While Americans, soon after their Thanksgiving dinner, will rush to a local store on a Black Friday, you as a marketer should not be overwhelmed with such events. In fact, marketers should question themselves on why on just a particular day shall they get a rush of customers, and not all-around the year.
While few experts argues in favor of Black Friday with points like:
- “Mark the beginning of holiday season” (don’t understand how is that a reason for people to shop, but they do)
- “Clear the stock and bring in new stock for Christmas” (this I agree with, slightly)
- “Go with the flow” (blah…like if big retailers are offering 50% off on everything, I can afford to do that too, duh!)
- “See the delight of people rushing into your store, it’s priceless” (Until they stumble upon your store assistant and create a pile of people on people, and chaos in your limited space store make people never come back to your store.. just saying!)
You must be thinking I’m cynical and against big bash sales like Black Friday. Well, you’re right. I believe in delighting customers everyday. A modern marketer who waits for a ‘Sale’ day to pull-in customers is underestimating the modern marketing technology she is equipped with.
Okay, I know it’s too late and you’ve already put-up a plan together for your Black Friday sale. So let me help you leverage your marketing strategy this year, so you can celebrate consistent customer walk-ins throughout the year.
Simple solution – Use Technology. How? Read along.
Use a marketing platform like FirstHive to create a 360-degree communication with your target audience.
Step 1: Create a Lead Generation Form
Create a form like this asking your potential customers to fill up. Customer data is gold and will help you build up your campaigns on top of it. Also, you’ll get to know what kind of product your potential customers are seeking out. This will help you plan your stocks and product placements better.
Step 2: Ask for a form fill-up
Create an SMS campaign for your leads, asking them to fill up the form. You can track the campaign analytics in real-time. So you create a segment of people who’ve clicked on the form link and follow-up accordingly.
Beside text SMS, you should take advantage of your social media channels in promoting your offer to the mass. Search for tweets with keywords like #BlackFriday and try and engage with users individually. This can be done easily with FirstHive Social Media Management as shown below. Create stream and search for keyword and mention location. For example, I want to find out tweets from Los Angeles region, I can create a stream and start interacting directly.
Step 3: Send an automated email for those who fill up the form
After they fill-up your form, send a note of gratitude. This will make them feel special and walk-in to your store knowing they are preferred.
So now, you’ve done well with form promotions and you’ve collected a list of 300 people, say, who shared their interest in buying on sale.
Step 4: D-day
On Black Friday, make sure you stand up to your promise. Create a special counter for preferred customers so they have faith in you and trust you on future offers. This helps in brand advocacy and positive word-of-mouth. Put up couple of QR code standies inside your store so that people can just scan the code and go to the URL, fill up the form and happily walk to “Preferred Customer” counter.
Step 5: Follow-up
When the storm settles, take a deep breath, relax for the weekend. Go back to the dashboard, and check the activities of the people from your form list. Say you see 120 out of 300 who filled the form, didn’t buy anything, you can draft a mailer with a generous discount coupon. And for those who bought something, send them messages regarding their purchase and try to cross-sell similar products. This automation is very simple and can be done on a click of a button via FirstHive.
Well, you see, if you have a right tool to market your product/services, you don’t have to wait for sale days like Black Friday. Infact, your customers will love you if start engaging with them via a personalized email or a delightful social media post on a random day. Keep engaging with them throughout the year and you may create a customer for life. That happy customer will bring you four more.