A nuanced dynamic not understood by everyone is that there is a reciprocal relationship between promotions and identity. Promotions incentivize and accelerate consumer interactions to increase the amount of data captured, including purchase, behavioral and preference data that can be combined to identify brand connection and emotional needs. And once that identity data is collected, it can be used to develop even more engaging and relevant promotions that deliver stronger business results. And these more sophisticated promotions will then collect even more identity data. This level of customer knowledge will lessen a brand’s concern about the deprecation of the third-party cookie.
Some marketers view promotions as discounting tools to increase sales, but contests, social activations and other promotions can be used across the entire customer journey. Promotions create brand moments and increase time spent, and each time a consumer visits a promotion is a new opportunity to gather data. The following five promotion ideas are easily tied to a holiday theme and will motivate and incent these necessary repeat visits to capture the zero- and first-party data that is necessary for identity-centered marketing strategies.
Offer a digital wish list
E-commerce sales will rise 11.3 percent this year and will account for a record 18.9 percent of total retail sales for the holiday season. Take advantage of this by offering a digital wish list with a chance to win. This interactive tool allows consumers to learn about products, build a personalized wish list and share their wish list with others. Identity signals are collected during the process, the promotion helps drive incremental sales when participants share their wish lists with others and buzz is created as one lucky participant wins everything on her or his list.
Run a daily sweepstakes
To drive multiple site visits, run a daily sweepstakes. In this advent calendar-inspired solution, a new prize is given away each day. With each daily visit, new data is collected and consumers have a chance to win that day’s mystery prize. The lure of this daily mystery prize brings new consumers to a brand, building its database in the process and keeping it top of mind throughout this critical revenue-driving period.
Launch an engagement hub
To build emotional and long-lasting relationships, it’s imperative to get to know customers. An engagement hub is an interactive digital space where consumers engage with a brand by participating in various activities for ongoing chances to win. Examples of hub activities include personality quizzes, trivia, polls, user-generated content and receipt upload—all of which collect various identity signals. Because 81 percent of consumers want a relationship with a brand, it’s important to provide these custom experiences during critical need states (such as holiday shopping for loved ones) along the customer journey.
Create a hashtag sweepstakes
Social media activity is really ramped up during the holidays as we post about gift ideas and wish lists, winter break, home décor and gift wrap and cooking and entertaining with friends and family. Capitalize on these special moments by building a holiday-themed hashtag sweepstakes that relate to the brand. These do not just collect data to build an identity graph—they can also help grow follower base, engage fans, build buzz and showcase user-generated content.
Offer augmented reality games
Augmented reality (AR) promotions and games—3D interactive brand experiences within the real-world environment—are consumer engagement gold. Tied to a brand moment, these activations can be at the point of sale or consumption, utilized while standing in line or included on product packaging to make the brand come to life. AR promotions are a frictionless way to quickly immerse consumers into the experience of a brand through games, face filters or even product education—collecting identity data along the way.
Marketers should use holiday-themed promotions as opportunities to enrich customer identity. This strategy will help them deliver personalized experiences—the ones that create emotional and lasting relationships with customers—well into the cookieless future.
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