5 Genius Marketing Ideas For The Holidays

I'm lucky to have REALLY smart friends. Here are five ideas a recent survey of some of the smartest turned up in anser to the question, "What cool stuff are you doing this holidays?" Names and identities are being withheld until 1.1.2014 as promised :). M

Idea 1: Mobile Games

As a recent Forbes article noted mobile games are ROCKING. Digital games are expected to hit $1.1B growing 54%. Not suggested your ecommerce or B2B website goes into the digital game business, but finding a way to be FUN and MOBILE this holiday is a "genius idea". Tips to keep in mind as you make a digital game out of shopping or forming a relationship with your website:

Mobile Game Tips

  • Keep mobile games simple. 

  • Develop games that play OVER TIME. 

  • Don't forget the leaderboard. 

  • Curate "winners" so everyone learns. 

  • Align your game with core brand values (see Stengel's Brand Ideals).

Idea 2: Disrupt Convention

This holiday season don't do the usual thing in the expected way. If your vertical offers free shipping one way with a trigger offer free shipping both ways (out and then returns back in) on all orders. Create unique holiday merchandising. Bundle disparate items together by looking at your metrics and seeing unusual customer combinations.

Name and brand your disruption. Create a mini-site, ask for User Generated Content and curate what happened yesterday and make predictions about what you think will happen tomorrow. Hang your holiday Internet marketing out on the bleeding edge a little this holiday since doing the usual things in the normal way is all but dead and gone.

Idea 3: Ask THEM

Have a strategic plan about HOW your Internet marketing will break down the wall between YOU and THEM (your customers). Ask what should be on sale, form a "buzz team" and have them look over your marketing first and ask something daily.

Facebook and social media is a great place to ask questions. Some of the most viral content on social media is when you ask a simple question and then curate the response. Don't JUST ask about merchandise. You live inside a merchandise bubble. Most people have LIVES and LOVES. Ask about those too.

Ask questions that help position your products and services in people's dreams, aspirations and thoughts. When you find GREAT answers share them. When you find great answers consistently coming from the same person give them a JOB. Ask a customer to to help curate responses or come up with the next question.

The more your marketing involves OTHERS this holiday the more money you will make.

Idea 4: LISTEN

Doesn't help to ask great questions and then NOT listen to responses. There are very specific ways to "listen" online including:

Ways You LISTEN Online

  • Retweet. 

  • Share on another social net (move Facebook to Twitter and the other way around too). 

  • Present awards (find something you LOVE and create a social badge to reward it). 

  • Respond with emails or @TwitterName tweets. 

  • Asking permission to repost even if you already have it. 

  • Admitting when you or your team made a mistake or missed something (no one is perfect). 

  • Write MORE about someones suggestion or a poll result. 

  • Do what you promise plus a little more. 

  • Do WAY MORE than you promised just because use can. 

  • Be open, honest and authentic. 

This last bullet deserves its own post. Good rule of thumb is if something feels false don't publish it. If something feel wrong it is and never, never, never think you are better, smarter or sneakier than the math. The math always wins and pleading ignorance never works. Do the right thing and when you don't admit it, move on and ask for guidance going forward. Nothing the web amplifies BETTER or LOUDER than dishonesty or true love, passion and guts.

Idea 5: Crowdfund 

The Genius Marketer is figuring out how to harness the power of the crowd this holiday. You and your team are conductors. Your jobs aren't to DO anymore. Your job is to THINK, create and then conduct. Every minute of every day from about now until 1.12014 DATA will be hitting your team. The genius move is to recognize you are in the information business AT LEAST AS MUCH as you are in any other business.

One way to harness the power of the sentient mob, to get the crowd in your marketing, is to develop a crowdfunding play. We like crowdfunding more than crowdsourcing because money helps cut through clutter faster than almost anything we know. The really cool part is crowdfunding isn't that hard to create (we are about to have a Software as a Service (SaaS) offering that will be close to plug and play), but the topside benefits are huge including:

Crowdfunding Benefits

  • Stay ahead of the marketing. 

  • Social shares go WAY up. 

  • SEO improves. 

  • Traffic increases (2x to 4x). 

  • Conversion improve. 

  • New stories all the time.

  • User Generated Content (UGC) goes way up. 

If Macy's asked their customers to share the shoes they want but can't find or your B2B website asked customers to share ideas for content or innovative marketing would Macy's and any B2B company be better off? Let's put this another way. If you could spend less than $50K to make a million would you? Most companies, brands and people can answer that question without help :).

I Love The Holidays, You?

Here are helpful links so you know I'm not crazy, just in a hurry :).

Martin W. Smith, Director Marketing Atlantic BT

Martin Marty Smith on Facebook

Martin Marty Smith on Linkedin

Martin W. Smith on G+


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