Move over turkey, the main Thanksgiving event this year was travel.
After staying socially distanced, people wanted to see family and friends.
As a result, 48.3 million people drove and over 20 million people flew to be with family and friends for Thanksgiving according to CNN.
Snow quickly passed through New York City on Monday after the holiday travel rush. Unfortunately, it didn’t stay long enough to coat the streets white.
Actionable Marketing Lesson of the Week
► Do Black Friday and Cyber Monday Sales Still Work?
The weekend before Thanksgiving, my email inbox started getting stuffed with Black Friday and Cyber Monday Specials. At first, I thought those marketers hadn’t set their mailings properly.
After reading a few of these emails, I found that I was mistaken. Everyone had gotten the memo to start their holiday sales early.
The problem is when everyone does the same thing as you, you don’t get an advantage.
This isn’t marketing news. When research shows the “new” best day to send email, many marketers move their mailings to that day. In turn, this makes it harder to get attention for your message.
Instead, determine which day is best for your business and be consistent.
Here’s what the Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales yielded (Source):
- Consumers spread their holiday spending over a longer period of time. Over 60% of shoppers started holiday shopping before Thanksgiving.
- Compared to 2020, over half of shoppers found higher prices than last year and over one-third found fewer discounts. This makes sense given inventory issues.
- 2 out of 3 holiday shoppers found products they wanted to buy were out of stock. As a result, 40% of consumers switched products and 40% of consumers switched retailers.
Before you say “ouch” when you look at your own holiday sales, consider:
- The US economy has been “lumpy”. This means inventories and deliveries have been uneven due to problems with imports and shipping post-pandemic.
- Consumers started buying earlier this year to beat the rush for popular items and to avoid out-of-stock issues.
- Check the basis used as a point of comparison. The comparisons to 2020 were up and comparisons to 2019 were down.
There’s nothing your marketing can do to fix factors beyond your control like the overall economy. But you can improve on-boarding and retaining the customers you get! Over time, this can yield better sales.
Knowing that customers started purchasing earlier this year, allows you to reassess how you measure your holiday sales.
Change how you assess this year’s sales versus last year’s sales. Instead of looking at your Black Friday and Cyber Monday Sales compared to last year, compare your entire month of November against last year. Also, check October and November 2021 versus October and November 2020 to capture very early sales.
To assess how your sales are performing:
- Talk to your customers to see what they really want from you! Then modify your offering and marketing to meet their needs.
- Monitor your competitors’ offerings. Check out their website and sign up for their emailings using a personal email address.
- Analyze your sales performance over the last 3 years to see where you need to add special offers to entice customers during low sales periods.
► Talking Content Marketing Turkey
One of the mainstays of post-Thanksgiving meals is leftover turkey. Friends of mine make their own turkey even if they celebrate with relatives just to have the leftovers. My mother called it recycled turkey.
Rebecca Lieb first applied the term Thanksgiving turkey to content to illustrate how marketers could extend their budget by re-envisioning their existing content. Using tested content is less expensive and more likely to attract new users.
Orbit Media’s Andy Crestodina is also a fan of updating existing content. The 2021 Blogging Survey showed that more people use this approach to keep best existing content visible and viable.
What makes this year different?
Your audience does!
Over the past year, your customers, employees and others have changed and they’re ready for something new.
What does this have to do with Thanksgiving turkey?
They don’t want the same old content leftovers.
For your content marketing, this translates to going through your content marketing from the past year and re-imagining it for a post-COVID world. Any piece of content with a reference to COVID or the pandemic, at a minimum, needs a new headline.
Where your pandemic webinar Zooms are still relevant, edit them down to bite-size videos to attract visitors on social media and other owned outlets.
Okay–I’m dressing up a content audit as something brand spanking new. Because that’s what you have to do for your content marketing.
Even better, if you have a new member of your content marketing team, let them handle this project. Not because it’s a project no one wants to do. BUT rather this person will see your content with the fresh set of eyes that your content needs.
Actionable Content Marketing Tips:
- Add audio to your text and visual content. Attract a new audience that wants to listen to your content.
- Add text to your podcasts. Use machine translation and then edit the output to endure that it sounds like a person wrote it.
NYC Marketing Minute
► Holiday Market
The Holiday Market came back to Union Square this past weekend. It’s an array of festive booths chock full of unusual gifts. These sellers provide examples of micro-businesses.
Based on similar Holiday Markets in Europe, it is a tourist magnet. And it was packed last Saturday. The city closes off part of Union Square for the weekends between Thanksgiving and Christmas.
- Examine what other businesses and locations are doing for inspiration. As the hashtag #holidaymarket on Instagram shows, many locations have created events around this theme.
Many of these small businesses spend the year making the products they sell in the Holiday Market. They tap into their unique talents and current trends to create new products.
What makes these products stand out?
They’re unique and one-of-a-kind so buyers can’t find them anywhere else.
As a result, they don’t compete with products sold by large companies. So they do NOT compete based on price.
Actionable Marketing Tips:
- Create word-of-mouth beyond social media. Make your labeling and handouts work to get additional orders and promote your business. One vendor added their email address to their product labels.
- Take advantage of prime locations. Remember place is a key element of the 4Ps. So weigh the value of having more shoppers versus the cost of real estate. Since people visit the Holiday Market, the small owners don’t need to spend extra on advertising.
- Calculate your costs before setting your price. Unlike other products, these unique offerings get priced based on what people are willing to pay, not what competitors charge. So at a minimum, sellers need to cover their costs.
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.
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