Summer just started, so why are we talking about the holiday season already? That’s because to run a successful holiday campaign, you should start collecting first party data to build your audiences now. There’s no better time for multichannel brands to start getting ahead of the game.
Nick Jr., a leading toy brand, ran ads on social channels like Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube after releasing a new product. The brand drove audience traffic to multiple retailers like Amazon, Walmart, and Target. From that campaign, it then collected consumer preference data to find that this audience segment preferred to engage on YouTube, while selecting Walmart to purchase. Using that information, Nick Jr. could design its strategy for the next holiday campaign.
So you see, the earlier you start gathering consumer preference data, the better your future campaigns will be. How exactly can you use customer preference data to prepare for the future? Let’s take a look.
1. Know Your Audience and Focus on the Channels They Prefer to Visit Most
When you run ads on a channel that your consumer doesn’t visit, you’re wasting media dollars. It’s that simple.
If your goal is building better audiences, you need to get to know your consumers on a deeper level, figure out where they are most likely to spend their time, and leverage this data to optimize your marketing strategy.
For example, if you find out that a huge chunk of your audience is viewing videos on TikTok—something they weren’t doing a few months ago—you absolutely want to start optimizing your campaigns for that channel. That way, you ensure that you are reaching your consumer. From there, you can create audience segments to run your campaign against and continuously optimize them based on these data insights.
2. Leverage Data to Understand The Retailers That Are Driving Purchase Intent
The customer journey has evolved in the digital age. Nowadays, every customer journey is unique. Making the most out of this new reality starts with reducing as much friction on the path to purchase as possible.
Even if brands get the channel and messaging right and have captured consumers’ attention, some may still not buy if they can’t use their preferred online retailers. While MikMak has seen a decrease of brand and retailer loyalty due to the “need it now” mentality developed during COVID-19, giving consumers the power to choose where to check out remains a best practice for eCommerce strategies. For example, a consumer might be an Amazon Prime subscriber with a credit card that gives them rewards for buying things on Amazon. If they’re unable to make that purchase there quickly, they might decide against buying the item altogether.
Historically, retailers have owned this first party data, which has never been accurately relayed back to brands. With the right tools in place, capturing this critical data has never been easier.
3. Launch Smarter Campaigns By Retargeting At A Higher Level of Specificity
Capturing your consumer’s preference data allows you to continuously improve your campaigns by retargeting micro audiences with more specificity. This narrowness and precision allow you to prevent digital waste while building smaller, more engaged audiences whose behaviors and preferences become increasingly predictable over time.
In addition to optimizing your media for preferred channels and retailers, there are other ways to be even more precise. One example of this could be using geolocation data to target micro audiences. Brands can do this in several different ways—like launching a targeted campaign for consumers in a specific region of the country (e.g., the Midwest) or sending push notifications that encourage consumers to pop into nearby stores with a 5-percent-off coupon that’s good for the next two hours.
By analyzing data, you might also find that certain groups respond better to influencers. In those cases, leveraging a celebrity that you know has a history of driving a lot of purchase intent in the past may work well in a new campaign. In other situations, your data may show you that certain audiences prefer demo videos, like how to apply makeup or how to make a certain recipe, giving you a better idea of what your campaign needs to do to capture the consumer’s attention.
It’s all about finding the intersections of purchasing preferences (e.g., Pinterest plus recipe) and directing your energy, traffic, and spend to those you’ve found to work best.
4. Experiment to Try and Find New Tactics That Resonate With Your Audience
Don’t be afraid to try something new and switch things up. You never know when you’ll stumble across a new tactic that resonates with your audience in a new way. For example, you might have a really successful Amazon storefront and a robust social presence, both of which are helping your brand drive sales. But you might find that partnering with the right influencers—something you haven’t tried before—can really help your company get to the next level. Brands like E.L.F. Cosmetics, for example, have been exploring innovations like augmented reality as part of their digital shopping experience.
As you establish and build a presence on new channels or try new techniques and tactics, be sure to measure your results by capturing data around these new campaigns. With that information on hand, you can figure out what’s working, what isn’t, and then adjust your campaigns accordingly. When you find that working strategy, get it ready for your next campaign.
Leading brands understand how important it is to prepare, which is why they’re already gathering tons of consumer preference data right now. They’ll analyze and leverage that data over the coming months to reposition their products and optimize their campaigns to make the most of what promises to be another lucrative holiday season.
And if you think getting data in summer in preparation for the holiday season is early, we hope you aren’t waiting idly for the cookieless internet of 2022.
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