Marketing has become more of an omnichannel experience than ever been before. For direct-to-consumer (D2C) brands, that means engaging customers on all the places they work, live, and play online — whether that be on emails, websites, or social media platforms. The growing breadth of our digital lives has added a dose of complexity that makes it tempting for D2C brands to over-simplify their marketing campaigns to a fault. Marketers are more willing to focus on only specific marketing channels and to launch campaigns during “peak-shopping” seasons.
While seasonal campaigns are great for promotional dates, upcoming events, or when a new product will be released, they’re limited in providing long-term growth for a business. As a result, it isn’t very easy to forecast sales and growth targets. D2C brands need to expand the scope of their planning to include more marketing channels and engage customers beyond “peak-shopping” seasons.
Marketing Campaigns Shouldn’t Stop After the Holidays
Strong customer relationships are the lifeblood of any organization, no matter their size, vertical, or industry. And like all good things, great relationships take time to build. For D2C brands, that means planning and launching brand awareness campaigns that introduce them to new customers and build rapport with these customers over time.
If customers feel great about a brand, then they’re more likely to purchase repeatedly, spread positive word of mouth, and become brand advocates. In other words, running brand awareness campaigns are a fantastic way to improve customer lifetime value (CLV) — especially considering that it costs five times more to acquire a new customer than retain an existing one. And, there’s no better time to launch a brand awareness campaign then after the holiday season.
The cost of acquiring a new customer is five times more than retaining an existing one.
— Khalid Saleh, CEO and Co-Founder, Invesp.
As we’ve mentioned before, marketing costs drop sharply from the Black Friday peaks, right after Christmas. Costs per thousand impressions (CPMs) take a noticeable dip, and the number of impressions served rises in January. Based on AdRoll’s internal numbers from 2018, there was a 20% increase in impressions served and a 30% drop in CPMs during the month of January. That’s huge since most of your competitors aren’t capitalizing on these great deals, which leaves a marketing vacuum that can easily be filled. It makes perfect financial sense to kick off multichannel campaigns after the holidays.
Based on AdRoll’s internal numbers from 2018, there was a 20% increase in impressions served and a 30% drop in CPMs during the month of January.
Marketing Calendar: The Perfect Tool for Those Post-Holiday Blues
Digital marketing campaigns are multifaceted; on most occasions, various departments, stakeholders, assets, and marketing channels are involved. Ensuring that all these moving parts are aligned is trickier than it seems. That’s why marketers need to have a way to keep track of all the activities within a given campaign. Cue the marketing calendar.
A marketing calendar is a perfect tool for maintaining consistency, spotting missed opportunities, staying up-to-date on upcoming holidays, and organizing distribution channels. That last point is particularly vital for financial purposes. If a D2C brand is only advertising or putting too much weight on a single channel, they can be dedicating marketing spend on activities that simply aren’t producing. For example, a clothing brand may try to reach younger audiences on Instagram, but ignore email retargeting as an option. This can lead to missed opportunities, such as targeting customers who have left items in their shopping carts.
69% of companies use an editorial calendar to keep track of their marketing activities and initiatives.
How does having a more organized marketing team and, in effect, campaign impact the customer experience? Well, for one, it ensures customers are receiving timely messaging during the busiest shopping periods of the year. Additionally, a marketing calendar helps create consistent messaging throughout the entire customer journey and makes it easier to understand the impact of campaign performance from an omnichannel perspective (e.g., the impact of display campaigns on search).
Don’t know how to create your very own marketing calendar? You’re in luck. In the spirit of giving, we created a marketing calendar that you can use to outline all of the major pitstops in your creative strategy. This will ensure you have a steady stream of promotion clearly mapped out and that you’re reaching your customers consistently both online and offline.
Since joining AdRoll in 2017, Giulianno has regularly produced content that explores how professionals can improve their digital marketing strategies and emerging industry trends. When he's not working, you can find him at Golden Gate Park training for his next marathon.