Holiday Marketing Trends and Predictions for 2014Carolyn Crummey
Holiday Marketing Trends and Predictions for 2014
Each holiday season the race is on to try to figure out the most direct, and most affordable, way to reach consumers. With marketing techniques and strategies changing so quickly in our ever connected digital world, it’s hard to keep up with what’s new and effective. To help, each year Experian releases the Holiday Marketer Report, which shares results from a survey conducted among marketers from regions around the world. Here are some of this year’s key holiday marketing trends and predictions for 2014.
Holiday Marketing Budgets
49 percent of the global marketers’ surveyed report that they spend 10 percent or less of their overall budget on holiday marketing campaigns and nearly three-quarters spend 20 percent or less. 17 percent of marketers allocate 10 percent of their marketing budget to holiday campaigns, while 16 percent use one-fifth and 11 percent use 5 percent of their overall budget. North American marketers are likely to allocate the largest percentages, with those is South American spend the smallest share of their budget on holiday campaigns.
Planning and Timing Holiday Campaigns
According to survey results, holiday marketing planning ramps up after July, with the busiest months being, and over 55 percent of marketers starting, in August through October. Globally, 22 percent of marketers start in September, but the majority of marketers in North America (27 percent) start in August. In 2013 almost 70 percent of marketers in North America started planning their holiday campaigns by the end of August, a number that has jumped to 84 percent in 2014.
November 1st through 15th remains the most popular time to launch holiday campaigns worldwide, with 29 percent of marketers deploying their campaigns across screens of all sizes during that time period. Additionally, shoppers were buying earlier in 2013, with two of the top 10 email transaction days occurring in the first half of November as compared to 2012, when it was the day before Thanksgiving.
How To Reach Your Customers
Email remains the hub of marketing campaigns, with nine out of 10 marketers around the globe using email in their 2014 holiday marketing campaigns. This number is justified by the fact that 71 percent of online adults say that they are influenced by promotional emails to take some sort of action – with the most common action being clicking on a website link in email, which 40 percent of adults do.
For mobile marketing, SMS will be the most popular tactic this holiday season globally with 29 percent of mobile marketers reporting plans to use it. North American marketers will be using mobile much differently than other marketers, and casting a wider net of use. While they will take advantage of SMS and apps, they will also be using mobile coupons as another stand-out tactic to reach consumers.
The Death of Free Shipping
The most popular offer from retailers in 2013 was free shipping and it was used by 39 percent of marketers in North America. In 2014, only 25 percent of marketers globally (it will decrease by 1 percent in North America to 38 percent) plan to use free shipping.
For those who will still be offering Free Shipping promotions, results show that emails that include a free shipping offer in the subject line are 72 percent more effective than those without and revenue is 53.3 percent greater than those who do not offer free shipping.
There are a LOT of plans for social integration in marketing campaigns this holiday season. 36 percent of marketers globally are integrating social into their cross-channel holiday campaigns. As for sharing, 20 percent of global marketers and 30 percent of North American marketers enable consumers to share content both directly from email and on their website. North American marketers are taking it a step further and are planning to use video on their websites to enable social sharing. Unlike other regions, North American marketers will also use ratings and review to their advantage, with 21 percent using them in their campaigns.