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Almost Half of All Marketers Will Launch Holiday Campaigns Before Halloween




kmart christmasThe press made quite a fuss when Kmart aired the first Christmas commercial of the season on September 9. This is a full seven weeks earlier than their first 2012 ad, which ran Oct. 28.

The concept of starting earlier and earlier is called “Christmas Creep.” Ironically (or perhaps intentionally), the Kmart ad features a spooky, oversize gingerbread man who creeps up on an unsuspecting woman. “Don’t let the holidays sneak up on you” is the message, but it hardly seems possible given the timing of the ads.

Kmart’s ad is all about layaway, so you can forgive them for jumping the gun but they aren’t the only ones with a premature reveal.

According to a survey conducted by Experian, 49 percent of marketers “suggested” they were going to start a holiday campaign before Halloween.

83 percent said they plan on running coordinated, cross-channel marketing campaigns during the holiday season, with 55 percent stating they will be coordinating marketing campaigns across four or more channels.

Here’s the plan:

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Online Display advertising is tops with almost 60 percent of marketers. Email is a close second. I was surprised to see Print coming in third.  I was also surprised to see Search at only 30 percent. Maybe that’s because it’s holiday and they’re not doing anything special via search.

And look at mobile – only 24 percent of marketers are planning to use mobile. Maybe by Christmas 2014, that number will be up with social.

Promotional Considerations Provided By. . .
Let’s face it, customers are spoiled for choice when it comes to holiday deals. In order to compete, retailers have to offer as many promotions as they can afford or offset that with amazing items that can’t be bought anywhere else.

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Free Shipping is top on most retailer promo lists which is great because it’s also tops with customers. Deal of the Day is another popular idea. But look at the tall red bar near the end – 28 percent of marketers say they won’t be integrating any type of promotion this holiday season. More power to them.

Now here’s my two-cents. Free shipping and half price deals won’t mean a thing if your customer service is terrible. Sure, people want to get a bargain, but what they really want is service. I want to get the item I ordered within the promised time frame. I don’t want to hear that its backordered, or that you ran out but took my order anyway. I don’t want it to show up smashed or in the wrong size or wrong color.

If there is a problem, I want it solved without a hassle. Replace it. Fix it. Give me more than I asked for. Do something to make it right within 48 hours.

Seriously folks, don’t let poor customer service wreck an expensive holiday campaign.