• The early bird gets the worm – that goes for holiday deals and the marketers looking to support them – and it’s never too early to start planning. This past Thanksgiving weekend did not disappoint in serving up a significant uptick in sales for retailers—a Deloitte survey found that 71% of surveyed Americans plan to shop either in brick-and-mortar stores or online over the long weekend. The way shoppers are experiencing Black Friday (traditionally an in-store experience) and Cyber Monday (traditionally rooted online) has fundamentally changed, which begs the question—what will Black Friday and Cyber Monday marketing campaigns look like in 2019?

    Connecting Black Friday and Cyber Monday campaigns

    While some retailers have separate campaigns for the two holidays, consumers treat Thanksgiving weekend as a four-day opportunity to get ahead on their holiday shopping. Next year, marketers should plan to implement a more hybrid strategy that drives customers to engage in offline and online sales deals throughout Thanksgiving weekend.

    Retailers currently spend 25% of ad budgets on Black Friday weekend, so it’s important to generate the right mix of online and offline sales opportunities for optimal impact. Measurement in 2018 is an integral component to setting the optimal ad strategy for Black Friday-Cyber Monday in 2019. Ensure your teams have the right platforms and data to make informed decisions about what’s working and what’s not so they can apply what they learned this year to other busy shopping seasons, and optimize in the moment.

    Bring on the beacons

    Remember Macy’s Black Friday Walk In and Win game back in 2015? This beacon-powered marketing campaign offered in-store shoppers opportunities to win prizes by playing the game on mobile. They encouraged holiday shoppers to engage with the app and Macy’s digital experience in store.

    If in-store beacon-triggered moments powered by geo-targeting aren’t part of your thinking for 2019, they should be, as Forrester found that 82% of shoppers make purchasing decisions in-aisle. A successful ad push at the right moment means that your consumer spends less time waffling on what to get her great aunt and gets a better deal—just the right touch of personalization that can boost your holiday sales.

    Predictive technology to hook indecisive shoppers

    Consumers already know what they’re shopping for before they walk in the store’s doors or land on a brand’s website. Sometimes they just need reassurance before they put their item in their shopping cart. Predictive technology can subtly suggest the right product for the consumer, which can speed purchase decisions.

    AI tools can help marketers personalize how they target products to their audiences during the Thanksgiving shopping weekend. A Salesforce report found that 5% of shoppers engaged with products recommended by AI accounts for 24% of revenue on Cyber Monday—these striking statistics suggest that it wouldn’t hurt to experiment with AI in 2019.

    While you may not want to hear the words Black Friday or Cyber Monday for some time, the points above can apply to any busy shopping period. Valentine’s Day will be here before we know it! There are lots of ways to keep pushing the limits for campaigns — so take a moment to reflect on what went well (or didn’t) this year, and start 2019 fresh with a data-driven, personalized approach for giving shoppers what they want. Doing so just might make Black Friday and Cyber Monday campaign planning a breeze!

    With the busy shopping season in full swing, we look forward to hearing about what’s working well and lessons learned. Have a few tips up your sleeve for 2019 that you’d like to share? Tweet at us to let us know at @RampUp!

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