Black Friday was once a strictly American holiday, a post-Thanksgiving blowout targeted at families hunting for the best deals before Christmas. In recent years, this shopping trend has reached British shores, expanding the target audience for ecommerce marketers who want to reach global shoppers during one of the biggest retail frenzies of the year.
In 2014, Black Friday became the top ecommerce shopping event in the United Kingdom, accounting for £810 million in online sales and 59 percent of online retail searches. The phenomenon is particularly significant because British shoppers have no cultural connection to Thanksgiving, the American holiday that officially launches the Christmas shopping season for U.S. consumers. This budding trend suggests that advertisers (both in the states and across the pond) can condition consumers to shop more during this busy season by creating an expectation of great deals and high-value products and services.
With the rising interest in Black Friday, brands should be prepared to ramp up online advertising as shoppers search for holiday deals using a variety of media. Unsurprisingly, mobile shopping is one of the fastest growing sources of revenue. During the UK’s 2014 Black Friday event, roughly 30 percent of revenue and 50 percent of online traffic came from mobile shoppers.
Home appliances, furniture and apparel were among the top search categories, suggesting that UK consumers are less concerned about holiday-themed purchases and more focused on using the heavy discounts to buy big-ticket household items. Not only does the UK market offer more opportunities for brands to engage, but it also enables a wider range of retailer to target shoppers who are thinking beyond the holiday mindset.
The most important key to success is launching Black Friday sales at the right time. Consumers typically start researching Black Friday sales up to three weeks in advance, and specific categories peak at different times of the shopping cycle. For example, clothing searches usually peak during the early hours of Black Friday, as apparel items are in high demand and availability can change rapidly. Consumers prefer to search for high-ticket, high-value items, such as jewelry, days in advance, ensuring they can find the best prices and stay up to date on availability leading up to the big day.
Ecommerce retailers who hope to cross over to a British audience should start marketing earlier than usual to generate buzz. While Black Friday is a much-anticipated tradition in America, it is still a new phenomenon for many UK shoppers. Online searches about the origins, definition and date of Black Friday trend heavily in the United Kingdom, offering a chance for marketers to divert attention to brand websites and catch attention with online ads by answering shoppers’ most pressing questions. When is Black Friday, and what great discounts await?
For tips on targeting our massive local and U.S. national audience with your Black Friday promotions, contact the LA Times today.
A brand is no longer a mere marketing image to sell a product. Millennial consumers are turned off by one-dimensional marketing messages, and they expect brands to be dynamic entities that have a voice, personality, purpose and social consciousness. Because online commerce has given customers unlimited places to shop, marketers have more chances to reach consumers through ads and more competition vying for attention. Staying up to date on the latest digital marketing trends can help brands develop smart strategies to win over online audiences.
In the past, marketers relied on many passive strategies (and guesswork) for measuring the value of ad campaigns. Today, data is king, and brands who pay attention to how customers engage with ads can increase their effectiveness at driving a purchase. With data analytics, marketers can determine the best layouts for websites and the best placement for online ads.
When it comes to content marketing, data can be precise enough to tell marketers the factors that kept viewers watching a video or reading a blog, the pages a reader viewed before clicking an ad, or the order in which website pages were viewed. Armed with data about consumer behavior, marketers can test every aspect of a website or ad to produce the most optimized and results-driven content.
Many companies are quick to claim millennials are not brand loyalty, when in reality, this convenience-oriented generation forms strong connections to brands that address their needs. When big brands ruled commerce, businesses had more power to decide what products and features were available to consumers. Now, online shoppers can tap into a global marketplace, and companies that want to survive must satisfy consumer demands.
The result is widespread customer centricity — products and services that offer customization and preference-based marketing. Consumers want personalized experiences based on their searches and buying histories, and they stick with brands that help them save time or money by using only the features they need.
The prevalence of digital technology has created more channels for completing transactions, increasing the number and variety of places where consumers can engage with ads. From social media platform and mobile sites to wearable gadgets and smartphone apps, purchases are happening beyond web storefronts. For brands, these diverse touchpoints make it easier to reach consumers earlier in the buying cycle to influence their decisions long before they make a purchase. For example, marketers can use ads to target search traffic when buyers are in the research and planning stages or publish mobile apps that let consumers search store inventories and buy what they need on the spot.
Integrated Content Strategy
When used in conjunction, data analytics and social media allow marketers to understand what consumers value and build brand favorability through repetitive engagement. Consumers are attracted to brands with a consistent message that aligns with their own priorities, especially if the brand provides valuable content without expecting anything in return. Blogs, tutorials, videos, apps, social media profiles and memes are just a sampling of the tools businesses can use to start a dialogue with consumers. Based on the product or service, marketers can develop a well-coordinated strategy to influence consumer opinions about a brand. As the brand builds trust and loyalty, shoppers increase the frequency and amount of their purchases.
App and Mobile Marketing
Consumers are increasingly gaining confidence in mobile commerce and making split-second purchasing decisions from smartphones and tablets. By creating mobile websites and apps with optimized layouts, businesses make it convenient and tempting for shoppers to handle purchases on the go. Whether they’re making travel plans, searching for the nearest pharmacy or picking up a last-minute dinner, consumers frequently make purchases in the moment as need arises.
Shoppers value apps that help them learn, find and do while providing a localized experience when they need to get products on short notice. Although app streaming is still in its experimental stages, the concept of surfing apps without the need for downloads will lead to a significant increase in traffic and visibility for online companies of all sizes. Ultimately, branded apps encourage customers to repeatedly use a company’s product and trust the brand to make valid recommendations, planting the seeds for higher ad engagement.
The diversification of online marketing is beneficial for brands that want to stand out in saturated industries. While it’s essential for all brands to approach consumers from multiple channels, not every marketing opportunity is right for every brand. For tips on launching an effective multimedia strategy for your business, contact the LA Times today.
Marketers spare no expense to compete for airtime during the Olympics, and the Rio 2016 Games are no different. With continually rising viewership, the Olympic Games are expected to attract an audience of at least 3.6 billion people worldwide and 217 million in the United States, according to Digiday. The showdown between major sponsors and advertisers starts early, and the top brands are willing to spend millions to win the gold.
From London 2012 to Rio 2016: Who Competed for the Win?
International brands with a broad audience and extensive product offerings have the most to gain from sponsoring the Olympics, as they have the resources and motivation to advertise in multiple countries. The goliath multinational corporation P&G served as a worldwide sponsor for the London 2012 Games and dominated the global market, ranking among the top ten advertisers for five countries.
Although athletes take the center stage during the Olympic events, everyday consumer products are typically the stars of major marketing campaigns. As of August 15, 2016, P&G ranked fourth among advertisers for the Rio games, spending roughly $29.2 million across thirty brands. The corporation designated the most funds for brands such as Proctor & Gamble, Olay, Gillette, Crest and Tide. A common selling point of all these brands is that they appeal to the essential needs of ordinary consumers while providing distinct product tie-in value for athletes.
Coca-Cola, Visa, BMW and McDonald’s are also steady contenders who have made a strong global marketing effort for several years. While the prime competition remains the same, some brands radically change their marketing strategies from one event to the next, whether it’s increasing the budget or targeting fewer countries. Compared to top spenders, Samsung made a modest showing in 2012, but the brand emerged as the leading advertiser as a 2016 worldwide sponsor. With more than $50 million in ad spend, Samsung outclassed its closest competitor, BMW, by over $13 million.
Marketing Beyond the Telecast
With the Olympic Games lasting less than a month, it’s unsurprising that major brands launch their campaigns about 100 days before the big event. In fact, by March 29, 2016, NBC had already netted $1 billion in ad sales for the Rio 2016 Games. In the days leading up to the Olympics, brands specifically target sports fans, connecting with a loyal audience that routinely uses social media to interact with other fans while viewing their favorite sporting events. However, the entire world (or, at least, most of it) is watching and engaging with branded content, which means the massive multinational corporations aren’t the only brands that can make an impact.
Local and digital media provide valuable opportunities for smaller domestic brands to gain a voice with their audiences. Global Web Index estimated that 85 percent of Olympic viewers would use second-screen devices while watching the event. More than ever, brand marketers should be leveraging multimedia strategies in the battle to win consumer attention, and that means using everything from native and mobile ads to video and TV commercials.
Reach out to consumers in the places they frequently visit for information and social sharing, such as blogs, videos and social media sites. Adopt messages that relate the brand to an Olympics-oriented audience, using themes that emphasize leadership, devotion to goals and superior performance. An effective multimedia strategy takes thoughtful planning and an understanding of your audience. For advice on reaching consumers through multimedia marketing, contact the LA Times today.