The 2012 holiday marketing checklist

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1 Unwrap key trends and insights for a successful holiday shopping season An Experian white paper

2 Introduction The 2012 holiday season is just around the corner and retailers are gearing up for this most wonderful time of the year. Smart marketers know that in order to effectively engage consumers during the holiday shopping season and drive strong results, they must identify their most valuable customers and target them with highly personalized and dynamic messaging. Experian Marketing Services recently asked marketing professionals to share their 2011 holiday marketing campaigns results and dive into their upcoming plans for the 2012 holiday season. The results below will help marketers unwrap trends and insights for this season.

3 Holiday season results in 2011 Once upon a holiday season Let s look back at the 2011 holiday season. For the first time ever, Cyber Monday (the Monday after Thanksgiving) surpassed Black Friday as the biggest online shopping day of the year, growing from 138 million visits to 177 million visits to Experian s Retail 500 index, a custom category of 500 leading retail Websites. As background, this relatively new holiday was first introduced in 2005 by Shop.org to help boost e-retailer sales. As more retailers began to offer online discounts, holiday sales on Cyber Monday began to increase year over year. Another opportunity for marketers is the day after Christmas. Experian Hitwise data showed significant growth in visits to retail sites on this day from 2010 to Consumers also took advantage of discounts and sales that retailers promoted following Christmas. Identifying these trends in holiday shopping days will help marketers prepare for the upcoming season and leverage promotions and discounts to better compete during this pivotal retail season. 200,000,000 Daily holiday shopping milestones 150,000, M M M M M M M Daily visits 100,000, M 86.94M 87.21M 50,000,000 0 Day after Christmas Christmas Cyber Monday Black Friday Thanksgiving 2010 Retail Retail 500 Source: Experian Hitwise An Experian white paper Page 1

4 Tis the season for According to marketers surveyed by Experian Marketing Services, marketing trumped all other tactics as the most successful initiative during the 2011 holiday season. Of the 84.2 percent who used marketing, 95.8 percent reported that their campaigns were successful, with 54.2 percent reporting extremely or very successful marketing campaigns. Additionally, 92.9 percent plan to increase or maintain the same level of investment for the 2012 season. One reason why continued to reign in 2011 was the rise in flash sale deals offered by retailers (think Groupon). Experian CheetahMail data showed there were 31 percent more flash sale campaigns in 2011 than in In addition to , paid search and online display advertising rounded out the top three most successful tactics of the 2011 holiday season. Respectively, 48.9 percent and 34.8 percent of marketers who used these tactics reported extremely or very successful campaigns. 50% Top three extremely or very successful marketing tactics of 2011 holiday marketing campaigns 40% 30% 40.4% 31.5% 25.9% 29.8% 31.5% 33.3% 20% 16.7% 15.8% 16.7% 14.8% 10% 5.3% 9.3% 3.7% 5.3% 7.4% 3.5% 3.7% 5.6% 0% Extremely successful Very successful Moderately successful Slightly successful Not at all successful Didn't use last year marketing Paid search marketing Online display advertising Source: Experian Marketing Services Page holiday marketing checklist: Unwrap key trends and insights for a successful holiday shopping season

5 Challenges with social media marketing Success rates of campaigns in free social channels like Facebook pages, Twitter feeds and Pinterest boards were not as high as the tactics discussed above during the 2011 holiday season. Regardless, very few marketers were willing to decrease investment in these channels moving forward. In fact, the majority 90.2 percent for Facebook, 74.5 percent for Twitter and 67.3 percent for Pinterest plan to increase or maintain the same level of investment this upcoming holiday season. This may be due in part to the newness of these channels, as well as how marketers define success. Marketers may still be learning how to attribute revenue to these social channels; however, they understand that engaging with customers through them is imperative, and creates a steppingstone to other revenue-based channels, and therefore are willing to invest more. Investment in tactic for 2012 holiday marketing campaigns compared with last year 50% 47.1% 40% 37.3% 41.2% 30% 29.4% 28.6% 30.2% 20% 18.4% 28.6% 21.6% 10% 5.9% 3.9% 4.1% 2.0% 2.0% 20.4% 2.0% 7.8% 0% Significant increase Increase Will invest about the same as last year Decrease 0% 0% Significant decrease Will not invest this year Facebook page Twitter feed Pinterest boards Source: Experian Marketing Services An Experian white paper Page 3

6 Twas the night before holiday shopping Marketers will need to stay ahead of the curve this holiday season to attract consumers to their brick-and-mortar stores. Identifying your true customers and targeting them with personalized and dynamic content will be crucial to engaging them and yielding successful results but what is the best way to do this? Below are three programs marketers can use this year. Three programs to leverage this holiday season Text-to-join program Marketers can organically grow their mobile base by initiating a text-to-join program to engage with consumers outside of a traditional brick-and-mortar store. The program allows mobile users to opt in to receive promotional text messages from a specific business. Not only are mobile programs relatively easy to set up, but there are few barriers to entry as well. Tips for a great text-to-join program: Choose a specialized keyword or style Create a campaign to engage subscribers Build a call to action like an in-unit display or window signage to promote the Short Message Service (SMS) program Loyalty program Setting up a loyalty program where customers gain reward points is a great way to increase engagement and retention rates with customers and spread holiday cheer. Although there can be many barriers to entry (these programs take time to create and execute well), setting up a loyalty program is the best way to create a link between the customer and transactional data. It enables marketers to gain visibility into who their best customers are and market directly to them. Retail address capture By capturing transactional data after a purchase made in a store, marketers can get a direct profile of who customers are, from economic status to key demographics. According to an Experian QAS survey, for brands that have acquisition at the point of sale, 15 percent to 25 percent of their subscriber list is captured in the store. By understanding who is shopping in your store, you can better target them with personalized and dynamic content in other channels. Page holiday marketing checklist: Unwrap key trends and insights for a successful holiday shopping season

7 Joy to in-store experiences Steps to incorporate ratings and reviews Understanding how to capture consumer data is just one focus for marketers. They also need to engage consumers in compelling and innovative ways to drive better in-store experiences. Experian Marketing Services asked marketers to share which marketing tactics they plan on integrating into their customers holiday shopping experiences this year. Thirty-nine percent of marketers surveyed said they will add ratings/reviews programs. Here are just three ways to incorporate in-store ratings and reviews to increase conversion rates and drive the social shopping experience. Create an in-store banner or display that features consumer feedback on products and services Implement a scan-to-share program to increase interaction on social media channels Promote a large Quick Response (QR) Code that directs consumers to a page where they can share products and receive feedback from friends Bring Facebook to the store A Brazilian retailer recently installed LCD screens on hangers in its store. As people online liked a product, the number on the LCD screen changed to reflect the increase in Facebook likes An Experian white paper Page 5

8 Top digital tactics marketers plan to employ this holiday season Digitally savvy marketers are already beginning to employ the aforementioned strategies. Their top digitally advanced marketing strategies for 2012 included ratings/reviews (39.4 percent), social sharing (36.4 percent) and Facebook login (28.8 percent). 40% 35% 30% Which of the following marketing tactics are you integrating into your customers holiday shopping experience? 39.4% 36.4% 28.8% 25% 20% 21.2% 18.2% 18.2% 22.7% 15% 15.2% 10% 9.1% 5% 0% Ratings/Reviews Social sharing Facebook login Mobile coupons Buy online, return in store Electronic receipts Purchase online, pick up in store Purchasing via Facebook None of the above Source: Experian Marketing Services Moving forward with the 2012 holiday season The evolution of mobile devices, flash sale deals and online communities will have a tremendous impact on the 2012 holiday season. This year, Pinterest, a virtual pin board that allows you to organize and share things you find on the Web, has established itself as a true player in the social media space. As the site continues to grow, it will become an important factor in driving traffic to shopping sites, especially around the holiday season. Page holiday marketing checklist: Unwrap key trends and insights for a successful holiday shopping season

9 Experian Marketing Services data showed 30.2 percent of marketers adopted Pinterest during the 2011 holiday season. Moving forward, 71.4 percent of marketers said they will invest in their Pinterest boards for the 2012 holiday, further indicating that Pinterest is here to stay. In addition to Pinterest, 2012 will be a mobile holiday season. Marketers responded that they will increase mobile-related marketing tactics this year. Last year 57.4 percent of marketers used mobile-optimized Websites, 50 percent used mobile advertising and 49.1 percent used mobile/tablet apps. This year, they expect to get to adoption rates of 83.7 percent, 80 percent and 79.6 percent, respectively. 100% Investment in mobile-related tactics for 2012 holiday marketing campaigns compared with last year 80% 83.7% 80.0% 79.6% 60% 57.4% 50.0% 49.1% 40% 20% 0% Mobile-optimized Website Mobile advertising Mobile/Tablet app Invested in 2011 Will invest in 2012 Source: Experian Marketing Services As noted earlier, the increase in popularity of flash sale, or daily deal, campaigns will make another channel marketers should focus on this upcoming season. To stay ahead of the competition, Experian CheetahMail developed a checklist to help marketers fully optimize holiday deal campaigns in An Experian white paper Page 7

10 Daily deal checklist: Include a strong viral tie-in for the daily deals in case the product/deal is more relevant for a friend Incentivize the referral with a more general free shipping offer for the referrer Incorporate a mystery component for future deals or give a sneak peek Add a vote component to the deals and offer a discount on the products with the most votes Include a Facebook Share/Like button after customers vote Make the s easy to share Consider a Pin It component so fans can pin each day s deal to Pinterest During the 2011 holiday season, JOCKEY delivered flash deals as part of its 12 days campaign. This was delivered on Day 10 of JOCKEY s campaign. Page holiday marketing checklist: Unwrap key trends and insights for a successful holiday shopping season

11 Conclusion The outlook for the 2012 holiday season looks positive, with 66.6 percent of marketers saying they expect sales to be higher or much higher than in To maximize their interaction with eager holiday shoppers, marketers will need to focus on providing a personalized and dynamic customer experience to remain relevant. Implementing compelling loyalty programs and evolving in-store experiences through social integration will help marketers stay ahead of the competition. The growth of mobile, and social interaction will yield endless possibilities for marketers to engage with consumers and enjoy a successful 2012 holiday season. For information on tools that can empower meaningful connections, please call Experian Marketing Services at or visit us online at You also may subscribe to our blog at for timely insights and updates to keep your business Marketing Forward ṢM About Experian Marketing Services Experian Marketing Services helps leading organizations connect, engage and empower customers to be loyal and active brand advocates through a full suite of digital-marketing capabilities, including integrated marketing, mobile and social media; digital advertising; data management; customer and competitive insight; and analytics and strategic consulting. Survey details The survey was deployed at the 2012 Internet Retailer Conference from June 5 8. It also was deployed throughout Experian Marketing Services social networks between June 8 and July 18. Responses were collected from 66 marketing professionals. An Experian white paper Page 9

12 Experian Marketing Services 955 American Lane Schaumburg, IL Experian Information Solutions, Inc. All rights reserved Experian and the Experian marks used herein are service marks or registered trademarks of Experian Information Solutions, Inc. Other product and company names mentioned herein are the property of their respective owners. 10/2012

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