2013 Black Friday and Cyber Monday Results

The results from the 2013 Black Friday/Cyber Monday shopping weekend indicate that consumers have continued to embrace e-commerce holiday shopping. While consumers continued to shop at “brick and mortar” stores, most began their shopping online which had a notable impact on their in-store purchase decisions.

Brick & Mortar Stores
Retailers opening on Thanksgiving in 2013 failed to notice a rise in consumer spending. Rather than an increase the effort appears to have simply spread the dollars over two days rather only one.  According to the National Retail Federation, Thanksgiving day store traffic did increase by 27% over last year.  Unfortunately, Black Friday brick-and-mortar retail sales decreased 13.2% from 2012.

Thanksgiving online sales set a new record, increasing 19.7% over 2012. Black Friday also experienced an increase of online shoppers, with a 19% increase over last year.  Average order value also increased in 2013 to $135.27, up 2% from the previous year.

2013’s Cyber Monday became the largest online shopping day in history, with a 20.6% in sales over 2012, according to the IBM 2013 Holiday Benchmark Report.  The five-day holiday shopping period became the largest five-day online sales period on record, increasing 16.5% over the same period last year.

Online consumers continued to rely on their mobile devices for the 2013 Black Friday weekend.  Online purchases on smartphones and tablets grew more than 40% over 2012, reports IBM.  IBM also reported that Mobile sales grew to 25.8% of total online sales on Thanksgiving day and to 21.8% on Black Friday. Smartphones and tablets accounted for 31.7% of Cyber Monday’s online traffic, an increase of 45% over 2012.

Facebook and Pinterest delivered more traffic than any other social sites, according to the IBM reports. Black Friday consumers, referred from Pinterest, spent 77% more per order than consumers referred by Facebook.  However, Facebook referrals spent 6% more per order than consumers referred by Pinterest on Cyber Monday.

In conclusion, the 2013 Black Friday/Cyber Monday results are another indication that a digital marketing plan is a necessity for any business in 2014. Developing and implementing a digital marketing plan takes time, expertise and research.  Contact David Clark at Media Venue today for a free, no-obligation consultation at 502-855-4782 or david@mediavenue.com.


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Why is my SEM not working?

Many companies have experienced the tremendous growth and brand awareness that SEM often delivers.  Unfortunately, there are quite a few companies that are on the opposite side of this success and have no idea “why” their SEM is not generating emails, phone calls, or leads.  These companies may be doing a great job researching “hot” keywords and phrases, developing intriguing text ads, and placing ads on the top search engines.  However, the results continuously fall short of their set expectations.

A SEM campaign is built around an estimated amount of monthly impressions and clicks based on the budget.  If a campaign is reaching the estimated f impressions and clicks, but falling short on expectations, it typically has nothing to do with the actual SEM campaign. Instead, the issue usually pertains to the campaign website or landing page.   The majority of website visitors expect to have information very quickly and with minimal effort.

A campaign experiencing these issues can usually be resurrected with a redesigned landing page or website.   Below are steps that can help turn visitors into conversions and failing results into thriving campaigns.

  • Landing pages should appear “clean” and professional.  Websites that are ”busy” and confusing will never attain successful results.
  • The Search campaign landing page should always reiterate the offer or savings that is reflected in the text ad.
  • Landing pages should possess information that correlates with text ads. If individual text ads are product or service specific, be sure that the ad leads to the same product or service on the website or landing page.
  • Phone numbers, email addresses and web forms should be prominently displayed on every page.
  • If the company has several locations, be sure that the landing page is in the correct geographical area.  Visitors will become annoyed and usually do not search for their location and simply leave the page.

Search campaigns can be very successful and the benefits are endless. However, if the visitor becomes annoyed and leaves the website you not only lost a potential customer but have increased the overall “cost” of a sale.

Marketing is a science with many moving parts and variables. Campaigns require research and monitoring to reach the set expectations.   If you have any questions about Search Engine Marketing or would like to discuss in detail how Media Venue can help design a marketing plan for you, drop us an email (david@mediavenue.com) or give us a call at 502-855-4782.


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Developing a Successful Digital Marketing Plan

A digital marketing plan is the blueprint for communicating your message to the millions of potential consumers online. A successful digital plan should encompass all aspects of digital media: Search Engine Marketing (SEM). Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Re-targeting, Display, Social, E-mail and Mobile. All elements should work cohesively with the traditional media elements to engage and interact with potential consumers. The message should be perceived as informative, educating, and, at times, entertaining.

As with traditional media campaigns, a mix of digital elements is recommended for the strongest, most cost efficient campaign. However, due to budget and resource constraints a business owner may choose to utilize the one or two digital elements that are most effective and has the greatest reach in regards to the desired demographic.

When beginning, you need research to help start the planning process. Working with a digital company such as Media Venue will take the guess-work out of the information and allow you to create a well-designed plan specific to your company, location(s) and audience. Part of the planning process should include identifying the target audience, market(s) coverage, keywords, goals and objectives. Once launched, it is important to review the campaign daily and monitor the results. A digital expert such as Media Venue can assist you in this daily task, reviewing results and making tweaks throughout the campaign for maximum efficiency.

Digital Marketing is unique in offering analytical reporting that reports on buying patterns, customer behavior, search keywords, site traffic, social references, etc. Each digital outlet offers a report of measurable metrics that is very resourceful when determining effectiveness of an initiative or campaign.

Digital marketing is a continually evolving medium and in order to market effectively, companies must continually nurture and review digital initiatives. Strategies will require an ongoing support function that will ensure objectives are met and the plan remains relevant.

Let Media Venue assist you in designing a campaign specific to you and your business needs. We can help you with digital and traditional campaigns. Call us at 502-855-4782 or email David Clark at david@mediavenue.com. We look forward to hearing from you!

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Five Last Minute Holiday Marketing Ideas

Hopefully your holiday marketing plans have long been in place and ready to go.  For those who haven’t put a plan in place it isn’t too late!  Read the below tips in order to help your business reach all potential customers this holiday season (or anytime).

Social Contest
Did you know:

  • The average age of social media contestants is 30 years of age
  • The best duration for a contest is 25 days
  • 63.4% of consumers are likely to share a holiday contest or giveaway on social media.

To host a social contest:

  1. Pick your prize and entry method
  2. Develop an attention-getting headline and graphic
  3. Add details of the contest such as dates for entry, steps for entering, prize details, etc.
  4. Display instructions on how to share the contest (great opportunity to offer an
    incentive for those who share the contest)
  5. Be sure to add the fine print such as limitations, rules, etc.
  6. Promote the contest, but remember to follow all contest guidelines on each social site. The rules and guidelines do differ from site to site.

Develop a mobile site

  1. Only include the most important content
  2. Develop mobile sites with few images (Mobile sites are designed for quick load times & easy access to information)
  3. Avoid design and coding that requires a User to “pull” or pinch” in order to view content
  4. Offer a “Full Site” link

Launch a Loyalty Program

  1. Set a goal for customers to achieve
  2. Structure rewards carefully (Discounts, Buy 9 get the 10th free, etc.)
  3. Promote the program with in-store signage, website and social media sites
  • Issue membership cards, virtual membership cards or membership numbers customers can use to track their activity.
  • Develop contests or discounts for “Loyalty Program” members only.
  • Encourage members with additional benefits for those who “share” the program with friends.
  • Set up an email newsletter to communicate with loyalty program members.

Develop a social media coupon

  1. Develop offer or discount
  2. Design an image and attention-getting headline
  3. Offer additional discount or benefits for “sharing”
  4. Repost often and interact with “friends” or “followers”
  • Be sure to require redeemers to “like”, “follower”, etc  your social page
  • Develop coupon to be interactive
  • Offer additional saving for benchmark “likes”, “followers”, etc.
  • In 2012, 75% of shoppers used Facebook to search for discounts. (Webs)
  • 67.2% of consumers are most likely to share digital coupons on social media.

Create your own Holiday deal day

  1. Create a fun or catchy title for the day
  2. Offer savings or discounts for that day only
  3. Design the day around the behavior of your potential customers
  4. Promote the “deal day” at least a week before the date
  • Offer savings and discounts online as well as in-store
  • 44% of shoppers plan to begin making Holiday purchases in early December

Once you have your program in place make sure to train your sales staff on the program and all the details!  Make sure you follow through on the program, promote/post the winner(s) if running a contest and ask for feedback from customers and employees.  Feedback will help you tweak the campaign and continue to make it stronger.

If you have any questions about the “Last Minute Holiday Marketing Ideas” or want to chat about a strategy catered to your specific needs, please give Media Venue a call or drop us an email. 502-855-4782 david@mediavenue.com.

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Happy Veterans Day

Thank you to all of the men and women who have selflessly served our country. The sacrifice you and your families have made can never be truly repaid. Happy Veterans Day!

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