May 19, 2020

A Retail Marketer's Guide to the Holiday Season

Business
Australia
marketing
Retail
Bizclik Editor
2 min
A Retail Marketer's Guide to the Holiday Season

The following is an excerpt from an article by Kyle Lacy, senior manager of content marketing and research at ExactTarget

In-Store

Engaging consumers who are already interacting with your brand is the ultimate win-win. Your physical store provides you a competitive advantage over your eCommerce competitors. Take advantage of the time a consumer spends in your store and promote opportunities to interact with your brand after they walk out the door. 

Tip 1: Promote your website URL, email opt-in, SMS messaging programs, social channels, and more within your store, specifically at places where consumers are waiting (e.g. near the check-out). 

Tip 2: Evaluate if collecting data at check-out is right for your business (via sales clerk, SMS capture, etc). Whether you collect personal data or geographic data, it should lead to more personalized communications—if it doesn’t, you’re just inconveniencing your customer with a lengthier transaction process. 

Tip 3: Offer to send in-store receipts to consumers via email. This is a great way to provide value and added convenience to your customers’ shopping experience, plus it gives you an opportunity to gain feedback, promote special offers, and drive web traffic. Not quite ready for digital receipts? Then focus on including a digital call-to-action on your in-store receipts to encourage further brand interaction. 

Online

Be respectful of consumers’ time. 

Tip 1: Make your email opt-in form easy to find on your website. 

Tip 2: Request only the data that you plan to use—and actually use it! If you request a name and zip code, use personalization and geographic segmentation to make your messages more relevant and engaging. 

Tip 3: Communicate the value of what you’re offering up front—make sure your customers know why they should provide you their information. 

Cross-channel. Consumers want different things from different channels especially during the holiday shopping season, so make goals and priorities for each while utilizing the strengths of one channel to promote another. 

Tip 1: Take advantage of your consumer’s down-time and promote your mobile and social programs across all of your commonly-used mediums—in-store, print, TV, display advertising, etc. 

Tip 2: Include an email opt-in form on a Facebook timeline tab and follow the same principles as you do for your website opt-in form. 

According to the National Retail Federation, nearly one-fifth of the industry’s annual sales come directly from sales made in the months of November and December, making it the top consumer spending event of the year. There’s no question on the potential impact of the holiday shopping season: it’s a great opportunity for both marketers and consumers, if done well.

Share article

Jun 9, 2021

Q&A: Professor Loredana Padurean, Asia School of Business

DigitalTransformation
AsiaSchoolofBusiness
smartskills
Leadership
Kate Birch
3 min
Teaching the MIT Sloan Executive Education program at Asia School of Business, Prof. Padurean talks innovation, smart skills and digital transformation

As someone who is creating Asia Pacific’s business leaders of the future, what do you believe are the essential skills leaders require?

In many ways, we need leaders who are Renaissance women/men or polymaths, as opposed to specialists of an industry or a field. A polymath is a person with profound knowledge, proficiency and expertise in multiple fields and today’s leaders have to be able to combine various ideas, look at problems in novel and useful ways, and develop a broad and yet still deep set of skills, talents, and knowledge.

You’ve coined ‘smart’ and ‘sharp’ as skills of the future. What are these?

They are replacements for ‘soft’ and ‘hard’ skills, a concept coined by a US Army doctor in 1972 who observed that his pupils had different skills: dealing with machinery required ‘hard’ skills, while dealing with people and paper were ‘soft’ skills. This concept has served us well since, but I find it too binary, not to mention the semantic implications of the words themselves.

Soft implies gentle, delicate, mild, quiet, tender, weak. However, there is nothing soft in navigating competing perspectives and cultures, handling and delivering critical feedback or dealing with office politics. Instead, I prefer to call these skills ‘smart’. Hard implies rigid, difficult, heavy, static. But how can we think of engineering or software development as static or rigid? I believe ‘sharp’ is more apt as such skills need constant updating or sharpening. 

I think it’s time to reflect on these classifications, because we can drastically change someone’s perspective by how we choose to talk about and frame something. 

How important are smart skills in leadership today?

Smart skills are more important than ever because we live in a world of extreme diversity: generational, ethical, value-based, gender, etc. Gone are the days when giving an order was an effective act of leadership. I personally work with people from five different continents and across five different generations, therefore as leaders, we need to know how to adapt, motivate, inspire and connect. We need to increase our investment in learning about them in action, especially as smart skills are more difficult to develop.

I believe that a successful leader today has to be both smart and sharp. Take cognitive readiness, one of my top 10 smart skills. In order to be cognitive ready, one has to master system dynamics, one of my top 10 sharp skills. Also, did you know that one of the primary reasons why digital transformation fails is not the absence of digital literacy, a sharp skill, but the need for more validation and adaptability, both smart skills. So, instead of thinking of these skills as binary, I prefer to think of them as the yin and yang; co-existing and complementing each other. 

So, you can teach leaders smart skills then?

Yes, you can, via a combination of the classroom experience, plus an action component supported by deeply embedded reflection. At ASB we call this Action Learning, and we teach it both in the MBA and in the executive programs. For example, in teaching a leader emotional maturity as a smart skill, first they need to learn what it is, and then act on it, before reflecting on what we did and how we did it. And then to repeat it, but this time with more expertise and awareness. It’s not easy, but that’s why my favourite mantra is ‘the job is easy, the people are not’. 

Discover Professor Padurean's successful skills for a digital transformation here

 

Share article