Black Friday is the last big sales holiday for many retailers in the United States. It can be a monumental boon for those retailers who plan ahead with their Black Friday marketing plan. In 2018, Black Friday hit $23 billion, up by 9% over the year before. The success of retail stores in 2018 points to several important variables. According to Furniture Today, the Black Friday holiday weekend brought success to retailers with promotions that drew the traffic to their showrooms. Retailers benefited from a strong economy, but they also contributed to their own success with stellar customer service and a healthy inventory that drove customers toward an easy buying decision. It’s all part of the Black Friday Marketing Plan.
When to Start a Black Friday Marketing Plan?
With such positive trends from last year, it’s more important than ever to prepare for the Black Friday bonanza of retail sales this year. If you haven’t started implementing sales strategies and promotions that will draw customers for Black Friday, now is the time. You must launch your Black Friday marketing plan and campaigns well in advance. The most successful retailers start planning in August. Many launch their initial campaigns in September at the latest.
You need to adjust your in-store inventory and projected staffing logistics to support the expected level of activity (and excitement). But if you haven’t started yet, now is the perfect time to catch up. But it won’t be easy. Remember that it’s never too early to start planning. Even if it does seem too late to launch an effective Black Friday marketing strategy, you can start now and do what you can with the time you have. Data from this year will help you learn and implement better for 2020.
Building an Effective Black Friday Omnichannel Strategy
Your customers have a myriad of options for their holiday shopping and purchases. Competition is high in your market with the added pressure of eCommerce players. So you must cut through the noise and hype with your Black Friday marketing plan. Engage your audience with a combination of targeted promotions. Make sure they’re creative, personalized, and strategically implemented. Start with reviewing previous successes.
What Worked Last Year?
You’ve already put the work in to develop and implement campaigns over the last year, but you’re not done when the campaign is over. With so much at stake, carefully review the results and return-on-investment for your promotions. Determine what worked, but don’t forget to take a look at what didn’t work. Compile the data and develop a strategic plan based on your findings.
Identify Local Trends
It’s important to know what worked in the past. That’s important and valuable information, but you need to do more than just look at what happened in the past. You also need to review what’s working now, by taking into account Goggle Trends, as well as current analytics for store conversions, and website traffic. The important thing here is to look at all the data that can and should affect your strategic approach right now.
Sync Online and Offline Messaging
It’s great to know the details about what worked and what didn’t, which products were popular, and what specific channels were most effective, but it’s still important to take the best information possible and pivot those analytics into the strategic implementation of a promotion that will go out to all your channels.
You need to unify your messaging and voice through a synchronized Black Friday marketing approach. We’re talking about a larger scale here. It’s like using a loudspeaker that’s set up to blast out a carefully honed message across every channel, with the personalized approach that’s designed to reach each target where they currently are in their buying journey.
When you’re creating materials for traditional Black Friday marketing, repurpose them online. Mailers can turn into email campaigns. Store banners can turn into social posts. Find creative ways to clarify your message on every channel. The buyer’s journey is messy and unpredictable. By providing air cover with your brand message, you can catch every buyer at every stage of the buyer’s journey.
Best Channels for Marketing Black Friday Promotions
It’s simple. You may know that not all your channels are as effective, but that doesn’t mean you should not be using it. Even if it’s not as effective as other channels, it will still have some influence on the buying habits of your audience. We’re not talking about spamming them, but you do need to strategically approach your audience from different angles. Here are the basics.
You need to look both at how you rank via Google, but also in how your Black Friday marketing efforts with this promotion will help improve how your audience sees you. Content on your website will help you spend time building a following and traffic pattern to your website. SEO and content won’t be a fast game. It takes time and strategy with frequent adjustments. If you have time on your side, leverage SEO to start getting the early shoppers to your website. Then use a local SEO strategy to make sure your online listings have promotional information. If you have special hours for the holiday shopping weekend, make sure to update your listing.
An obvious advantage of search engine marketing is the immediacy. For retailers who are late to the party, consider a heavy PPC strategy. Use Google Ads, remarketing, Facebook ads, and Instagram ads to get visibility on your promotions. Identify a few products or categories where the deals are hottest. Link your ads to the products on your website and promote the additional savings during Black Friday.
While SEM is immediate, social media is the long game. If you don’t develop and build your social media channels, they may not be there when you’re ready to send out your Black Friday blitz. That’s why it’s important to maintain a regular presence on social media. With continuity of communication, you’re creating a platform that has been proven to be one of the most effective ways to engage with your audience around Black Friday promotions, with cross-platform traffic and implementation.
Social media is more challenging as algorithms change. To reach more followers organically, use your team to share Black Friday marketing messages through social media. A quick pro tip: if you’re sending direct mail flyers, use the same graphics and post them to social media. It will help you sync messaging and give you more content to share online.
While spamming your audience is never the goal, your audience still can be reached via email. You must be more careful than ever to create and deploy a Black Friday marketing promotion via email that will be colorful, well-written, and compelling.
Remember, all of these platforms and ways of diversifying your Black Friday marketing are just arms of one central strategic plan. It’s not a shotgun approach. It’s a carefully orchestrated and implemented blueprint that is designed with a call to action that will get your customers into your store and buying your products. You already know what has worked in the past, so you can now turn that information into actionable intel will (hopefully) inspire action.
How Your Vendors Can Help
Black Friday is an important time for retails and manufacturers alike. So, make the most of this small window of heightened opportunities. You can ask manufacturers for digital content, assets, and promotional incentives that will give you the tantalizing tidbits you need to reach your audience both as part of your Black Friday marketing plan and also long after the holidays are over.
It is in their best interest that you succeed because that means more sales for them as well. It’s important to see your manufacturers as partners on your team. You’re all after the same goal of engaging with your customers and encouraging them to move forward with a purchase.
When to Bring in the Experts
It all seems so easy, and there is a lot that you can do to help make your Black Friday marketing strategies a success for Black Thursday, but there comes a time with every business when you really should reach out to an expert for help. It’s not that you’re doing anything wrong. It’s more a matter of finding a partner who can work with you to implement the strategy that will get you the best return-on-investment for this Black Friday promotion. First, let’s look at why you might need some help.
Not Enough Experience
You may have been marketing for years and those strategies might be working great. After all, you’ve been able to analyze the results, and you have an idea of what works and what doesn’t. Your Black Friday promotion is unlike any other, though. Particularly in this rocky economic climate, it stands as an important milestone, beacon, and marketing opportunity. Even if your customers don’t buy, you’re planting the seeds for sales and referral generation for the coming year, as well as deploying essential messaging that will reinvigorate your brand and be a part of your ongoing relationship with your customer base.
You’ve probably heard the famous phrase, “Fake it ‘til you make it.” That idea is predicated upon the concept that we all have innate abilities that we haven’t yet tapped into and that we really know more than we think we do. In many situations in life, we can figure it out, and we are often more capable than we realize. So, it’s important to push yourself. Dig deep, and push past the barriers of your self-imposed uncertainty. With all that being said, though, there’s a difference between figure it out when you’re launching a day-to-day Black Friday marketing promo and the level of complexity that’s required for a full-on, successful marketing campaign for a Black Friday blitz.
It’s great that you think you can do it all, but if you’ve never successfully implemented a multi-pronged marketing strategy, it might be time to ask for help. It would be great if we could turn into superhuman marketing pros overnight, but the truth is that it just takes time, constant learning, an evolution of your skillsets, and a willingness to accept input and advise from those marketing experts who have been doing this longer.
Not Enough ROI
It’s ok to not know everything there is to know about marketing, promotion, budgeting, and strategic campaign roll-out. If you’ve never carefully considered how you’ll use your budget to get the best ROI, you can either spend time researching and trying to figure out how to make it all work, or you can bring on a partner who will consult with you and offer the benefit of experience, knowledge and years of successful implementation data.
It’s ok if you don’t know everything. It’s an opportunity for improvement, but it’s also a great chance to dig into the talents of a partner or mentor who can help you navigate the unfamiliar territory. It doesn’t have to be painful. It can actually be a lot of fun, and you’ll be learning every step of the way.
Not Enough Time
Take a step back, and maybe even take a deep breath. The real reason you’re probably considering asking for help is that you just don’t have time to do this right. Look at your schedule. You’re already slam-packed with responding to current incoming leads, handling the customers who come in and handling the constant ebb and flow of your marketing channels.
That’s fine and you’re doing a great job, but a Black Friday marketing plan takes time and energy that’s really above and beyond what you’re currently doing. It’s something bigger, with the development of a message, promo guidelines, and a strategic approach that you’ll deploy across your channels. Do you have time for this?
Finding a Marketing Partner in the Furniture Industry
At MicroD, we offer the products and services you need to support the development and deployment of your Black Friday marketing strategy. We can do a little or a lot for this particular seasonal bonanza. We focus on working with you to develop and deploy strategies that will complement and embellish what you’re already doing. You have all the data about what worked. And you know your customers. We’re here to offer the level of support, service and consulting input that you need.
We offer everything from product visualization, website solutions, digital marketing solutions, and 3D room planning. With our range of offerings, you can implement those pieces that will most seamlessly mesh with what you’re doing already for your Black Friday marketing plan.
It doesn’t happen overnight. It’s often a process of improvement, trial-and-error, and finding out what works the best. Our goal is to help you jump ahead in the process. We offer you the benefit of our years of experience, so you gain the experience and competitive advantage without the pain points. There’s also something to be said for bringing on another set of eyes and ears. With the benefit of experience, as well as the years of working with other clients in this industry, we’ll open up whole new realms of possibilities. Contact us today to learn how we can help with your Black Friday marketing strategy promo blitz. We’ll get to work right away.