeks of the year since most of the editorial staff took off for Christmas. (#Truth!) Instead we ran a selection of longer pieces that highlighted the major themes of the past year. Yet, to my surprise, while they attracted less visitors, they spent more time on site.
Similarly, I do this with the books I read. I use December to catch up on the best marketing books of the year.
Here are 3 books that I read earlier this year. I believe that they’re worth your reading and attention.
♦ The Ultimate Marketing Engine by John Jantsch
Small business expert John Jantsch shares his smarts with readers to help them improve their marketing results. While this book is based on Jantsch’s experience with small businesses, it can be applied to your business regardless of size.
♦ Renegade Marketing by Drew Neisser
Drew Neisser collects his B2B marketing knowledge in this slim, easy-to-read edition. Neisser applies his creativity to the knowledge he’s amassed over the years. It’s a great example of how to borrow an existing framework to your content. Neisser uses the well-known “12 Step Process”.
♦ You Have More Influence Than You Think by Vanessa Bohns
This book isn’t really marketing-focused but don’t let that fool you. Bohns is a social psychologist and understands what makes people tick. This book is a must-read if you want to get into the mind of your audience and your customers.
New Posts on the Actionable Marketing Guide:
Then check out this list of top marketing books recommended by the experts to reduce your shopping time.
Plan Ahead: Mark Your Calendar
► December 7-8 – Voice 2021 in Arlington, Virginia. Find out how conversational AI is Transforming the Customer Experience.
► December 9 – Gathering Business Intelligence On The Alexa Ecosystem. A Special One-Hour Amazon Alexa / Project Voice Event – Noon ET / 9am PT. Register for this free online event.
► December 14 – Wine & Webinar. Orbit Media’s monthly get-together. This month, Andy Crestodina welcomes special guest: Spin Sucks CEO, Gini Dietrich. From 5 to 6pm CT.
Welcome new subscribers: Catlin, Milena, King, Alex and Evgenia.
Please stay healthy and safe.
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P.S.: Want Heidi Cohen to contribute a quote or other commentary to your next article, presentation, video, research and/or book? Then hit reply to this email and ask.