Ep #03: Creed Alexander | Special Projects Manager
We’ll be back monthly to tell you more about what’s going on behind the scenes at Root & Roam.
We’ll be back monthly to tell you more about what’s going on behind the scenes at Root & Roam.
In this episode, we catch up with Callie Lubke, COO of Root & Roam – Integrated Marketing Agency. She also serves as Chief Event Coordinating for Bacon Bash Texas, the nation’s largest bacon cook-off benefitting kids with type 1 diabetes, and local charity, Niki Warms the Cold.
Holiday Marketing Goals
Campaign Key Performance Indicators
Holiday Marketing Campaign Target Audience and Personas
Holiday Campaign Budget
Holiday Marketing Action Items
Get to Work On Your Marketing Plan
Holiday Marketing Summary
How to plan for holiday marketing. – The hustle and bustle of the holidays do not come without intense preparation months in advance. Consumers save their money year-round to purchase the best decorations, food, and gifts available for their loved ones and themselves. In 2019, $729 Billion was spent during the holiday season. Whether you are advertising for Black Friday, Cyber Monday, or December global holidays like Hanukkah and Christmas, or any other holiday, it all boils down to your campaign strategy. A complete campaign strategy will help your marketing team stay organized throughout the process. Your trusted Root & Roam team has put together this checklist to help you get started on your holiday campaign.
The first thing you need to know when preparing for the holiday season is what you want to offer to your customers. Typically, holiday campaigns include discounts and/or limited, seasonal products. When determining what to offer, you will need to consider what will make the most sense for both the consumer and for your business. For reference, you might want to look to the leaders in your niche. The leaders in your industry have likely tried many tactics to reach their audience. They know what works best. Never copy other brands’ offers or campaigns. This is simply an exercise to help you brainstorm your own ideas. Choose an offer that will bring value to your customer and your brand.
Your goals are the things you want to achieve with your holiday campaign. A few examples of common goals are to generate sales, revenue, contact information (emails, phone numbers, mailing addresses), website visits, and door swings.
Your goals will vary depending on your brand and what you wish to achieve. Keep in mind that consumers purchasing products or services during the holiday season are likely expecting to receive their goods or services before their respective holiday. When setting goals, you will need to consider the time it takes to fulfill and ship the item or provide the service.
Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) are specific measurements of success related to your goals. While key performance indicators are similar to goals, it is important to brainstorm each separately. Because there are many ways to measure performance, your team will need to know what they are looking for specifically. When creating your KPIs, keep them reasonable and attainable while challenging your brand’s capabilities. What we mean by that is to set KPIs that are not beyond your reach like selling more orders than your team is capable of getting out in a reasonable amount of time or obtaining a level of revenue that is extreme. Aiming for a 20% increase from the previous year’s Black Friday sale, for example, is a reasonable KPI. Some examples of KPIs are a specific percentage increase in sales or obtaining a specific number of email subscribers.
Your target audience is the group or groups of consumers you wish to reach with your marketing efforts. The persona is a visualization of your ideal customer. Having the persona is helpful in determining messaging and platforms. Each persona is determined by research. Gather the following information for each persona:
You need to have at least one defined persona. However, multiple personas are recommended if your target consists of a range of any of the factors listed above. A few tools that you can use when creating personas are surveys, interviews with current or previous customers, and research. Feedback from your clients is valuable when trying to figure out status and media preferences. Give the persona a name and a face to aid in visualizing the persona.
Keep in mind that consumers are typically not shopping for themselves during the holidays. Typically, your persona and target audience are the same. During the holidays, your persona represents the person that would find value in your product or service. Your target audience is the person who might purchase your product or service. Due to this, your team will need to conduct a little extra research to find where they might reach the actual buyer. Depending on what you are selling, your target audience might be grandparents, adult children, parents, friends, or spouses.
The next thing you will have to determine is the budget for the entire campaign and how the projected cost meets your budget. The research will need to be conducted to determine the cost of graphics, photography, videography, models, ad spend, landing pages, social media posting and maintenance, radio ads, and/or actors depending on your chosen platforms.
The visual piece and labor are usually charged at a flat rate or hourly rate depending on the specifics of what you are looking for. Ad spend is a bit different. Your ad spend should reflect your goals. Ad spend is based on the cost per click or cost per conversion, depending on your goal. Obtaining a sale or a click requires your ad to be shown to anyone who relates to your set audience. Each time your ad shows, a portion of your ad budget is spent. The total amount of your budget that is spent to obtain one click or conversion is the cost per click or conversion. The higher your ad budget, the more people your ad will reach. The more your ad is shown, the higher your chance of achieving your goals.
Factors that might affect ad cost include but are not limited to: keyword search volume, keyword difficulty, and keyword cost. The appearance and messaging of your ad may also affect your ad spend. The Root & Roam digital marketing team is here to help you navigate ad placement and budget.
The action items are the key piece of your holiday marketing strategy. This is where you plan out each step to achieve your goals based on your KPIs, personas, and budget. Action items might include creating an ads account, researching keywords, contacting publishers or networks, and creating a social media post or graphic. If you are not sure what is involved in a specific action item, collaborate with your team. Use their input to set each deliverable and their deadlines.
Once you have written out your campaign strategy, it is time to delegate the tasks and get to work putting your plan into action. Begin with essential pieces like script or copywriting, filming or photography, and graphic design. If you’re doing print ads, purchase your ad space. Lastly, launch your campaign and wait for the engagements, subscribers, and shoppers to roll in. Post-launch you will need to allow your marketing team time to monitor and make adjustments to your campaign as needed. Monitoring and adjusting is the most crucial piece to making your campaign successful. You want your team to correct weak points in your campaign while there is still time to recover.
Holiday marketing is much like everyday marketing intensified. During the holidays, you are not only competing within your niche but with every other brand advertising their product or service. The overarching goal of holiday marketing is to convince consumers that your product or service will make the best gift for their loved ones and their pocketbooks.
As you can tell, holiday marketing can take quite a bit of time to execute. Root & Roam recommends beginning your holiday marketing plan months in advance, allowing wiggle room for unexpected events. We know that planning and executing holiday marketing can be challenging. Your Root & Roam team is here to help you through the process. Are you ready to jump-start your holiday marketing plan? Click the button below.
We’re excited to announce a new project we’ve been working on: Off the grid with Root & Roam! Here, we’ll chat about the things we’ve been up to and what we’re excited about in the wide world of marketing. In our first episode, Rai catches up with Ryan, who just returned from the Grocery Shop conference in Las Vegas. Ryan gives a look behind the scenes, telling us what he learned, who he met, and what he’s excited about.
We’ll be back monthly to tell you more about what’s going on behind the scenes at Root & Roam.
Here at Root and Roam, we’ve enjoyed almost a decade of supporting one of our favorite clients, Pederson’s Natural Farms. Pederson’s was the first to create a no-sugar bacon and make it available nationally. They’ve grown to 90 employees with dozens more protein products and they continue to grow steadily. From label design to national campaigns, we’ve showcased Pederson’s across numerous channels over the years. Moreover, we have helped them increase revenue along the way.
Recently, they approached us about getting involved on a national level. Although Pederson’s has long supported local farmers and communities near their headquarters in Hamilton, Texas, they became interested in taking that helping spirit and supporting broader needs. And boy were we excited to hear that!
Pederson’s is passionate about providing some of the best meat on the market. It’s something they take extremely seriously. They were the first to make a no-sugar bacon available nationally. Since then, they’ve continued creating no-sugar added, non GMO, no nitrite or nitrate, all natural and sometimes organic, no hormones or preservatives…meat (well, you get the point)! They sell great meat. Naturally, working in an industry that provides millions of meals to fellow Americans gets you thinking, and the question arose: “What happens to the people who can’t get natural, wholesome proteins?” That question led Pederson’s to consider doing more to help feed their fellow citizens.
That’s when Root and Roam introduced Pederson’s to Feeding America, the nation’s largest domestic hunger-relief organization. Feeding America works tirelessly to connect people with food and end hunger. And thus, a beautiful partnership was formed!
On April 15, 2021, Pederson’s announced its partnership with Feeding America. Pederson’s pledges to provide 1.5 million meals* to communities through their own charitable donation and the donations of Pederson’s customers through the #PedersonsPrepRally campaign.
In conjunction with this partnership, Pederson’s launched a campaign called Pederson’s Prep Rally to bring diverse communities together to celebrate our differences through people’s shared passion for food. Four influencers from diverse backgrounds were identified to help share engaging content across social platforms all while raising awareness about Feeding America. Diversity is a big part of the Prep Rally strategy. We want to bring different communities together to share their love of food and to support those who need our help in getting quality food. Donation buttons will be on all platforms and websites leveraging the campaign. Together with Root and Roam and all of the Prep Rally influencers, Pederson’s will play an active role in helping to provide meals to those with food insecurity.
The best part about this partnership is that people who donate literally provide meals in their respective zip codes! People can give back and help support their own local communities in need.
Pederson’s has provided multiple ways that you can donate to those with food insecurities and help support the great work Feeding America does. Here are just a few ways:
Join the Rally Room! The Rally Room is a membership and subscription-based way to get quarterly SWAG, exclusive deals and meat bundles of Pederson’s delicious proteins. All while donating monthly to Feeding America. It’s part of your subscription! You can find out more about the Rally Room here. https://pedersonsfarms.com/pages/prep-rally
You can also go to www.pedersonsfarms.com and donate right on the homepage! No purchase necessary.
And finally, to everyone who participates, we thank you from the bottom of our hearts! Let’s help feed America!
*$1 helps provide at least 10 meals secured by Feeding America® on behalf of local member food banks. Meal claim valid as of 7/1/20 and subject to change.
There is no doubt that COVID-19 had a dramatic impact across industry sectors, to include the one we work in here at Root and Roam Integrated Marketing Agency. The pandemic decimated small so called “Mom and Pop” shops, while wreaking havoc on just about all brick and mortar businesses.
And although we hope the worst of this economic shake-up is behind us, it is still difficult to predict what the future holds when it comes to sector growth and keeping businesses up and running.
No one likes to operate in a volatile market, which is why we’ve outlined a few marketing tips that we believe can boost your business even during such uncertainty.
It’s all about transparency and accountability. Yes, two words that you’ll often find in a mission or vision statement. A lot of businesses may talk the talk but don’t necessarily walk the walk.
Even without a global pandemic, competition across industries is and always will be fierce, unless perhaps you’re Amazon. That is why now more than ever it is important to not just provide stellar goods and services, but to do so with purpose.
Research shows that brands that have a precise and carefully communicated purpose observe growth two times faster than businesses that don’t. And leveraging transparency and accountability should be woven into that purpose.
With all the options out there, it is important to stand out, so clearly communicating your purpose helps in doing so.
As well, present-day consumers are more aware of the social responsibility businesses should embrace. Gone are the days of repetitive purchasing because of limited options. Now customers not only become lifetime consumers, they literally align themselves, and their communities, with their favorite brands. And if you consider that currently Millennials make up the largest demographic and have the most buying power, you should take note that social issues are a big part of their buying decision. Issues like inequality, social struggle, and environmental problems should be integrated within your marketing solutions, if you want to reach this demographic.
We’ve seen how businesses have been impacted by COVID-19, but one of the first line items usually to go when creating a budget for a business is marketing. Now more than ever, every penny you spend in marketing needs to directly contribute to a return on investment (ROI). Working with a market research firm or having access to online databases in order to curate the exact information you need to create that marketing strategy is imperative to the success of your marketing efforts. And in the end, you’ll achieve better ROI by leveraging data.
Being able to take a deep dive in your customer’s purchasing journey, understanding your brand’s share of voice (SOV), or even creating customer personas isn’t something even the brightest marketer can do without the access to good data.
At Root and Roam, we leverage strong data to build strategies that make sense. We don’t guess, because budgets can’t support guessing, and businesses can’t thrive on the unknown.
Product and/or service launches can be costly; that’s why you need to get it right the first time. With smaller marketing budgets come fewer resources, so this is where testing your product or service prior to launch can help save millions in dollars and resources. Testing the market versus sinking millions into research and development (R&D) can often be more cost prohibitive and get you the answer you’re seeking faster.
Expect to see an increase in test marketing, as companies try to keep up with consumer demand, but don’t have the big budgets backing them like they used to.
And if you’re a company prepared to launch a new service or product, work with your marketing teams or a marketing firm that can help you facilitate marketing testing. You’ll be glad you did.
Video content has been and will continue to be some of the most important content you create. Whether it’s an answer to a question, a “how-to” video, or a cooking demonstration, people of all ages engage with video more than any other content.
Video also helps to humanize your brand and a perfect platform to demonstrate your accountability messaging.
Pro tip: to get the biggest bang for your buck, edit your video for various platforms (i.e. long-form for YouTube, short-form video for Instagram). Also, don’t be afraid to edit and modify for each platform. For example, if the majority of your audience is younger and spends their time on TikTok, consider modifying your message and video for a younger audience.
Also, don’t be afraid to go live! Facebook offers a great platform for live video, and people love to see brands in action.
The second quarter of 2020 saw an increase of budget of 24 percent for social media support as part of the total US marketing budget. Marketers turned their focus to customer retention, which, in terms of marketing spend, is far less expensive than trying to acquire new customers especially during a pandemic.
The pandemic also changed how much time viewers spend online researching products, services, and brands. In response, marketers can expand their reach, connect with first-time buyers, and continue engaging with loyal customers. Consider highly engaging content, customer loyalty programs, and social media “shout-outs” to your most loyal customers. Let them feel they are part of your brand’s success by sharing their content, incentivizing them when referring new customers, and showcasing their loyalty through social media.
Consider this, interactive content facilitates 2x more conversions than content that is passive.
Interactive content can include quizzes, surveys, polls, giveaways, contests, open-ended questions; basically any content that the user is compelled to respond to. The more engaging the content, the more time the user spends on your platform, and this helps your business grow in two ways: the more time someone spends on your site, the more search engines deem your site worthy for organic search, and the more time they spend on your platforms, the better chance they have to convert.
Highly engaging, interactive content is likely to be shared more across social channels, so consider this when creating content for your users.
With the pandemic came the dramatic increase in the use of virtual platforms. Just ask Zoom! And although some of these meeting-based digital solutions have been in play for quite a while, they haven’t always been leveraged for events.
This has presented a unique opportunity for businesses. By making events virtual, you’re able to open up your business and share your content to the entire world! If COVID-19 taught us anything, it was that people don’t need to gather in physical spaces to share, engage, or get things done.
Need ideas on virtual events? Consider doing a virtual Q&A on a topic that your managers have expertise in. This is a great way to demonstrate thought leadership within your industry.
There are two types of digital content; content created for Google’s algorithms and content created for humans. Yes, as digital marketing experts, we understand the importance of creating and publishing content that leverages search engine optimization (SEO) tactics for better organic search. However, we also understand that no one is going to take the time to read 1800 words of uninteresting content.
When creating content, whether it’s a blog or a Facebook post, consider reading what your customers are reading and providing content that compels them to read and engage. It’s okay to be creative, have fun with content, yet still be a brand serious about revenue goals. But if you create the same boring content day after day on your products or services, you will lose your audience.
In 2020, marketing agencies specializing in e-commerce development saw a mass influx of requests. Some were out of fear due to the decrease of foot traffic in brick and mortar locations, and some were due to the rise in direct to consumer (DTC) opportunities prior to the pandemic. Regardless of the need, we expect e-commerce development opportunities to continue to rise.
During the pandemic, we know that consumer behavior dramatically changed with more and more people going online to transact, but in 2021, don’t expect to see that behavior change. With the ease of pushing a button and just about anything you want can be delivered right to your doorstep, consumers are finding that online shopping is the way to go.
That said, if you’re considering taking your products or services online, now is the time to do it.
The good news is, there are a lot of great e-commerce platforms out there that won’t break the bank in terms of development costs. As well, these platforms utilize other technologies that integrate with them seamlessly, technologies that have automated what marketers used to manage.
In summary, your organization’s marketing activities in 2021 should be driven with the intent to reach new audiences and embrace the customers you already have, with purpose. Provide them with content that matters, leverage the platforms they use most, and consider utilizing video and live, virtual events to have compelling conversations.
If you’ve been thinking about taking your brand online for e-commerce opportunities, seize the moment, and do it now before your competition beats you to it.
And finally, if you’re not working with a strong agency that understands good digital marketing, consider working with one. At Root and Roam, we know digital marketing, so feel free to give us a call.