Ahead of Christmas.
We are only in July but Crossmark director of client service, Anthony Di Francesco (pictured) is already urging brands to consider the products they will promote, and the strategies they will invest in, for the festive season, now.
“Christmas may be merry for consumers but for brands and retailers it can be incredibly lucrative with the opportunity to keep the tills jingling non-stop. However, to really capitalise on the peak selling period, companies can’t rely solely on increased footfall alone,” he said.
He believes it is how brands manage the influx of traffic in store and proactively engage consumers over Christmas and New Year that counts – and now is the time to start strategising.
“Although it’s only July, it’s crucial that brands consider how they will grab shoppers’ attention during the busy sales rush period when a raft of other, heavily-promoted merchandise will also be vying for attention,” he said.
“One of the most effective marketing strategies to consider in the lead up to Christmas is a brand ambassador program or even just a short three or four week in-store product demonstration blitz.
“Executing short term customer engagement strategies, where we place staff in store and engage consumers directly on their behalf is a growing trend in today’s competitive retail environment.
“Having brand ambassadors on the ground in stores can stop people in their tracks when there is a sea of shoppers who are walking aimlessly around a store trying to decide what product to purchase.”
“We implemented a very successful brand ambassador campaign for a leading technology brand last Christmas focusing on assisted selling direct to shoppers. A dedicated brand ambassador was placed in JB Hi-Fi, Harvey Norman and other retailers across three weeks in the lead up to Christmas.
“They received an in-depth product briefing and customer profile training, with the key objective to sell directly to shoppers by engaging every person in or near the category. They were trained how to upsell or steer potential customers to other ranged products if required, to ensure every sale opportunity was maximised.”
“Outsourcing merchandising to the professionals is also a great way for brands to ensure they leverage this peak buying period. Specialist field marketing agencies have access to sophisticated technology that allows them to respond quickly to data, before the stock runs out.
“With large, dedicated field teams around the country, outsourcing to national agencies such as Crossmark also allows brands to flex up their instore field marketing support during peak sales periods where speed, scale and flexibility is crucial.”