Rapaport Magazine

Beyond the jingle

Marketing expert Laryssa Wirstiuk talks last-minute holiday strategies for a successful advertising campaign.

By Sonia Esther Soltani

Image: Stocksy

What do you see as the biggest challenge for retailers trying to establish a marketing strategy this holiday season?

This may not necessarily apply to all retailers, but one challenge I’m seeing this year is actually related to the supply chain and shipping hold-ups, which are in turn affecting marketing. Many retailers aren’t able to keep up with holiday demand, or they need to take holiday orders very early to ensure holiday delivery. The circumstances are forcing retailers to do an earlier-than-usual holiday marketing push, which could burn out consumers.
Another challenge is the rapid evolution of social media marketing and advertising. Retailers are scrambling to keep up with all the changes on platforms like Instagram and Facebook while churning out relevant and engaging content to ensure they stay in their followers’ news feeds.

Should retailers invest their marketing efforts in digital first, even with customers showing signs of wanting to go back to stores?

Yes, definitely. Even though customers are getting back into stores, they’re likely still doing their initial research and planning online. They want to compare prices and options in the comfort of their own homes on their digital devices before venturing to a store. Consumers expect retailers to be everywhere they are, including on a website, on live chat, on email, on social media, etc. It’s important for retailers to embrace the multi-touch approach.

Do you believe the holiday season is still the make-or-break time for retailers?

It depends on the individual retailer, but in general I would say “yes.” Many jewelry retailers rely on gift-giving occasions for the consumer’s motivation to shop. Wedding jewelry retailers and retailers who carry more self-purchase-friendly items may not have this issue, but most traditional jewelry stores will see the most traffic and interest around the holidays.

What targeted marketing strategies would you recommend?

I would definitely recommend a combination of email marketing and SMS (text message) marketing, the latter of which is not being utilized often enough by jewelry retailers, in my opinion. This combination really puts the power of data back in the hands of the retailer, since they don’t have to be at the mercy of social media algorithms. With these two approaches, they can communicate with customers in a more personalized, controlled and immediate way. These two channels also provide opportunities for sharing valuable content, like helpful and educational blog posts.

What are the innovative initiatives you’ve seen that have proven successful in previous years?

Hosting an in-person, holiday-themed event is always a great way to boost the customer experience, create some holiday cheer, and get customers more excited about shopping in general. A festive in-store event encourages people to come in and enjoy the atmosphere, especially if refreshments and entertainment are involved. I don’t know about you, but once I actually try on a few pieces of jewelry, I’m much more likely to buy something than if I’m just browsing photos or videos online.

Any other advice you’d like to share?

I just think it’s more important to be creative instead of wondering what the “magic pill of marketing” will be. How can you wow and dazzle your customers? What’s something you haven’t ever tried before that you can implement this year? How can you push the boundaries just a little bit and get people talking? This will require business owners to step away from the status quo and have a brainstorming session. They’ll need to be willing to experiment and be open to the unknown.

Who is Laryssa Wirstiuk?
The founder and creative director of Joy Joya, a digital marketing agency for jewelry brands, Wirstiuk is the author of the book Jewelry Marketing Joy and the host of the Joy Joya Jewelry Marketing Podcast. She’s also spoken at JCK, AGS Virtual Conclave, and Jewelry Ecomm Live. joyjoya.com

Article from the Rapaport Magazine - November 2021. To subscribe click here.

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