Written by Tim Glomb, VP Content & Data, Cheetah Digital
Last year, according to Statista, the U.K.’s total holiday spending was set to top £84 million, with an average spend of £1,746 per shopper. This year, however, stands quite stark in contrast. Thanks to inflation and soaring energy prices, a recent Quantum Metric study finds that many Brits are planning to slash their holiday spending by more than half – spending less than £500 this year.
To make the most of the holiday season and rise above the noise of a saturated market, marketers need to embrace relationship marketing strategies that put the customer at the centre of everything. Relationship marketing is about meeting customers where they are and treating them as a person, not a persona.
Get on the ‘nice list’ with zero- and first-party data
Even though the smell of barbecue still lingers in the air, retail marketers need to start ramping up for the holiday season. They can begin cleaning their database of stale or antiquated data and warming their contact list to stave off deliverability issues. Even more, they should be considering the implementation of a zero-party data strategy to load the database with opt-ins and the psychographic and preference data required to deliver better personalised offers that their customers actually want.
The collection of first- and zero-party data will also help them navigate a world without third-party cookies. The good news is the majority of consumers are willing to trade personal and psychographic data when presented the right value exchange — especially if retail marketers promise to keep that data safe and private.
The brands that win this upcoming holiday season will be those that deliver truly personalised marketing and experiences that are timely, relevant and based on the customer’s own self-reported interests, motivations and desires rather than inferences or snooping via third-party cookies.
Connect with consumers with the right message on the right channel at the right time
When it comes to driving sales, email has always been one of the most effective channels, especially considering its ability for the hyper-personalisation of content and offers that consumers demand. It’s also still the preferred channel for older generations (Gen X and Boomers). However, younger consumers are being wooed by SMS, with rising numbers having made a purchase directly from an SMS they received in the last year.
No more leaving cookies out for Santa
By next Christmas, Google will have comprehensively curtailed third-party cookie tracking (Firefox and Safari already have). Although a win for privacy-conscious consumers, it’s a headache for retail marketers wedded to this strategy to power their advertising. These sweeping changes to the martech and adtech industries reinforce the need for retail marketers to shift to a first- and zero-party data strategy.
Power personalisation from zero-party data
True personalisation offers products your customer has expressed an interest in – derived from preference insights and purchase motivations that they have explicitly told you. This is zero-party data, and is the path this holiday season to increased revenue and customer retention.
Deliver a true omnichannel experience
Omnichannel should put the customer at the heart of your strategy, where all channels and touchpoints revolve around them – not merely the product. Consumers interact with multiple touchpoints when engaging with a retail brand (social, web, wallet, SMS, email, etc.). Each of these channels must be integrated to deliver a truly consistent experience, letting your customer seamlessly move from one experience to another.
To remain on your customers’ nice lists, loyalty needs to be encouraged – not expected
In the frenzied holiday season, consumers, of course, love a discount. But the modern consumer expects loyalty rewards that go beyond points-for-prizes. Engaging interactive experiences, exclusive access to products, personalised product recommendations, brand recognition and feeling part of a retail brand’s community are the key to retention and engendering lasting loyalty this year.
Find out more by downloading your copy of The Relationship Marketer’s Playbook for Holiday Planning 2022 by Cheetah Digital.