Dating data: Tracking ROI on holiday season marketing

in Marketing by Peter Wood
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holiday season marketing

In case you hadn’t noticed, 2012 was a year of fantastic marketing campaigns. From viral videos to innovative Facebook promotions and outrageous stunts, no one can deny that big marketers weren’t incredibly creative over the past year.

To mark the beginning of a new year, here’s a brief rundown of some of the best big marketing campaigns of 2012. From interactive and fun to downright wacky, these campaigns highlight creative and out-of-the-box approaches that businesses of all sizes can draw inspiration from in the year ahead.

IKEA’s Paris metro apartments

No stranger to unusual and off-the-wall promotions, IKEA did it again with their metro apartment campaign. To showcase how well IKEA furniture fits in small spaces, the company installed five tiny apartments in the middle of a busy Paris subway station. The apartments were inhabited by volunteers who lived in them for a week, showcasing to passersby how effectively the furniture fits into cramped spaces.

It’s an ingenious campaign that draws upon human curiosity, while targeting potential customers in a busy urban setting.

Coca-Cola’s Zero video puzzle campaign

How do you get TV viewers to willingly, even eagerly, watch the same ad over and over again? By filling the video ad with clues for a Facebook puzzle, of course. By providing the only clues to  Coca-Cola’s Zero video puzzle in the TV ad, participants in the campaign watched the video an average of 23 times, while Coca-Cola doubled their likes in the process.

This promotion is a great example of an advertiser combining traditional advertising with social media to create long-lasting impressions and high recall in the minds of consumers.

Domino’s Think Oven App

After dealing with a barrage of customer complaints, Domino’s did more than just apologise. They created their own Think Oven Facebook app – a collection of tools designed to gather submissions and ideas from customers about how to do things better. So far, the app has generated thousands of customer ideas and, in return, Domino’s has given cash prizes to some of the top submissions.

The app is a great example of how to leverage social media to create a two-way communication process that not only gives your customers a voice, but the opportunity to improve your brand in the process.

Kotex personalised gift boxes

As part of its Inspiration Day campaign, Kotex sent out images of personalised gift boxes to 50 women on Pinterest. The items in the boxes were selected based on customers’ Pinterest profiles. In order to claim the gift boxes, customers simply had to repin the image to their profile. The campaign was a big hit, with women posting about the campaign across various media channels, resulting in a total of 700,000 impressions.

This campaign illustrates how going for a personal touch with social media is a highly effective way to create buzz around your product or brand.

As these marketing campaigns demonstrate, creating a sensation with customers can be accomplished with a variety of both high and low-tech marketing techniques. But what made these campaigns such a hit is their focus on human curiosity and plain old fun, which will always hold universal appeal, no matter what your target market may be.

This article represents the views of the author only and not those of American Express.

When you’re mixing traditional marketing and social media in your festive marketing efforts, you might be struggling due to confusing return on investment (ROI) data. However, if you actively measure your advertising as much as possible, you should be able to identify your wins and tighten up your approach.

You should be aware of how important festive marketing is to your business. For retailers, both traditional and online, the holiday period may account for a large portion of their total annual profits. It means festive marketing spend needs to be bolstered accordingly.

For others where the holiday season falls under the rhythm of their regular business model, the period is also important to ensure consumer engagement efforts are made. A simple card to a client may not be as outdated as the tech-heavy workplace might make it feel. But how can you do more?

Festive engagement and ROI

If your festive marketing is mainly focused on engagement, also ensure your colleagues and employees do not resort to clichés or become dismissive of slow results. You are out to make a positive impression.

Facebook ads are one example of modern marketing that traditionalists find hard to quantify. Facebook’s Head of Measurement and Insights, Brad Smallwood, has previously said Facebook's internal research shows that a campaign starts to deliver results in approximately one year . However, if you are integrating this digital advertising as part of a wider strategy, you need not wait until next year to achieve something of value.

Awareness vs. direct response

Identify what is a poor result with regards to ROI and separate this from your long-term brand awareness and engagement. For example, your social media advertising is an awareness play, not a direct response effort. Don’t confuse your cost-per-click figures as something from which you are expecting a direct response. However, employees should be accountable for identifying and reporting on the growth of this awareness.

Perhaps direct some small marketing spend towards your brand awareness for the rest of the year. It often takes seven impressions (someone to view your brand/message seven times) to create awareness in a potential customer.

Plan for the rest of the year

Save some marketing spend from the holiday period for your cheaper advertising (such as digital or social) across the rest of the year. Take print advertising as an example. You should be doing the sums on how much that expensive page ad cost you per view. This is how you are measuring digital advertising for the rest of the year.

Intertwine hard KPIs with wider KPIs

The holiday season may feel like it’s all about the hard sell. However, paying attention to your brand’s hard KPIs and wider KPIs can help keep your annual message on track.

Your hard KPIs may be:

• Cost per sale.
• Lead point of origin.
• Conversion costs.
• Social media recommendations.
• Return customers.

Wider KPIs can include:

• Consumer satisfaction.
• Advantage over competitors.
• Decreased marketing spend.
• Value from data.
• Social media research value.

Your festive marketing through both digital and traditional media will drive business and affect your brand into the New Year. Tracking the ROI as well as the overall

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 added value to your business will help you sharpen spending habits and pass that added value on to customers.

This article represents the views of the author only and not those of American Express.

Related Keywords : Marketing , ROI , Data Analysis
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Peter Wood is a freelance journalist with over 8 years experience writing for areas such as banking, finance, real estate, advertising and marketing more. Peter has contributed to regular columns in newspapers, business magazines and online, advising on issues such as business growth, cash flow management, investments and loans, credit control and more.

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