The holidays are upon us and 2014 is coming to a close. This time of year tends to bring out the best in marketers…and also the worst. This is especially true when it comes to retailers. We all know a lot of money is spent this time of year and for many it will make or break their 2014 success. While I consider myself a marketing professional, I am also a student of the game. I’m always observing and learning from others to make notes of what I like and don’t like.
This year, as I was reading blogs, emails and social media posts I couldn’t help but think of 3 simple pieces of advice or rules of business that I think a lot of marketers forget. Those that slip up often end up losing or offending customers while those that stick to these values even when things get chaotic will always come out on top in the long run. As simple as these pieces of advice may seem, sometimes they make all the difference in the world. Let me explain…
1. Just be honest (and don’t fake it).
I have to say, I saw a lot of retailers faking “deals” this Black Friday. I know it’s a huge shopping day, but consider this for a minute. Nearly everyone will receive dozens of emails with big time deals. On this day in particular, people are looking to save a lot of money. Sending out an email about Free Shipping and calling it a Black Friday “deal” just doesn’t cut it and certainly won’t break through the clutter. Worse, it could offend your customers.
I know it can be tempting for retailers and many feel obligated to offer a Black Friday deal, but if you don’t have one, you don’t have one. If you aren’t able to offer a competitive discount on that particular day because it doesn’t make sense for your business, why not send out an email the following week with a message that’s honestly the best deal you can offer and not disguised as something else. I promise your customers will appreciate it more.
2. Tell a great story.
At Focal Point, we are all about storytelling. This could be through video, social media or email. A great story is what engages people with your brand. And once they’re engaged the selling comes naturally. This time of year, I can’t help but think of this John Lewis TV advertisement because it’s all about the story and people love it. Give it a watch below!
3. Connect with PEOPLE.
One of the best ways to connect with people is to have other people tell your story for you. This is why customer testimonials are so powerful for every business. As the holidays approach, a lot of packages are going to be shipped and I can’t help but think of this FedEx #ShippingSpree video where FedEx enabled customers to tell their story by connecting with people through real life examples of things they would ship to that special someone. In video below, Mike talks about his sister who is a cancer survivor and describes each item he’s shipping as he puts in the box. Check it out here…
Great Marketers Don’t Take Shortcuts
I guess what I am trying to say here is that there are no shortcuts to great marketing campaigns. All too often I see people asking questions such like: How do I get to the first page in Google? How do I make my video go viral? How do I get 50,000 Facebook likes?
The best place to start? Follow the 3 pieces of advice above. The results will come.
Need help telling your story? Contact me now so I can help.