Consumer culture is deeply entrenched in society. Multiple components work together to keep it well oiled like a machine. This time of year sees annual sales for Black Friday and Cyber Monday taking place. But with changing well-informed consumers, what is our role as marketers when it comes to these events?
One might wonder if Black Friday and Cyber Monday still matter. Some will tell you that as long as people love sales, these days matter. Now that is true, people love a discount - when it’s value for money, though. With digital technology, people have the tools to perform price checks to see if the discount being offered is really a discount. They’ve become put off by feeling scammed in the past and are conducting more research than ever before making purchase decisions.
Many stores have notoriously inflated their prices right before sale days to influence people to make purchases, without taking any dents in their revenue. The other factor is the state of the world right now. As many businesses have struggled over the last 2 years due to COVID-19 restrictions, they are unable to offer the kinds of deals that people have become accustomed to. Additionally, many consumers are facing financial limitations too.
What this presents us with is an issue where there aren’t that many deals that can be offered, and there isn’t that much money to be spent. It also means that fewer people will be lining up at stores, with online shopping taking off and many countries around the world trying to curb large gatherings of people.
This leaves marketers in a precarious position. What can be learned and what can be done, not only now but for future Black Friday’s and Cyber Monday’s to come?
The first lesson is that consumers are savvy.
We know customers like to shop around for a good deal, but they’re now empowered to do so more than ever. Businesses are not only competing with competitors on pricing - competitors spanning the globe, mind you, but they also need to ensure their own pricing strategies are consistent. In addition to this, your products and services need to provide real-world value. Possibly most important is your branding, since consumers research companies and support those who have strong values and a positive company culture.
Dig deeper when it comes to consumer profiling.
Marketers tend to look at audiences as moving targets, and consumers have started to feel that way too. A key move forward for marketing is to humanize where possible. To do this, marketing needs to be personalized in order to foster authentic, long-term relationships. In addition, you need to understand your audience on a much deeper level which goes beyond the general buyer personas. Identify your niche consumers, and tailor your efforts towards them.
Reconsider specials, offers, and promotions.
What makes a special good enough to take the bait? That is the question, but more importantly, what makes a special good enough and leads to a returning customer? Ensure your offers are meaningful - a 5% discount will not cut it. Free delivery is usually expected when buying a certain amount, as are free returns for online orders, and discounts for new customers. Finding ways to reward your customers is a great way to build long-term relationships with them and encourage brand loyalty. Be sure to follow this up with excellent customer experiences to match.
Take advantage of the growing eCommerce industry.
Back when Black Friday was at its peak, you’d see footage of customers storming shops to grab their hands on insane discounts. With the move towards online shopping, Cyber Monday was born, and discounts followed suit. Whether you offer a brick-and-mortar store or only operate online, there are many spaces within the eCommerce industry where you can expand your reach. The key is to sell where your customers are and offer them the most convenience. That may well mean having an option to purchase a product on Instagram or an online marketplace that hosts its own discounts that your customers can benefit from.
Promote responsible and balanced lifestyles.
There is a massive focus on living healthier lives that are balanced. There are many ways that this affects a team, both internally and externally. Promote the good initiatives your business partakes in, your efforts in the community, and your company culture. Likewise, showcase your products and services and enable a balanced lifestyle that favors the wellbeing of your customers. It's not only about what you offer, but how you share that through brand awareness.
That wraps up our take on the lessons to be learned from the evolution of Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Marketers have a big responsibility in transforming engagements with audiences during these annual events, as well as redefining the way forward for society, with a more positive outlook on proving value to your customers.
Gain access to marketing expertise with Nexa. Book a call with us to discuss your needs. Let’s grow your business and get you ready to maximize sales when the next Black Friday and Cyber Monday roll around.