The turkey has been carved (well almost), the plastic bin of holiday decorations has made its way up the basement stairs, eggnog is your new drink of choice, and retailers around the world are ready to implement their holiday marketing strategy. Thanksgiving means one thing for retailers: Black Friday is around the corner. People will finish their turkey and venture to their favorite stores, scouring the racks and waiting in lines looping outside into the cold. While you are saving a buck, retail stores like Target are skating in the sales. This wonderful time of the year, might have you wondering: How are these businesses marketing themselves during the holiday season? What’s the best strategy?

Peace, Joy & E-commerce
According to an article by Ad Age, steep discounts alone is not the key to success. With the digital world continuously on the rise, retailers will need to focus on effective digital marketing strategies to bring in profit cheer this year. While many consumers will brave shopping crowds, many will opt to skip the lines and feel just as merry shopping online from the comfort of their own home. The stress-free environment of shopping in your reindeer slippers by the fireplace gives you a whole new outlook on holiday shopping. The convenience of shopping anytime and anywhere is a gift for all.

A Holly Jolly Loyal Consumer
For retailers, it does not stop at e-commerce. Retailers and businesses alike need to get to know their customers. What holidays do they celebrate? When will they be shopping? What strategies and or products are appealing to them?

An article by Ad Age offers some insight on collecting the right data.

Go beyond known transactional data and incorporate data such as cross-device engagement metrics and web browsing history as well as compiled insights around shoppers’ attitudes and aspirations, to help foster even deeper connections. To be most successful, retailers must recognize and speak to people as individuals; not cookies, segments or devices.

Companies need to leave the cookies for Santa, and create a personal connection with their target audience.

‘Tis the Season of Co-Branding
A personal connection between retailer and consumer is a win-win for both parties. The customer feels a sense of loyalty which speaks volumes for a retailer’s profit. Co-branding is another great tip for a jolly retail campaign. Brand partnerships increase loyalty. For example, as the customer purchases vegetable soup mix for their favorite holiday dip, a friendly reminder to not forget the sour cream needed for the recipe will help “sleigh” sales.

Sleigh Bells Ring, Socials Listening
Social media should already be a part of your marketing strategy, however, during the holidays, you should look to leverage their presence. This will increase traffic and drive sales. Offering promotions, announcing sales and engaging followers are simple steps every business should follow (pun intended). Posts should be creative and should engage the audience. The audience should be inclined to share posts, comment, use your company hashtag and get others to participate as well. Incorporate holiday cheer in your messaging with holiday gift ideas, fun holiday photos, or a simple company blog post on holiday tips.

The holidays create a wonderful opportunity for retail businesses and all companies to launch a very merry marketing campaign. As long as you personalize your customer’s experience, consider co-branding, and “sleigh” social: success awaits.