Marketing considerations for the holidays and beyond
December 12, 2011
The holiday shopping season is all about attracting customers, and the brands with the top marketing strategies usually finish first. To meet critical sales and profit goals, managers should adopt unique and innovative promotional efforts. Of course, such an objective is easier said than done, but a slew of new technologies have leveled the playing field, so to speak.
Consider the mobile space, for example. With immeasurable progress, consumers are coming to rely on their mobile devices for all manner of shopping and personal concern.
"The web experience is now portable and experienced to a larger degree on smartphones and devices," writes Danielle MacInnis for her eponymous blog. "Small businesses have an opportunity in 2012 to cater their offerings in a mobile format. Booking online, being found on local search directories and soon the use of geo-location queries will become normal."
Social media has been evolving along a parallel line, as the sheer volume of people on networks such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn has prompted the savviest marketing experts to search for new ways to advertise through the channel. For example, small firms can now advertise on Facebook and target specific demographics in doing so. This, analysts agree, is the crux of social media's advertising appeal: the ability to precisely target and address consumer groups and segments.
In collusion with mobile location-based advertising, social marketing offers local small businesses a host of new ways to attract customers. During the holiday shopping season, the ability to communicate with passers-by will be critical.
While mobile tech and social media have allowed for unparalleled brand customization and message tinkering, outsourcing of marketing process and services continues to expand.
"As small businesses grapple with the miraid (sic) of tools now at their disposal to communicate with customers, create lead generation campaigns and create a brand that is differentiated, those that understand marketing is a key business function will decide to outsource to consultants and focus on what they do best their core business," MacInnis adds.
As far as web marketing and search engine optimization go, content is king. Updates to search algorithms increasingly favor pages with extensive deep-linking, relevant content, blog posts and social capabilities. Small firms would do well to infuse their online presence with such material.