Getting ready for the holiday season at Collage.com
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November has always been a crazy month in my professional life. For years, I worked on campaigns and in the political world, where obviously November election days were critical.
Now, I find myself equally busy in November – as the marketing director for Collage.com, a custom photo gifts ecommerce company. We're coming up on our busiest time of the year: Black Friday and Cyber Week, and our team has been working for months on getting everything ready.
What goes into this from a digital marketing standpoint?
We look at products our customers would be interested in getting great deals on, like our bestselling fleece photo blankets or our 12-month photo calendars. These are always products people like to give or receive as gifts around the holidays, so we plan out special promotions that include them.
As we discussed in this class, email marketing is still a major way brands reach out to their customer base – even though most people don't consider email to be "social media" in the same way Twitter or Facebook is. We have hundreds of thousands of previous customers or people who signed up for discounts on our email list, and we've mapped out a series of emails between Thanksgiving and the end of Cyber Week that relate to our customers' interests. We've then scheduled those same promotions to go up on social media throughout this critical sales period.
Throughout the whole holiday season (and all year round), we pay close attention to which products are selling the most. Not only is this important for purposes of our inventory, it's also useful to constantly refine and improve our marketing efforts. If a product isn't selling that we expect to, we can look at ways to make it more attractive to customers. If a product surprises us and sells really well, we might expose it more to other customers, or look for other ways to keep its success going. We use tools for this like we covered in this class, like Google Analytics – along with a variety of other data analysis resources, from SQL databases to millions of pivot tables in spreadsheets.
Do you shop online for Black Friday and Cyber Monday? What do you look for when you shop online? What do you like and dislike about online shopping experiences? I can't wait to see what you think!