It’s the most wonderful time of the year — especially for shoppers who are looking to save money. As competition between brands during the Thanksgiving retail holidays has intensified, consumers increasingly have shifted their spending to earlier in the holiday season, reports comscore.com. And as the biggest names in online retail and travel try to capture the attention of shoppers, the stretch between Black Friday and Cyber Monday offers an ideal opportunity to see their marketing strategies in action — and to learn from them. Here’s a look at three key takeaways from big brands and how you can adapt their strategies to your next event marketing campaign.
Plenty of retailers put all their offers on the table long before the clock struck midnight on Cyber Monday, but Expedia took a different approach, keeping deal-seeking travelers guessing throughout the biggest shopping days on the calendar. The online travel site launched new coupons every hour, and the only way to learn about the offers in time to take advantage of them was to visit Expedia’s website.
Consider applying the same mystery-pricing scheme to your event registration page by offering surprise bonuses to visitors. Perhaps a lucky few could receive 25 percent off their registration fees during the first hour of a campaign and those who register during the next hour could be selected to receive a free extra night at a host hotel. This approach turns the process of entering a credit card number into a fun game.
Make Spending Money Feel Good
Some scenes from Black Friday and Cyber Monday — think stampeding crowds of shoppers at brick-and-mortar stores or online shoppers ignoring family and friends as they stare at their screens — would make Santa shake his head. Neither are feel-good ways to kick off the holidays. IHG’s Kimpton Hotels took a different route, by combining Cyber Monday with Giving Tuesday and creating offers that allowed shoppers to make a positive difference. Their campaign gave customers savings of 25 percent or more at certain properties, combined with a donation of $5 per night to two charity partners: The Trevor Project, an organization that provides crisis intervention services to LGBTQ youth, and No Kid Hungry, an organization that aims to prevent childhood hunger. “We know great hotel offers help you travel the world,” the Kimpton offer read. “Why not make it a better place, while you’re at it?”
As meetings and conferences focus on giving back to their host destinations, consider making a connection between your event and benefitting an organization in the community where the event is being held. For example, you might create an offer that asks your organization’s Twitter followers to retweet an announcement about a new addition to the speaker lineup in exchange for a $1 donation to a local good cause. It’s simple and it makes people feel good.
Use Small Incentives to Build Relationships
Any analysis of online shopping deals should include a look at the biggest name in U.S. e-commerce. As Amazon prepares to expand into two new corporate headquarters, the company is looking far beyond the transactions that occur during a one-day shopping extravaganza. And qualifying for one of Amazon’s end-of-the-year deals doesn’t even require spending any money — customers who sign into the Amazon mobile app for their first time by December 31 automatically receive a $15 promotion code.
As you look to expand your own organization’s reach, think about how small steps can help convert one-time customers into loyal members of your community. In addition to making a splash with offers that shave hundreds of dollars from registration fees, also consider offering smaller incentives to customers who download your app, subscribe to your newsletter, or watch your latest webinar.
Looking to give your marketing efforts some extra muscle? Check out “4 Things Your Event Marketing Team Must Do.”