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Posts Tagged ‘Target’

Holiday Spirit on Social Media

Tuesday, December 15th, 2015

It’s the most wonderful time of the year, and the busiest shopping time of the year. Retailers and brands are competing for consumer’s attention, so during this shopping season, it is vital for brands to properly communicate key messages. Social media as a key channel provides brands and retailers the opportunity to connect directly with customers through online engagement.

According to Research Industry Voices, 28 percent of consumers will follow certain retailers/brands on social media to keep an eye out for sales, promotional codes and deals. Additionally, 22 percent will follow retailers/brands on social media to find out about the most popular gift ideas. This is precisely why leveraging online channels like mobile marketing to the fullest extent, is crucial during the holidays.

Many brands are using unique approaches via social media to increase sales during the holiday season. Social media campaigns included in the mix this holiday season include contests, holiday cards and social giving. One specific company that has embraced digital assets for its holiday campaign is Target. Target combined Snapchat, Facebook and Instagram for its 2015 holiday campaign, increasing its social budget by 30 percent compared to last year. Christmas-themed geofilters are available to all Snapchat users during the month of December, allowing them to overlay a different branded graphic on top of their photos each day until after Christmas. E-commerce ads through Facebook allow users to shop for different Target products directly from their personal Facebook accounts. Lastly, Target is running Instagram takeover ads using the app’s self-proclaimed high-impact ad unit Marquee.

The efforts brands put forth online should be mimicked in-store as well. The growth of online shopping does not replace the in-store shopping experience. Brands still need to invest dollars on in-store with well-trained and enthusiastic employees and processes to keep shoppers happy and ensure the custome in-store experience is as seamless as their digital experience. With the holiday season in full swing, companies must review their online and mobile presence, be in full launch mode with holiday campaigns highlighting special deals and promotions and ensure all content is authentic and conveys the holiday spirit.


Ann Keeling says:

Moreso than ever, online shopping is a strategy for consumers who don’t have the time or energy to deal with the mall. However, there is still a significant contingency of people who relish the mall experience, so all channels remain important to the overall shopping experience. And it’s a matter of ensuring that the brick and mortar experience is reflected in the online experience and vice-versa, which needs time, attention and nurturing.

It’s The Kid from Target!

Tuesday, November 11th, 2014

Is putting a picture of an attractive employee on social media the new marketing tactic for brands and retailers? Target is the first up to bat, hitting a home run with #AlexFromTarget. It all started when a photo of a teenage store clerk packing bags was uploaded on social media. This photo and the corresponding hashtag began trending (thanks to thousands of swooning teenage girls), and the store clerk went from having 150 followers on Twitter to 600,000. Two days later he was on a flight out to Los Angeles to visit Ellen.

Adweek cites the phenomenon as either linked to Alex’s “Bieber-ish” looks or simply the randomness of the Internet. The back-and-forth on what spawned the #AlexFromTarget popularity was also rumored to be a marketing ploy. Whether a ploy or simple luck, it seemed to pay off in certain capacities for the retailer. But can a brand and/or retailer bank on implementing such a tactic?

There are a number of viral moments that have been marketing stunts. These stunts can play an interesting role for a brand or retailer’s campaign strategy. When well executed, they can gain significant attention – but frequently it’s short-term. Ensuring longevity and building brand affinity is another story. It’s great if companies want to shake-up their traditional marketing in favor of something a little less conventional. But the marketing plan needs to be far more extensive than just the ploy. A week of media attention will do very little to help accomplish significant business goals. It’s a great tactic, when incorporated into a thorough strategy with detailed next-steps to maintain the hype, continue to captivate audiences, and form a promising relationship with a new customer.

Ann Keeling says:

Social media today is seeing the return of the stunt, a tactic originally developed way-back-when.  There was a time not so long ago when the mere mention of the word ‘stunt’ in PR would curl the hair of PR professionals.  It’s a short-term, short-lived tactic that certainly has had its place in marketing communications.  Today the stunt is being used on a daily basis via social media and when done well, creates massive attention.

I’d be careful to use the stunt tactic only when appropriate, otherwise it will become so commonplace that no one will pay attention to it.

Have Retailers Gone Too Far?

Wednesday, November 13th, 2013

If Norman Rockwell portrayed Thanksgiving 2013 in one of his iconic images, half of the chairs around the table would probably be empty.’ Every week has brought a new announcement of another store that will be open on the holiday traditionally reserved for family time. As of today, Office Max, J.C. Penney, Old Navy, Kohl’s, Staples, Macy’s, Kmart, Target, Best Buy, Sears, Toys R Us, and Wal-Mart are included in the growing list of retailers that will open their doors on Thanksgiving.

The Black Friday frenzy has crept closer and closer to Thanksgiving over the past decade, but an unforeseen amount of businesses have chosen to cross the threshold, inviting customers to take a break from the kitchen to go shopping. Researchers have cited multiple reasons for the holiday opening; including the shorter calendar. With stores losing about a week of potential holiday shopping due to the late Thanksgiving this year, this is one method of making up for lost time. Statistics are playing a big role as well, particularly that Thanksgiving is the one of the fastest growing online shopping days of the year. In fact, over $633 million was spent online during last year’s Thanksgiving, encouraging retailers to take the action of opening stores to build more ferver and sales in the brick and mortar environment.

Regardless of the stores’ perspectives, the decision to pull both shoppers and employees away from their Thanksgiving dinners has created an outcry. This authentic American holiday is no longer a celebration of family, food, and gratitude, but has turned into just another excuse to shop. Although the Thanksgiving holiday is often overshadowed with the deep discounts on Black Friday and the weekend following, the day itself has been kept sacred. Campaigns have kicked-off encouraging consumers ‘not to shop on Thanksgiving,”but the message doesn’t seem to be working to change retailer’s minds.

This could be a golden opportunity for retailers to orchestrate positive light in the public relations department. Obviously, those who have not yet declared they’ll be welcoming shoppers on Thanksgiving could release a statement reaffirming their respect for the nation’s heritage and the national holiday, like P.C. Richard & Sons. Those that have ditched the flag-football games, turkey carving, and family revelry for cash registers, should be planning to organize a break-room Thanksgiving potluck for their hard working employees.