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49 Percent of Marketers will Launch a Holiday Campaign before Halloween; TruService Community FCU Ready to Launch Campaign in November
Thursday, September 26, 2013 5:45 AM

According to Experian Marketing Services, nearly half of all marketers stated in a recent survey that they would launch a holiday campaign before Halloween. The month of June earned the title as the top holiday planning month as 18 percent of the marketers surveyed stated they started then. Overall, 69 percent of the marketers stated they started planning holiday campaigns by August.

When it comes to launching the first holiday campaign, almost half (49 percent) of marketers surveyed suggested they will launch before Halloween. The most popular time to launch campaigns overall is the first 15 days of November, right after Halloween, but before Thanksgiving.

TruService Community FCU president and CEO Linda Jeffery tells the Leaguer that they planned their holiday campaign in the summer and it’s ready to launch the last week in October.

The Experian Marketing Services survey also found that marketers are planning on integrating across channels more than ever this year. Of those surveyed, 83 percent said they plan on running coordinated, cross-channel marketing campaigns during the holiday season, with 55 percent stating they will be coordinating marketing campaigns across four or more channels.

According to the survey results, the top three marketing channels that will be used this holiday season are online display (59 percent), email (55 percent) and print (46 percent). Search (30 percent) and mobile (24 percent) are the next top two channels that round out the top five.

More than 70 percent of marketers surveyed said they plan to use some sort of promotional offer for consumers this holiday season. Free shipping offers ranked as the top promotional tactic that marketers will integrate into their customers’ holiday shopping experience this year. Thirty-nine percent of marketers surveyed will use free shipping, followed by deal of the day offers (28 percent) and eCoupons (21 percent). Very few marketers plan to use layaway (3 percent) while an astonishing 28 percent plan to not use any type of promotion.

Jeffery says TruService Community FCU has found that promotions are a nice compliment to their campaigns, so they will include one in this year’s holiday campaign.

“Our November loan and credit card campaign will afford members the opportunity to win a $1,000 holiday shopping spree if the loan is funded during the promotion period, which is Nov. 1 through Dec. 18,” explains Jeffery. 

According to marketers surveyed, sharing is important. When asked, “What are the top three social tactics you are integrating into your customers holiday shopping experience?” almost half (49 percent) of respondents answered that they plan on integrating social sharing tools from their Website. Social advertising (45 percent) and product promotions (36 percent) rounded out the top three.

Jeffrey believes it’s important to leverage both social and traditional media.

“For this particular campaign we will be using online marketing, including Facebook and other social media channels, as well as radio, and our member newsletter,” notes Jeffrey. “We are finding less success with direct mail for certain products and will not be using direct mail in this campaign.”

Jeffrey adds that the credit union has seen impressive results with online media advertising.

Erayne Gee Hill of Unity One CU and chair of the Cornerstone Credit Union League’s Marketing & Business Development Council offers the following tips to consider when developing a holiday campaign:

  • Make sure your campaign is relevant and has value. Consumers want to know what’s in it for them. Will what you’re offering peak their interest or enhance their financial lives? If not, rethink your strategy.
  • Don’t just push information. The best campaigns engage their audience. For example, encourage members to “like” you on Facebook or “retweet” an offer/promotion for more chances to win something.
  • Make your campaigns easy to share. Traditional media certainly has its value. You can use radio, print, television, etc. to share information, showcase a product or service, and increase your brand awareness, etc., but through social media you allow your audience the opportunity to comment and share your content with their family, friends and social network.
  • Tailor your message for each channel. The language you use in a radio spot, for example, is not necessarily the language you would want to use on a Facebook post or a tweet.
  • Monitor your social sites. If you’re leveraging Facebook, Twitter and other social sites, pay attention to what your audience is saying. If a member makes a comment, acknowledge the comment; if there is a question posed, answer the question.
  • Above all else, be authentic.  

Interestingly, the Experian survey revealed that marketers didn’t rank mobile marketing as a top priority, but many said they will be using mobile tactics during the holiday season. Developing mobile optimized Websites was ranked as the top activity by 43 percent of respondents, followed by creating mobile optimized email (37 percent) and using mobile advertising (31 percent). Geolocation promotions will be used by 15 percent of marketers surveyed this season. Engaging consumers through contests and sweepstakes seems to be at the bottom of marketers’ lists, with only 1 percent saying they will use SMS sweepstakes to engage consumers.