Black Friday is exciting for marketers… and also a bit terrifying (39)

Black Friday and Cyber Monday are coming. That’s great news for retailers, small business owners, car dealers, big brands, and just about anyone with a product to sell or a message to push. Marketers of all types anxiously await November 29th.

But Black Friday and Cyber Monday are also full of noise and pressure. (Note: we’ve got three simple ways to cut through that noise and pressure, which we’ll go over in our free webinar on September 26th).

Account managers are under the gun to deliver results for their clients. CMOs and heads of revenue at major retailers need to drive results. So do regional managers at car dealerships, sales leaders at direct-to-consumer eyeglass companies, and C-Suite executives at major video game companies, electronics manufacturers, and home and garden dealers. Small businesses also have a ton to gain but are often the ones with the least amount of resources.

Marketers of all stripes can feel a bit paralyzed by the enormity of the biggest shopping weekend of the year.

Before we get to ways to cut through the noise, here are some stats on just how huge Black Friday and Cyber Monday have become.

  • Cyber Monday broke U.S. records and officially became the biggest shopping day of the year last year, according to Adobe.
  • Black Friday online sales in the U.S. reached $6.22 billion in 2018, up 24 percent from 2017 and a record high.
  • Last year’s Cyber Monday hit $7.9 billion in sales across all retailers. That was a 20 percent increase from the year before.
  • During Cyber Week 2018, mobile accounted for 53% of total orders. It was the leading source of revenue on all days of Cyber Week, except for the Monday after Thanksgiving, when people returned to work and were likely shopping from the desktops in their offices.
  • Amazon sold 180 million items in the five days from Thanksgiving to Cyber Monday last year.

It’s enough to make you shake with excitement… or anxiety.

But there are real, tangible ways to cut through the Black Friday noise, deliver results, and, perhaps most importantly, measure just how effective your campaigns were at driving real people to purchase your goods, engage with your message, or, in the case of brick-and-mortar businesses, drive foot traffic to your location.

We’ll go into more detail during our FREE Black Friday webinar on September 26th. But here are some general rules:

Reach the right people. This includes shoppers who wouldn’t normally buy with you on Black Friday and Cyber Monday. The key is to cut through “Black Friday blindness,” which comes when consumers are so inundated with Black Friday messaging that they begin to tune it out. The first step in cutting through is reaching your next customer — those most likely to buy, and those who are interested but who you may have missed.

First, you need to build an audience of REAL people (not bots or cookies). This involves pooling from actual, verified humans whose online selves (desktop and mobile data, Connected TV data, social data, programmatic audio data, etc.) are tied to their real selves (ethically-sourced PII data). Make sure you avoid mobile ad fraud and intertwine a paid search strategy (and run an audit if you already have a paid search strategy).

Focus on real people, not smokescreen metrics. Black Friday is the busiest time of the year and you don’t need extra confusion. Figuring out how to reach the right people on your campaigns is where a lot of the “paralysis by analysis” comes into play, and it can cause headaches during an already stressful time. So, too, can figuring out if REAL people clicked on your ads or came to your store. When we talk to clients and partners, we talk about people, not clicks or conversions.

Measure this success accurately. Did the extra $5k you spent in November really help your bottom line or was it a natural Black Friday bump? Let’s call this the “Black Friday fog.” Revenue numbers will naturally be higher, but that’s because the sea level naturally rises for every business on Black Friday. Without accurate measurement and attribution tied to each of your campaigns, you risk wasted dollars and inefficiencies (and not being aware of just how much you’re wasting and being inefficient because, hey, revenue looks good).

You need accurate reporting. We recommend true people-based reporting and metrics, which focus less on traditional metrics like CTR and open rates, and instead focuses on how many REAL people engaged with your message, and performed the action you wanted them to (like, say, buying your product or visiting your store between Thanksgiving and Cyber Monday). You need a marketing platform that’s truly people-based, and can accurately perform foot traffic attribution if you have a physical location.

Join us on September 26th for our FREE Black Friday webinar. We’ll delve deeper into the topic listed above, and share some webinar-only tips. You’ve got nothing to lose.

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