Spring Into Action: Online Marketing for Mother's Day, Father's Day, & Graduation

Uploaded by GoogleBusiness on 19.03.2009

LOPEZ: Hi, everyone. Thank you for joining us today for Spring Into Action: Online Marketing
for Mother's Day, Father's Day, & Graduation. First off, Happy Saint Patrick's Day for all
you Irish out there, I hope everyone remember their green, I know I did. Before jumping
in, let's take a moment to introduce ourselves, I'm Eric Lopez from the Google Retail Marketing
Team. >> TANG: And I'm Julia Tang also from the
Google Retail Marketing Team. >> LOPEZ: You may remember us from our Valentines
Day webinar back at beginning of January. Let's take quick look at the agenda for today.
Julia will start by providing an update on consumer behavior thus far in 2009 and what
the retail landscape will look like over the next few months. Then, I'll take a look back
at Mother's Day, Father's Day, and graduation and see how the spring holidays have historically
performed for the retail segment. Next, we'll analyzed search behavior around key retail
category to help inform the timing of your marketing strategy and take you to a demonstration
of Insights Research, a Google tool you can utilize to perform a similar analysis. We'll
then move on to key marketing tactics for 2009 by taking a look at promotions we've
start during Valentines Day and reviewing tips for running successful online campaigns.
Well, then, point out a few important resources for you and ends with the Q&A. Some quick
housekeeping items, this webinar will be posted on the Google Retail Blog following the presentation.
The Google Retail Blog can be accessed at googleretail.blogspot.com. We'll talk more
about this resource a little bit later. The entire presentation will take approximately
30 minutes and will be followed by approximately 15 minutes of Q&A. You can type in your questions
on the right-hand side of your screen and we will answer them at the end of the content
portion of the presentation. >> TANG: Great. Let's get started. Eric, right
now, we're almost three months into 2009 and the economy obviously continues to be part
of our daily conversations though, particularly for those of us on retail. And as plans around
the economy continue to take shape, we're keeping a pulse check on consumer sentiments
from time to time, what they've been telling us in the past few months really give us insight
into how consumer behavior is going to affect retail for the rest of 2009. We went to the
field and ask consumers directly how they feel about the next six months. And in fact,
across the board, consumers are optimistic and hopeful, which is exciting news. We're
specifically referring to an omnibus survey that we've conducted about two weeks ago.
And what that study shows is that a greater percentage of people say that they will purchase
in the next six months compare to the previous six months. On this slide, we're looking at
specific retail categories that we saw from the study, specifically the apparel, home
appliances, home furnishing, electronics, and sporting goods. And you'll notice that
all the blue bars are higher showing that there's a higher percentage of people planning
to purchase on the next few months as compared to the gray bar, which represent the past
six months. We also see the same chance with other retail categories. So they include fashion
accessories, jewelry, watches, toys, pet supplies and beauty and cosmetics. Have you consider
the facts that the last six months also include the holiday season where consumers traditionally
purchase more? These numbers were particularly promising. [INDISTINCT] to see consumer confidence
outlook improving [INDISTINCT] because what these means to retailers is that more consumers
are planning to open up their wallets and buy, so we should begin to see improvements
in retail sales if this continues. >> LOPEZ: It's really good to hear.
>> TANG: 86% of consumers say they plan to give gifts for the upcoming spring time holidays,
so we're looking at a good number of consumers for Mother's Day, Father's Day, and graduation.
And on top of that, 71% will spend the same or more as last year. So putting all things
in perspective, this is a positive outlook. With that said, without a doubt, consumers
do feel affected by the changing economic landscape. And we've seen how bad it translated
into their consumer behavior and this continues to evolve in 2009. Consumers are telling us
that in 2009, their shopping will involve a lot more of researching and going online.
Consumers are going to make sure they get more from every dollar. Now, these figures
are not a big surprise. More than half of them will be spending more time researching
and looking for deals before they purchase. And during the holidays on 2008, we especially
saw uptakes in coupons and other deal seeking searches. And this can actually, have continue
thus far in 2009 proving that this is not simply a holiday phenomenon. For retailers
who are promoting from Mother's Day, Father's Day, and graduation season recognize that
many of new customers are going to use the internet more for gift ideas, to find out
more about products, and decide which retailers they're going to buy from. And an interesting
point to note is how people are going online whether they end up purchasing online or at
the actual stores; 46% of them shop online and then eventually buy in-store and just
as many of them do shop online and buy online. So that is an opportunity for online-only
retailers. For a multichannel retailer, be sure you leverage your website and your online
program from online advertising to email marketing and use them to address both your online and
in-store sales. In terms of your online ad, think about your ad text and your [INDISTINCT]
pages. One example is to consider using things like, browse our wide selections here and
come to our nearest location. That's also applies for retailers with just a branch and
moderate store. Now, let's take a step back and put things in perspective. We want to
look out how retail sales are doing both online and in in-store. Here, we have some new stocks
that we saw from comScore. On the left-hand side, you'll notice e-commerce year over year
category growth in blue as of January 2009 and on the right side, you'll notice in-store
year over year category growth in gray for the same time period. And that is the information
from the Department of Commerce. As we can see from the red box on the left, e-commerce
spend by consumers has grown 2% this year compared to in-store retail [INDISTINCT] with--just
decreased 7% so far. And you can see that from the red box on the right. The rest of
the columns represent growth on the category level. And you can see in many categories,
online sales continue to grow this year despite the economy, clearly out pacing that as in-store
sales. Eric, I don't know if you remember seeing a New York Times' article that came
out on February 23rd, which talked about GAAP and how GAAP like most specialty retailers
had a rocky 2008 and I'm quoting here, "A terrible January." But yet, the e-commerce
division GAAP directs--surpassed the $1 billion sales for the first time in 2008. The president
had this quote which encapsulates the changing strategy and I think the direction of competitive
retailers in this economy. He said, "We can't overcome the financial crises on this recession.
Our job is to grow faster than any other apparel retailer, and we have done that." I think
we can expect to see even more retailer shift their focus online under e-commerce channel
this year. One hot topic we keep hearing from retailers is around [INDISTINCT] and online
search advertising and how that might look like right now. A very difficult question
I answer because it depends on the retailer and so many other factors, how you maybe using
online, how you're tracking and measuring the impact. But as we just mentioned, consumers
are definitely spending more time researching and shopping around online, which will then
affect the number of clicks web pages or ads and just the general length of time it takes
before shoppers convert these days. That is all going to a very different online now compared
the year ago. The discussion we do want to get into today though is the impact on the
online search on retail sites as it stands now. And if you follow along the charts from
the left to the right-hand side with me, we do see that the value of search is continuing
to grow for retail. A few metrics here show us that even in a down economy; online retail
shoppers are increasing in number and continuing to convert. All three of these sites are comparing
the first 45 days of this year against the first 45 days of 2008. From the left chart,
we're looking at the number of shoppers on retail sites, and we've seen new shoppers
coming online, that's a 10% increased from 2008. The middle chart looked at how much
of the increase web traffic to retail sites is the directory buildup search. And we do
see that search is increasingly taking a greater role in dragging shoppers there. So that's
an additional four percentage points. And more importantly, if we look at the conversions
that are happening on retail sites and how much of that is the retail of search, we again
see search taking a greater role in dragging shoppers to convert on retail sites this year.
So that's, of course, doing additional three percentage points from last year. So this
is happening at an aggregate level. Conversion rates, of course, differ on an individual
level. And we'd be sure to discuss in more detail later some promotional, advertising,
and optimization tactics that you can check to get your consumers coming and spending
on your site. All I know, Eric, I think the main takeaway is that online and search are
becoming more important for the buying cycle is changing. And what we need to focus on
is how you adapt your strategy and the way you look at your own data to make decisions
today. >> LOPEZ: Great. So let's now take a look
back at how Mother's Day, Father's Day, and graduation performed last year. In 2008, Mother's
Day, Father's Day, and graduation represented at $35 billion retail opportunity. To give
some perspective and culmination that's roughly twice the size of Valentines Day. So the spring
gift giving season comparatively is a strong opportunity for retailers. It's important
to recognize that their moms and dads are the primary gift receivers from Mother's Day
and Father's Day. When we looked at who consumers plan to purchase for spouses, sons and daughters,
grandparents, and siblings also receive gift. When crafting your marketing message or promotion
offer, you want to keep this different audience as much--audience in mind. In terms of your
online campaign, you want to target these distinct audiences to keywords ad text and
landing pages. Now, looking at Mother's Day specifically, when we look at the types of
gifts that U.S. adults plan to purchase for this day, we see that gift givers make purchases
ranging from flowers and greeting cards at 73%, apparel items at 30%, music, books, and
DVDs at 26%. You'll also notice that dinner out, travel, and homing gifts are popular
items around this time. We want to consider whether your products fit into these broader
categories by complementing these activities. As an example, if you are a craft retailer,
appealing to the creative gifter through ad text such as creative gifts for moms or homemade
gift ideas for moms is a perfect way to engage these potential consumers. Now, looking at
Father's Day, we find that gift givers plan to purchase gifts ranging from greeting cards
at 68%, clothing at 37%, gift certificates at 33%, books and CDs at 22%, electronics
at 19%, and supporting goods at 13%. You want to plan your online advertising budget accordingly
for these popular items and again think about pushing on [INDISTINCT] products that might
complement a special outing for dad. This special outing for dad comes in at 41% of
plan purchases, so as you can see, this is a major purchased category, second only to
greeting card. And then for graduation, the most popular gift is cash at 59%, and that's
followed by cards at 36%, gift cards at 31%, electronics at 12%, and apparel at 11%. You,
of course, want to promote all relevant areas of your business, but for graduation specifically,
since the high volume of graduates receive cash, you want to specially target graduates
to help and form their future purchase decision. In other words, you will want to promote goods
and services they will have in need for. For example, depending on your product set, you
might promote business tutor job interviews or furnishing a sort of new apartment or dorm
room. >> TANG: And now we want to share some Google
internal data for the half year's Mother's Day, Father's Day, and a graduation using
a tool called Insights Research which looks at relative search interest over time. As
marketers, you can use this tool to see what consumers are searching for over time across
categories and within certain job or fees. There's a lot of analysis you can do with
this tool, so let's show you a preview of the tool and walk you through a quick example
so you can see how you may use the Insights to make actionable decisions around your marketing
campaigns in real time. Now, this tool is free and publicly available at google.com/insights/search,
which you can see on the screen here. Okay. Lets' say you're a flower retailer trying
to better understand when people start searching for terms related to flowers around Mother's
Day. There are some filters that you can set. Here, we're looking at on a national level,
but you could change it depending on whether you have international campaigns or even regional
ones within the US and then around March to May. You can also narrow search [INDISTINCT]
down to specific categories if you'd like. According to the graph, search interest begins
to uptake in mid-April and last up to Mother's Day. Marketers can time when to increase budget
as interest level increases so that your advertisement is there when people are searching for it.
You can type in your brand, a product such as fragrance or beauty products for Mothers'
Day or other search terms that you can see. Now, we look at the bottom of the results
page. We see on the left here--left side here, original search interest and then to the right,
a map highlighting some of the key state of interest. Some top keywords based on the search
terms you entered, and then the fact is rising search term. You'll notice that we're showing
breakout share instead of percentages. And this actually means the search terms grew
over 5,000% since the last time period. Now, what do we see here? Cheap flowers on the
list here at number five, growing over 5,000% last Mother's Day time period. I think the
mothers on this call are probably wondering whether their children were the one searching
for it or their husbands. Unfortunately, the Insights Research tool doesn't offer this
level of insight yet. But in all seriousness though, refining the parameters of the report
can help provide you with insights on how to take advantage of trends and make some
informed marketing decisions. For example, retailers can search on your top keywords
and use this information to time when to begin your campaign, or if there are particular
regions that you may want to target. You can also see if there are other interesting terms
that are cropping up around that time that you may be able to incorporate into your own
campaigns. If you have any questions about interpreting the data, just click on the question
mark on that tool on that page. And again, to access the tool, please visit google.com/insights/search.
When it comes to Mother's Day, Father's Day, and graduation, we can use Insight Research
once again to look at what the shopping cycle looks like. Here, we're showing three timelines
based on the search terms Mother's Day gift, Father's Day gift, and graduation gift which
we're using as proxies. In terms of shopping cycle, search interest on Mother's Day gift,
so we're highlighting that in blue here, uptakes at the beginning of April. So campaign should
be ready to go by then. Traffic continues to increase through May and peaks the week
of Mother's Day. We see a very similar story for Father's Day for the gray line here. Search
interest in Father's Day uptakes at the beginning of May. So campaign should be ready to go
by then, and then it continues through the actual day. And for graduation, search interest
in graduation gifts uptakes at the beginning of March. Traffic continues all the way through
July, so plan your campaigns and budgets accordingly. For all of these holidays, since consumer,
like we've spoken about earlier, is shifting to heavy initial focus on research and finding
the best price, you should expect consumers to begin researching a little bit earlier
and begin purchasing as the day approaches whether it's Mother's Day, Father's Day, or
graduation. So make sure you plan your budget to reflect some of these peaks and traffic.
And according to what we've just shown, the year shopping cycle for these occasions is
about to start. Well the interesting to see kind of how this year will look like whether
people are shopping earlier or later as well as the variations of term that users might
be looking for such as deals or coupons, so continue to explore the tool and it's functionalities
for yourself and see what insights you can find as you continue to plan. And now, we
want to take a look and understand the trends on a category level. First stop is the watches
and accessories category. We've highlighted Mother's Day week in pink on the bottom here
on the X-axis and Father's Day week in blue. Here you see for the trend line, you continue
to see increasing search interest over the time period and then spikes coincide with
the week prior to Mother's Day and Father's Day. People are definitely interested in these
types of gifts for moms and dads, and they're also popular gifts for those who need the
graphs. For the apparel category, the first uptake follows the week of Easter, and that
typically is when starts shopping for spring clothing. People kind of changing their wardrobe
for the new season, and we probably have some early shoppers for Mother's Day, Father's
Day, and graduation. You'll notice here that the search interest to the apparel category
peaks just before Mother's Day and Father's Day. It's difficult to isolate graduation
traffic here. However from the line, you can see some pretty regular fluctuations in search
interests for the entire category. Apparel advertisers, just to make sure you have enough
budgets for this high search interest day. For gems and jewelry, we see a clear peak
a week prior to Mother's Day. Again, it'll be interesting to see what happens this year
as we get closer to Mother's Day. Next stop, we have flowers, gifts, and greeting. Once
again, search interest starts to rise after Easter. Flowers, gifts, and cards--sorry,
flowers, gifts, and cards are something more in target at moms but you do see another spike
right around Father's Day as well, just a few times smaller. And now onto consumer electronics,
this one is interesting. You see three main spikes for Mother's Day, Father's Day, and
the one in between could be graduation. These are smaller spikes, but the Mother's Day and
Father's Day spikes don't look very different. I'm talking about electronics could be just
as popular for moms as they are for dads now, which is what I think many of us might not
have known before. And lastly, we have sporting goods. We continue to see increasing search
interest over this time period with much stronger interest in late May and June as we get closer
to the summer as people are looking for sports-related items and then the peak come some time during
the Father's Day week. Like we've just showed, retailers can use the category level feature
on the tool to understand how and when your customers are searching for your products
for these holidays. Pay attention to when the spikes are and how high these spikes are.
They'll give you an idea how much demand there is compared to off-seasons. So Eric, let's
talk specifics. Given all these insights, what specific marketing tactics should retailers
do this year, what are they doing? >> LOPEZ: Great. So let's take a look at the
marketing strategies and tactics as we head towards Mother's Day, Father's Day, and graduation
season. So all the substantial changes we've seen in the economy and in consumer behavior
over the last few months resulted in some pre-substantial changes as they were approached.
Many retailers are taking to engage and reach their consumers. In general, we're seeing
many retailers pulling out all the stocks when it comes to their promotional strategy.
We definitely understand that these promotional tactics can be difficult to implement, but
should these tactics be right for your business. A recent study by the e-tailing group highlights
how some of your competitors are approaching the recent changes in the retail landscape.
Year over year, we chose our increasingly utilizing promotions such as dollars or percent
of the net purchase, that's 175% growth, limited hour sale at 131% growth, sweepstakes at 31%,
and conditional free shipping at 26% growth. Looking back to last month, we saw a number
of examples of these promotions from various retailers during the Valentines Day season
with conditional free shipping increasing year over year, 26%, this current shipping
is really becoming a standard for E-commerce site especially around the holidays. Free
shipping can take a variety of forms. Here, we see free second-day shipping and free express
delivery upgrades. The famous two for other promotions during Valentines Day, we also
[INDISTINCT] unique promotions targeting early shoppers, promotions, and sections of site
dedicate to the budget cost to shopper and free complimentary products with purchase.
We're considering what we saw in the creatives for Valentines Day, a proxy for when we will
see for the spring holidays. And remember whatever your promotion or unique value proposition
may be, always remember to incorporate this message in your advertising AdWords. In terms
of some key tactics for launching effective and successful campaigns, we want to keep
a few things in mind. First, you want to start early. As Julia mentioned, 44% of consumers
will plan to use Internet more often this year for gift ideas to learn about products
and to decide which stores to buy from. And then looking at the shopping cycle for Mother's
Day gift, Father's Day gift, and graduation gift, we saw that search interest begins to
uptake a few months out. All of this indicates the need to start running campaigns early
as shoppers are researching and planning their purchases far in advance. They want to start
early to ensure your brand is in the consideration set. You also want to call specific offers
in the creative. For instance, you will want to use price point such as gifts under $30
in your ad text. You also want to highlight any free shipping offers for a gift wrapping
percent off when need time deals, last-minute shipping all in your ad text. Remember, 55%
of consumers are more likely to look for offers and promotions this year as compared to last
year in order to save money, so this promotional language would be more important than ever.
If you're not running a traditional promotion, you want to include your unique value proposition
in your ad text. You also want to craft your message and promotional offer to the appropriate
audience. Remember, that there are four distinct audiences to target this time of year, moms,
dads, grads, and gift givers. For instance, recent grads might not be looking for the
same products of using the same websites as the gift giver looking to buy a present for
their father. It's best you would want to create unique campaign as the messages for
each of these different demographics. For instance, if you're running on terms such
as gifts for her, you'd be able to create of what messages that might resonate well
with men since both husbands and sons purchase Mother's Day gifts for their mothers or wives
respectively. For grads, promoting goods and services, they will use or having needs for.
Some examples we gave earlier include business suits for job interviews or furnishings for
a new apartment. We also want to run ads on sites that recent grads are likely to visit.
For instance, YouTube reached 66% of college students. Considering innovative ads promote
offers to these demographic on sites or social network like this. Next for dads and moms,
promote ideas on which he or she should ask for. So you will want to target offers and
promotions on product he or she would like to receive. For moms as we've seen that might
be jewelry and an apparel item or even a night-out. For dads, it might be clothing, sports equipment,
books, or CDs, or electronic items. And for the gift givers explain what types of products
or services are offered and who they might be geared for. If you want to use the feminist
that describe the type of mom, dad, or grad, your price will appeal to. For instance, for
dads, if he's a gadget lover and an outdoor man or maybe a sports enthusiast. Additionally,
if you have a gift guides on your site, promote them as, it just make it easier for the consumer
to pick out gifts and it's a great way to reposition your current inventory for the
spring gift giving season. You will also want to keep your creative fresh by rooting new
creative copy as the spring holidays gets closer. Early in the bank cycle, you want
to let gifters know that the holidays are approaching through ad text that way you can
create some demand around your product. As the holidays get closer, one really successful
tactic we've seen is letting the customer know it's not too late for gifts to arrive
in time like providing shipping cut-off deadline. Calling out shipping cut-off deadline in ad
text create extensive urgency and will help to drive sales. And as the holiday arrives,
switch messaging from shop browse to convey urgencies such as ad text like last-minute
gifts. And lastly, you want to consider a last minute push before the holidays. Since
as we've seen through the retail search and sites we discussed, search interest picks
immediately around the holidays. You may want to consider running display campaigns to get
more reach the weeks before your shipping cut-off deadlines, you may watch to convey
urgencies through ads by reminding consumers there is still time to get dad the perfect
gift. If you have physical storage, you might consider targeting last-minute shoppers by
calling up store locations; drive in for sales or by implementing local business ads, capture
consumers as they search for these locations. There's really a number of options for you.
Now, let's take a look at some examples. You will want to target gift givers on Mother's
Day items on search, do running on keywords such as gifts for moms and running ad text
that compliment to these terms. Maybe this graduate is looking to use all that cash she
received from her high school graduation to investment like to get around for a new college
campus. If you want to target her as she's looking for the nearest bike shop on Google
Maps doing local business ads. I mean, it easily creates a local business ad by logging
into your account and clicking on local business ads in the ad variations tab. And lastly,
if you're looking to target gift givers who are shopping for dads to display ads, you
might do so by targeting this content site. If you're a pant retailer or even selling
[INDISTINCT] products like ties, belts, or shoes, you might target users at the site
with an ad that says the perfect pair of pants for your dad. And if you don't or you have
display ads, we have feature available that would make it easy for you to create your
own in a matter of minutes. You might remember the walk through--we did a display ad builder
tool during our [INDISTINCT] webinar. All you do is log-in to your account and click
on display ad builder on the ad variations tab. The tool will then walk you through to
the display ad creation process. There's actually a few brand new options that will help create
Mother's Day, Spring and Coupon display ads. These options are available by clicking on
the seasonal link. You will notice that we've highlighted a few of templates here; they
come in multiple sizes so you can customize to fit your needs; if you also want to check
us frequently as the new templates will be made available. So now, let's take a look
at some additional resources for you. In addition to the information and tips we've discussed
here, our team also maintains a blog at googleretail.blogspot.com. Our goal is to provide retail data trends
and invites to help you run your business more effectively. You can bookmark that and
check back frequently. We want to share timely information with you all so we're constantly
updating it with new content. And if you'd like additional information regarding the
free tools we've covered today and additional free tools that will help you uncover opportunities
to better plan, target, measure, and optimize, please visit our do more with less site and
that's at google.com/domorewithless.