3 Ways Your Brand Can Stand Out This (Unusual) Holiday Season

I’ve been thinking about shopping recently. Why do I love it? What makes it fun, accessible and meaningful? And, what roles should brands play?

Many tech marketers are also asking these questions, especially as they plan for an unprecedented kind of holiday shopping season. With retail closures, tighter budgets and shifts in consumer behavior, the usual marketing tactics might not work.

Many tech marketers are now experiencing FOMO: Fear of Marketing Out. There may be logistical limits to what many can do, but uncertainty about the future is possibly the largest constraint to thinking outside the box.

Tech advertisers should realize that they have options, particularly as customers rely increasingly on technology to stay connected and tackle daily challenges. Marketers just have to be willing to pivot, flex their creative muscles and empathize with customers, and following the steps below is a great start.

1. Hold up a mirror to your brand

Before you rethink your strategy, reflect on your brand. What do you sell—and stand for?

To succeed, you can’t just copy everyone else—you must understand who you are as a brand and what you can do. A majority of (70%) consumers still want to hear from brands about what they offer and what they believe in. But speaking out isn’t enough. You also have to walk the talk.

That starts with looking internally at your values and practices and asking hard questions. Your marketing efforts should then reflect the changes you make. Research from Accenture shows that shoppers want to buy from companies that support causes they care about, especially during the holidays.

2. Break out of the sea of sameness

Keeping ads fresh has always been important. And with consumers spending 70% more time on their phones under social distancing measures, they are swiping and scrolling through the same ads. How do you get and keep their attention?

The answer? Be fearless. Shopping is practical, but it’s also an escape. Brands can pull customers in with innovative technologies, thoughtfully crafted content or personalized experiences.

As customers look for ways to stay connected and entertained at home, brands are now creating mobile-first campaigns using augmented reality, Messenger and Facebook Live. Others incorporate consumer-generated videos into their ads or share content like DIY hacks and tutorials.

Offering seamless, end-to-end experiences will also help you stand out. Commerce now happens anywhere. From initial interest to curbside pickup or Buy Online Pick Up In Store (BOPIS), think of how you can create a more convenient experience.

3. Adapt your messaging

This year is the perfect time to return to a people-first advertising approach.

To learn more about your audience, simply listen, test and iterate. Experimentation always involves some degree of risk, which is why Facebook Creative Shop and the Marketing Science team developed Betatyping, a framework providing the freedom to experiment with multiple creative ideas without dedicating an entire budget to one approach.

Say you provide video camera technology. After you test different messages, you might discover that your customers’ biggest concern is how to celebrate the holidays with their families. You could then create messaging describing how your devices help customers feel closer to their loved ones, even from afar.

Personalizing your messaging helps build more value per customer. Your ads should come across as human, relating to concerns that your customers are going through. Focus on how your brand can uniquely meet these needs and then communicate that value clearly.

A year to embrace change

This holiday season may be challenging, but it’s also an opportunity to change how you market for the better. As you move quickly and create furiously, give yourself permission to step back and look at the bigger picture. Tech marketers have a unique chance to tell this larger story as they empathize with customers and convey the emotional value of products that foster connection.

This year, reevaluating your strategy, playing with new tactics and putting your customers first will help drive customer retention and loyalty. And your brand will be better for it long after the holidays are over.

For more insights, solutions and inspiration on holiday preparation, check out Facebook’s 2020 Holiday Package for Tech.