Cut Through the Advertising Noise This Holiday Season



Is it just me or are stores putting out Christmas decorations earlier and earlier each year? I was in a store (that I will not name because I absolutely love shopping there and don’t want to call them out) shopping for Halloween decorations and I only had two aisles to choose from because the Christmas section was already set up. I didn’t know if I should be upset or excited. On the one hand, I absolutely love the holidays; it is my favorite time of the year. However, as an advertiser, this is the start to my version of the Nightmare before Christmas.

Not only does our creative team have to start thinking about their holiday promotions for our clients earlier and earlier, but every one of their competitors is trying to beat them to the punch and get consumers attention through all the noise that’s already happening (email, T.V. ads, mailings, etc.)

So what can you do to make sure your brand shines the brightest during this holiday season? Cut through the advertising noise this holiday season. And here are a few suggestions on just how to do that:

Support a charity. Around this time of year, there are ample opportunities to give back. Invite partners, employees, and customers to participate. Customers will appreciate your values during the season of giving.

Show how thankful you are. Recognize faithful customers and supporters by sending small holiday gifts to people on your mailing list.

Provide effortless mobile experience. If you are selling products that consumers are interested in, it’s important to remember that they are researching on-the-go. Make sure all images are mobile friendly and test page loads.

Listen to customers and pay attention to shopping trends. Figure out what is “hot” this holiday season and then determine how you can help meet that demand.

Create gift guides. Help shoppers make gift-giving decisions by giving them ideas in a gift guide that features your products or services.

Promote coupons and saving opportunities. In a recent survey, consumers gave online coupons a 3.4/5 for their impact on purchase decisions.

Send personalized email communications. Personalize campaigns and make people feel special. Find a way to mix promotions with informational messages and don’t forget to design with mobile in mind.

Remember that social media is your friend. 65% of shoppers use social media to find the perfect gift. Focus on consistent branding and share-worthy content. And this year, Twitter, Pinterest, Facebook and Instagram are allowing users to execute purchases directly from their sites.

Incorporate Pinterest into your marketing strategy. Create boards with gift ideas. Learn what people are pinning and see what’s popular among customers. If you are interested in selling specific products, try promoting buyable pins during the holiday season. 

Monitor Twitter 24/7 (or as much as possible!) Shoppers are constantly looking up the latest holiday deals, reading reviews, asking for advice, and contacting brands for support. Be there to answer their questions and direct them to make a purchase!

And remember, the holiday season is about more than making money before the year ends. Portray the personality of your brand and be heartfelt because that is what most people are looking for.

Happy Holidays from the WOM Department

Happy holidays! Here is to hoping that you and yours have a wonderful holiday season. Don’t forget to see what The Cyphers Agency did to commemorate our time together this past year: Gingerland!

We’ll be back shortly after the holiday to get back into the spirit of social media and to hang out in the wonderland of word of mouth, but until then, enjoy your holiday season!

Pepsi skips Superbowl ad in lieu of $20M social media campaign

In a seismic move for the advertising industry, one of the superbowl’s largest and most consistent advertisers (23 years straight!) won’t be making an appearance this year. Instead, Pepsi is running a campaign to see how they can better local communities.

[thanks to Mashable for posting a blog about this]

What does this mean for advertising? Well for one thing it indicates a huge shift in the way that money is being spent – companies big and small are embracing social media on an increasing scale. It will be interesting to see if this campaign works.

Another important thing to note is how advertising itself is changing. Whereas ads used to be focused on how one company differs from the other, now companies are trying harder and harder to be better than the other. Not just better at advertising, or creating a superior product, but also more socially aware and better for the community.

Pepsi’s social media campaign to better communities is far from the first campaign to do anything like this. Coca cola recently launched its Expedition 206 campaign through social media. Maybe Pepsi was a little jealous? And of course I can’t speak about charitable giving without mentioning Target, who has been giving $3 million per week since I can remember, and who ran a campaign on Facebook to let fans decide where the money went.

This underscores that the value of social media is not simply another medium for your message. It is a medium for a different message. It is a way to connect with your audience (but you better have a darn good reason to connect). If you are just spewing web content and re-hashed tv ads, you won’t get the attention and engagement that we marketing gurus so desperately desire. Give your audience what they want, and that doesn’t always mean deals and free products. In the age of information, give your audience…um…information! You are the expert in your industry, you are passionate about your product, so convey that through a discussion.

As I prepare for long periods of sitting in front of the TV and computer this holiday season, unable to move because I’m in a food coma, I will be noticing which companies use this holiday season to give something to their audiences, and engage them in a meaningful way. You can do the same, or you can just read our blog after the holidays and I’ll let you know what you missed. Happy holidays!

– Andrew