Daughters, sons and husbands spent about $18 billion on Mother’s Day gifts in 2012, and a quarter of them shopped online, according to MSN Money. Needless to say, merchants are doing everything they can this year, too, to get a piece of this pie. Many gift sellers have implemented digital marketing campaigns to target online audiences in particular. Here are some highlights:
The jewelry giant is using a multi-pronged approach for its electronic marketing campaign. Zales’ website and social media outlets are all being used to direct customers to buy at Zales, according to Adweek. Facebook is the anchor for the campaign this year, but changes have been made. Now, the Facebook page is positioned as a destination instead of merely redirecting viewers to Zales’ main site.
Lesson learned: visitors are not interested in going to pages that just send them off to a merchant’s site. They want to have a reason to go to the company’s social media page itself.
Red Lobster stuck with the tried-and-true giveaway strategy, updating it into a Facebook campaign. Many people take their mothers out for lunch or dinner on Mother’s Day, and Red Lobster wanted to make sure that their restaurants would be the destination. Last year the company set up a simple daily contest with a prize of a $50 gift certificate and a bouquet of flowers, according to Business2Community. The stats show the campaign was a great success — there was a 46 percent increase in buzz and a 164 percent increase in engagement.
Lesson learned: people like a chance to get free merchandise no matter which medium is used to present it.
The flower giant is hoping to use the Internet to get people to order flowers online at FTD.com. It has set up a Facebook page with a Mother’s Day quiz, discounts, and other goodies. To take the quiz, visitors must “like” the page, a requirement that could help it go viral.
Lesson learned: every popular media destination is a good place to use for Mother’s Day advertising.
Luxury retailers often use different marketing strategies than those who target the masses. Instead of using Facebook or some other popular platform, Neiman Marcus prefers email campaigns. It is also running special micro-sales on its site that encourages people to get into a buying frenzy. For Mother’s Day, it is adding holiday-specific gifts to its two-hour “midday dash” sales. These items are being offered at a whopping 65 percent discount.
Lesson learned: sometimes, old standbys like short-term sales and direct communication are still winners. Also, high-end buyers tend to respond to a more personal touch.
Seeing the Big Picture
Despite the differences in methods, all of these techniques have a good chance of being successful. The main thing retailers have to keep in mind is the mindset of their audience. Advertising methods need to match customer tastes and needs. Companies that do well with a modern image will have good success with Facebook and other social media campaigns. Those that pride themselves on their exclusivity, on the other hand, are likely better off with methods that give people the feeling that they are being directly engaged rather than being shouted at through a bullhorn. Consider your audience, and choose the methods that are most appropriate for its point of view.
flickr image by rockinfree