4 Great Holiday Retail Marketing Campaigns and Why They Work

Holiday shoppers research purchases and respond to retail advertising promotions. See four classic holiday retail marketing campaigns.

With the scent of pumpkin spice in the air, ’tis the season for holiday advertising. Of course, businesses have plenty of good reasons to ramp up retail marketing during the holiday season.

According to WordStream, 80 percent of seasonal shoppers research purchases on the internet before buying. In addition, over three-quarters say they’ve changed their mind about a purchase after performing a mobile search. At least a third of people say they’ve bought things over the holidays because of a promotional offer. In any case, this season sparks holiday retail purchases, and businesses must market to make sure shoppers can find and remember them.

Four Favorite holiday retail advertising campaigns

For some inspiration to get into the holiday marketing spirit, consider some of the best seasonal advertising campaigns.

Home Alone with Google Assistant 

Most shoppers remember “Home Alone,” the classic holiday movie from the 1990s. Google produced a video parody of this movie, which of course, featured Google Assistant and even the adult version of the original child star, Macaulay Culkin. The video scored tens of millions of views and lots of social buzz. It works well because it combines nostalgia, humor, and the relevance of demonstrating how people can use the app.

Starbucks red cups

No brand marketing agency can discuss holiday advertising without evoking the scent of pumpkin spice. Actually, this all started with Starbucks themed holiday cups back in 1997. Every year, the cups get a different look that mostly reflects traditional holiday designs. Mostly, the decorated cups signal the introduction of the coffee chain’s holiday menu, which of course, includes pumpkin spice.

Over the years, the campaign has generated excitement and even a little controversy. Mostly, the company uses fairly traditional or recognizable seasonal designs. For one memorable year, they introduced a plain, red cup with their logo, which displeased plenty of customers. If people like the current year’s cups or not, they earn Starbucks plenty of press and social media attention that’s paid off for the business.

Coca Cola’s polar bears

Coca-Cola has a long history of savvy and effective holiday advertising campaigns. For instance, lots of people believe the soft drink company contributed a lot to the modern version of Santa Claus during the 1930s. The Coca-Cola ploar bears arrived as holiday mascots during the 1920s, even earlier than Coca Cola’s Santa.

The cartoon bears work well because they’re cute and fun. More recently, the company has even used them to help raise awareness of the impact of global warming on real polar bears. Since 2011, Coca-Cola has contributed and raised about $5 million dollars to help preserve habitats. 

Though considering the billions of dollars in profits that the company has made from these playful animals, the World Wildlife Federation has criticized the company by saying that they ought to do more.

Apple’s “The Surprise” video

Because of the coronavirus pandemic, many retailers struggle to send out the right holiday message. While they want to promote a positive message, businesses need to remain mindful that just about all of their customers have endured a touch year.

The Surprise” video from Apple hits many of the right notes by mixing hopefulness with a hint of sadness. A family goes to visit their somewhat cranky grandpa, who has just lost his wife. On Christmas morning, the kids cheer him up with a sweet, sentimental video that — of course — they created on their iPad. The engaging video tells a story, elicits a few tears, and like the Google Assistant video, demonstrates the usefulness of the product.

How to hit the sweet spot with holiday retail marketing

Movie parodies, disposable, holiday-themed cups, imaginary bears, and sentimental videos may not appear to have much in common. Still, they all evoke nostalgia for holiday traditions, or in the case of the year of Starbucks plain cups, stoke attention when they don’t.

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What Retail Marketers Should Expect from Black Friday This Year

For retail marketing, Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and all those holiday shopping events will probably blend into weeks before and after winter holidays.

By now, everybody knows that the pandemic turned 2020 into a disruptive year for marketers. Because of that, both retail marketers and customers feel somewhat uncertain about the shopping season before the holidays. In fact, Yahoo.News even answered the frequently asked question, “Has Black Friday been canceled this year?”

Rest assured that Black Friday of 2020 will take place the day after Thanksgiving, just as it always has. Consumers will also still look forward to holiday shopping, even if they approach it differently this year. Learn why the idea of Black Friday still matters and how retail marketing can best prepare for holiday shopping days during a pandemic.

A Retail Marketing Perspective on Black Friday 2020

While Black Friday deals still generate excitement, customers may not miss a lot of aspects of traditional one-day sales events. For instance, stores will probably have social distancing measures in place, so they’ll probably do what they can to discourage the usual stampedes and lines. In fact, many stores will probably push eCommerce marketing more this year to attract a growing number of online shoppers and limit the chance of crowds inside physical locations.

Will Cyber Monday replace Black Friday? Every year, Cyber Monday has stolen a bit more attention from Black Friday. Typically, marketers think of Black Friday as an event for local stores and Cyber Monday as the time to run online sales.

It’s likely that consumers will still look for Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales. Still, the two sales days will begin to merge together as retailers look to increase eCommerce marketing to improve sales. Instead of representing a one-day sale, customers will learn to associate these events with the entire holiday shopping season.

To illustrate this, Digital Commerce 360 published some 2019 stats about online sales during the two days:

  • Black Friday online revenue: $7.43 billion
  • Cyber Monday online revenue: $9.42 billion

Even last year, retailers did not necessarily wait until traditional shopping days to push their holiday deals. In fact, they reported revenue of over $4 billion on Thanksgiving and decent receipts on the Saturday and Sunday between Black Friday and Cyber Monday. That’s why some sources have even coined a new term, Cyber 5, to include all five days between Thanksgiving and Cyber Monday.

Note that some major retailers, including Walmart and Sam’s Club, have decided to close on Thanksgiving. Also, even last year, Walmart started holiday sales five weeks before Thanksgiving, and Target started even earlier.

Holiday retail tips for Black Friday 2020

With both historical trends and the disruptive nature of 2020 in mind, consider these retail marketing tips for a successful holiday sales season:

  • Plan ahead: In light of all of the dramatic changes and disruptions to retail marketing this year, retailers should not wait to plan for holiday sales. This includes early planning for promotions, inventory, supplies, and employees. Besides social distancing, lots of retailers have also struggled with supply and manpower problems because of coronavirus.
  • Run longer promotions: It’s fine to mention Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and all those familiar sales events, but really, expect the holiday sales season to begin earlier, run over the course of months, and perhaps, even bleed into after-holiday sales for excess inventory. Lots of customers get gift cards for winter holidays, and good deals can encourage them to use them and perhaps, even spend more.
  • Focus on increasing online sales: Vend reported that shoppers didn’t just intend to extend their holiday buying beyond Black Friday, 67 percent of them planned to shop online. That compares to 51 percent in 2019. Retailers need to make certain their sites, shipping methods, and customer service can handle an increase in online visitors.
  • Improve digital marketing platforms: Even though Black Friday or even Cyber Monday may no longer refer to distinct days, lots of folks still use those terms to search for deals. With that in mind, retailers can create targeted pages and social media posts for those terms and then make it clear that the holiday deals will start early this year.
  • Incorporate physical stores and eCommerce marketing into an omnichannel marketing strategy: Plenty of case studies have found that retailers with both brick-and-mortar stores and eCommerce sites do best when they merge them both into their universal sales strategy. As much as possible, have the same sales online and offline, and allow in-store pickup for online orders for items available in local stores. Customers may like to shop online; however, many of them also enjoy having the option to quickly pickup their orders locally.

Black Friday is not dead

Lots of shoppers still enjoy the tradition of post-Thanksgiving shopping for the holidays, and plenty of retail stores have taken very effective measures to ensure safety. Just think of all of the Christmas movies that feature scenes in a festively decorated store. More stores may close or limit shoppers on the Friday after Thanksgiving. At the same time, they can still advertise Black Friday deals by making clear they’re generously starting earlier and finishing later this year.

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DTC vs. Retail: How Brands Win with a Blended Approach

In a world of customized placement, your DTC brand needs to be omni-channel, which is why a proper DTC marketing plan is so critical.

Direct-to-consumer (DTC) brands are riding a sustained growth wave. It’s estimated there are more than 400 significant brands now in this category, while DTC web traffic is growing 100%  year over year. This growth is being supported by performance-based DTC marketing plans.

Don’t think top retailers haven’t noticed. Nordstrom, Sephora, and other industry heavyweights are working overtime to entice emerging DTC brands into the retail space by offering a range of incentives.

One example: Bloomingdale’s Carousel concept, which allows DTC sellers to set up rotating pop-up shops within the storied retailer’s brick and mortar environs.

Yet, as DTC brands would be the first to tell you, this kind of relationship doesn’t come without substantial tradeoffs.

Winning with a blended approach

Wholesale retailers, always eager for trendy, differentiated offerings, have been busy integrating DTC brands at a rapid clip. There’s no question that such relationships offer very real benefits for these brands. A DTC marketing plan that provides proper placement in Nordstrom or Bloomingdale’s can expose DTC products to much wider audiences.

Partnering with an esteemed wholesale retailer also gives newer DTC brands instant cachet and credibility. For a largely unknown brand, an association with a retail heavyweight can be extraordinarily valuable.

Yet these benefits are also somewhat mitigated by the demands DTC brands are facing. Given their reach and capacity, it’s not surprising that large retailers want to get DTC brands in front of a sizable number of their customers. Yet these brands are often ill-prepared to scale up to accommodate placement at 50 stores.

Large retailers also exert a very high degree of control over product strategy and operations. DTC brands that are accustomed to exerting full control over how their products and services are presented and marketed may balk at relinquishing that control. Much of the storytelling, creative messaging or flair associated with DTC brands may be suppressed when these products are presented and marketed by a larger retailer with different sensibilities and prerogatives.

So how do DTC brands thread the needle?

Many of today’s most successful DTC brands have been squaring this circle by pursuing a blended approach. They make wholesale retailers a part of their omni-channel strategy, but only on their terms.

If retailers push DTC brands to scale too early, they resist. If DTC brands believe their messaging is being polluted by clumsy or irrelevant retail marketing, they speak up.

Most importantly, these DTC brands don’t cede control over their narrative. They may be hitching a ride on a larger, faster and more visible ship, but they remain the undisputed captain of their fate.

Looking for a DTC marketing boost?

Attractive and eye-catching product and packaging design is a virtual pre-requisite for successful DTC brands. Luckily for you we’re experts in this field. Whether you need assistance with product design, performance-based advertising and marketing strategies or branding services, we have the necessary expertise to deliver the goods.

Contact Bigeye today for more information about how we can help take your DTC marketing plan to the next level. 

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CBD Manufacturing and the US Retail Landscape

The US market for CBD is booming. Michael Law joins us on IN CLEAR FOCUS to discuss practical guidance for CBD marketing and retailers to maximize results.

In Clear Focus this week: the US market for cannabidiol. Michael Law of contract manufacturer Eagle Labs shares his observations about the opportunities and potential pitfalls for anyone introducing new CBD products to this booming market. With a background in traditional CPG sales and marketing, Michael offers practical guidance for CBD brands and retailers to maximize results. 

In Clear Focus listeners can exclusively take advantage of a special discount code to receive 50% off a purchase from Eagle Labs’ new line of CBD products: go to IMPIRICA.co and enter the code BIGEYE at the checkout.

In Clear Focus: CBD Manufacturing and the US Retail Landscape

In Clear Focus this week: the US market for cannabidiol. Michael Law of contract manufacturer Eagle Labs shares his observations about the opportunities and potential pitfalls for anyone introducing new CBD products to this booming market. With a background in traditional CPG sales and marketing, Michael offers practical tips for CBD brands and retailers to maximize results.

Episode Transcript

Adrian Tennant:     You’re listening to IN CLEAR FOCUS, a unique perspective on the business of advertising produced weekly by Bigeye. Hello. I’m your host, Adrian Tennant, VP of insights at Bigeye, an audience-focused, creative-driven, full-service advertising agency. Bigeye is based in Orlando, Florida, but serves clients across the United States and beyond. We provide audience research, strategy, branding, creative, media, and analytics services. Thank you for choosing to spend time with us today. A couple of weeks ago we talked about the legal considerations surrounding CBD product marketing. On this week’s show, we’re focusing on CBD product manufacturing. Cannabidiol, or CBD, is a chemical compound from the cannabis plant. It’s used in products like oils and edibles to impart a feeling of relaxation and calm. Unlike THC, its cousin, CBD is not psychoactive. Today, CBD is available in tinctures and pills intended to relieve conditions such as anxiety and arthritis pain, and you’ll see it as an ingredient in a growing range of consumer categories from food and beverages to beauty products and apparel. As a CBD marketing agency, Bigeye enjoys working with the entrepreneurial innovators in this space. And today it’s my pleasure to welcome a guest with a unique perspective on the rapidly growing market for CBD products. Michael Law is the Chief Commercial Officer of Eagle Labs, based in Saint Petersburg, here in Florida. Eagle Labs manufactures high-quality, rigorously-tested nutritional supplements and skincare products. The company provides formulation and manufacturing services for private label lines. Under Michael’s direction, Eagle Labs has quickly become a leader in the CBD category, not only manufacturing products on behalf of its clients, but also developing its own CBD product range. The company also offers packaging, design, consulting, and fulfillment services. And Eagle Labs is a Food and Drug Administration-registered facility. Welcome to IN CLEAR FOCUS, Michael.

Michael Law:        Thank you Adrian. It’s great to be here.

Adrian Tennant:     I gave a summary overview of CBD at the top of the show, but could you give us a bit more of a detailed explanation of what CBD is and how it’s produced?

Michael Law:        Yes, absolutely. And to be clear, there’s a lot of confusion around what CBD is and isn’t. I’ll give you a layman’s explanation of what CBD is. CBD is really a naturally occurring compound as I think you said at the beginning of the podcast. It’s found in industrial hemp plants. It’s important to differentiate between the industrial hemp plant and marijuana. These plants are cousins, but industrial hemp is really what the Farm Bill, the federal Farm Bill approved for cultivation, transport, research, and sale. CBD can support a sense of peace and wellness in humans and animals, as it interacts with the body’s natural endocannabinoid system. It’s not intoxicating and that’s one of the biggest myths about CBD, so you can add it to your everyday routine without experiencing a high. A lot of consumers are also concerned about safety and we’ll talk more about what Eagle Labs is doing to ensure the safety of our products. But there has been a report from the World Health Organization that stated that in humans, CBD exhibits no effects indicative of any abuse or dependence potential. So they haven’t found any evidence of public health issues or problems associated with the use of pure CBD. So I mean, at the outset, I think it’s important to know that CBD has a very strong safety profile and that it is very distinct from marijuana in that it will not make you high. And it is federally legal.

Adrian Tennant:     Right, by some estimates, the US market for CBD will be worth anything between 16 and 22 billion dollars annually within just a couple of years. Why is the market for CBD products growing so rapidly?

Michael Law:        The reason that it’s growing so rapidly is that consumers are using the product and they’re experiencing the effects that they’re seeking. So the repeat purchase levels are very high. There’s a lot of online communication that’s happening where people are sharing their stories with each other. We get a lot of testimonials, even video testimonials from people that have tried our products are just indicating that the product has exceeded their expectations in terms of the benefits that they’re seeking either for themselves or for their pets. We believe that the category is probably in the one to two billion dollar range right now. Most of the category is not what we would call measured by agencies like AC Nielsen or IRI – syndicated data providers – because so much of the volume is done in eCommerce or in unmeasured channels like natural [food] stores, where there often isn’t syndicated data or reporting. The category’s much bigger than most people believe it is today because so much of it is unmeasured. Retailers have really not fully gotten into CBD in the way that they will as soon as it is regulated.

Adrian Tennant:     Michael, that’s really interesting. Just taking the pain-relieving CBD products as an example, do you see them as additive or will they eventually cannibalize sales of traditional pharmaceuticals?

Michael Law:        Yeah, that’s a really good question. I mean, anecdotally, as somebody who’s relatively new to this category… My background is with traditional consumer packaged goods companies like Johnson and Johnson. I’ve sold or marketed products in virtually every aisle in a drug store. But speaking to people anecdotally – I mean, I talk to  every person I sit beside on a flight, every person I have an Uber ride with or meet at a meeting if they’re not in the industry – and ask them if they’ve heard of CBD and if they have what their experience has been. In the anecdotal stories from people who have reduced the use of OTC products or drug products in favor of more natural solutions like CBD is just overwhelming. Again, one of the things that is really exciting to me about this category is the growth potential. The safety profile, as I said, from the World Health Organization and their research is very strong. We need the FDA to come out with a regulatory perspective on their recommendations for dosing and indicated use. I do believe personally that you will see some cannibalization from traditional OTC medications from pharmaceutical products as consumers try products like CBD.

Adrian Tennant:     And I think we should just clarify for listeners that are not familiar with the jargon, OTC stands for “over-the-counter,” correct?

Michael Law:        Yes. Over-the-counter. It’s basically means that it’s available for self-service, like in a pharmacy section.

Adrian Tennant:     Now, I know that Eagle Labs is very quality-focused. So it seems like a good time to segue to that. Can you tell us a little bit about how Eagle Lab’s services and the business fits into this broader CBD landscape?

Michael Law:        Absolutely. Yeah. So Eagle Labs had been making skincare and nutritional products for private label clients, large national retail clients, for about 10 years. The company was owned by a chemist with 40 years of experience formulating and Eagle Labs was purchased by an entrepreneurial pair of brothers that wanted to get into the CBD category, but in a way that would ensure that their finished goods would be nothing but the highest quality. So they’ve purchased a very good quality manufacturer with the chemist, as I said, with a lot of experience and then they set about ensuring that their manufacturing processes were going to be ahead of any potential regulations. Our batch records, for example, are over 20 pages long for both the cosmetic products that we manufacturer, anything that might be a nutritional supplement with a CBD. There’s extreme rigor. We qualify any new raw material vendor with three separate batch tests. We get certificates of analysis to ensure that the potency of the raw material for CBD is accurate, and that the safety is also assured that there’s no heavy metals, there’s no bacteria, there’s no pesticides, and so on. So very rigorous on testing anything that comes into our facility. Any new raw materials that come in are quarantined until they’re tested, then they’re moved into the area where they can be used for manufacturing. As we’re manufacturing – actually filling the tincture bottles, for example – we’re testing from the top of the mixer, the middle and the bottom to ensure that we’ve got a consistent level of CBD across the entire batch. And then when we get to the finished goods stage, we send out our samples from our finished goods to third-party labs for final testing. And we get what’s called a certificate of analysis or a C-of-A that shows the potency. So if it’s a 500 milligram bottle, we want to make sure that it’s got 500 milligrams in it and, that it doesn’t have any pesticides, any heavy metals or bacteria in it. So, I would say a very, very strong focus on quality as you mentioned. And in fact, we believe that it’s in our best interest and our customer’s best interest to actually be ahead of what we think the FDA will decide in terms of manufacturing regulations. So we’re moving towards OTC qualification, which would essentially mean we could make a drug in our facility and we would have the processes for making drugs. I think when the FDA does regulate, , there will be a lot of smaller manufacturers that either haven’t or aren’t willing to make those kinds of investments in quality that will disappear.

Adrian Tennant:     So what does a typical Eagle Labs client look like? Are they primarily startups or more established brands?

Michael Law:        Yeah, so great question. The foundation of Eagle Labs was really working with eCommerce clients that were good at eCommerce but didn’t have the capabilities to do manufacturing and fulfillment. We also own a fulfillment company – it’s called Full Stack Fulfillment with fulfillment centers in Florida, Utah and the UK. So we can really be a turnkey provider for anybody that wants to create a brand as we can obviously manufacture for them in a high-quality environment, put out a great finished goods product, we can fulfill it through our fulfillment centers. So we’re meeting with large companies that are already in the CBD business that may be looking for either alternate sources of supply or unique sources of supply in product forms that we can make that they aren’t currently available from their current contract manufacturers. And we’re also having a lot of discussions with retailers regarding creating their own private brands in most health and beauty care and OTC categories. The store brands have about 25 to 30 percent of the market share and believe there’s no reason that a store brands won’t achieve that level of market share if not higher within this category as well. So we’ve been talking to a lot of retailers about about that opportunity and I think a lot of retailers are still kind of sitting on the sidelines. It won’t be long before they’ll be ready to push go on strategies where they’ll have their own brand name in the store on CBD products.

Adrian Tennant:     Right. So it sounds like you’ve helped a lot of brands, or are in the process of helping a lot of brands develop their products. But Eagle Labs has also launched its own CBD line, which I believe you call IMPIRICA. Why did you decide to do that?

Michael Law:        We felt that there was an opportunity in the marketplace, as I mentioned a little bit earlier and a lot of consumers are sitting on the sidelines because they don’t trust the brands that they’re seeing today. But there’s a huge percentage that are very interested. Our research has shown that the reason they’re not trying it yet is they’re concerned about the safety of the product and whether or not they’re going to get a what’s on the label in the bottle and that it’s actually going to be safe and not have things like the heavy metals, or the pesticides, or the bacteria. So our brand positioning is all built around that consumer insight. Our brand positioning is the number one most-tested CBD brand. So as you said at the outset, this is going to be a massive category, upwards of 15 to 20 billion dollars. We feel there’s an opportunity for a brand that is focused on driving consumer trust. And so that, that’s the essence of our positioning.

Adrian Tennant:     It’s obviously great to hear that consumer insights are powering your brand development process. Thinking about your own experience of CBD product marketing, what has been the biggest learning from launching the IMPIRICA line?

Michael Law:        I think that, um, with IMPIRICA there’s an opportunity for many brands in CBD. I would say within the soft drink category, if you ask somebody to name a soft drink, they’d probably say a Pepsi or Coke. If you ask somebody to name a CBD brand or let’s say a wine brand, if you walk into a wine store, you’re going to see a massive assortment of different wines. I think that’s probably the path that the CBD category will take. There will be a lot of small brands, there’ll be a few large brands that will emerge, but there will be a lot of small brands that have either unique positioning, unique benefits, or unique consumer followings. One of the things that has been really interesting about this category, because I’ve worked in a lot of categories where a brand loyalty wasn’t that high and promotion was used as a tactic to drive consumers switching. And what we’ve seen is that consumers that try and brand the repeat purchase if they’re satisfied and many are satisfied, most are satisfied in this category. The repeat purchase levels are very high. So for our eCommerce customers that have their own brands, we don’t see many returns at all. And we see very high repeat purchase levels.

Adrian Tennant:     Now you mentioned that you’re working with several retailers on private label. What advice do you generally have for clients who are considering entering the CBD market with a new product?

Michael Law:        So let’s talk about retailers first. If you’re a retailer and you want to be in the CBD business, I would say be in the CBD business. Have a significant amount of assortment. My advice is that you should have all CBD products in one central location. If you move them into their various subcategories, I think it’s going to be hard for the consumer to know that you’re in the category. My recommendation would be to have all of the CBD products in one location. You can have secondary locations, for example, in the , pain relief aisle for the appropriate products. But I would still have a home location that is, has got everything together. That way you’re concentrating, um, the opportunity for education. I think that you should have in store signage and pamphlets and other forms of consumer education that are, are going to address the most frequently asked questions that consumers might have either on a new brand or on the category itself. I think having it all in one location allows the opportunity to have an in store educator nearby. There are some great best practices from smaller natural food stores and health food stores where there’s an in-aisle educator that comes right to you immediately when you enter the aisle. They come right to you and ask if they can answer any questions for you on the category that also retailers are going to be very concerned about shrink. Shrink is a term for loss – product that leaves the store without being paid for. Retailers, if they have an in-aisle educator, they’re going to have eyes on the product and they can ensure that they keep shrink to a minimum. Some of the larger retailers that are now entering the category have gotten very limited assortment and they’re putting everything in a lockup case similar to what you may see in some retailers for expensive razor blades where you actually have to get somebody from the store to come and unlock the case for you to access the products.

I think that retailers like that will sell some product, but they’re not optimizing the opportunity. I think the profit potential in this category is massive and I think it would be worthwhile investing in in-store educators in high volume stores so that you can have a broad assortment and have somebody that can drive consumer education and that’ll help drive conversion. Because once you get that consumer, once they make their first purchase at a given retail location, that product then becomes the destination where they go or that that retailer becomes the destination where they go for that product.

Adrian Tennant:     Right. And you mentioned that Eagle Labs manufactures skincare products. Are there any special CBD cosmetic marketing considerations?

Michael Law:        Absolutely. There are a lot of opportunities. Because the category hasn’t been regulated yet, it’s difficult to make claims. I think consumers are doing their own research. Consumers are looking at CBD as a potential product that’s got anti-inflammatory benefits. So there are a wide range of skincare benefits. Hemp seed oil, which is not CBD but it’s from the same plants just from pressing the seeds has got a lot of skincare benefits as a moisturizer. There’s a couple of key paths within CBD: one is the more medical side where you’re looking to help consumers with a health and wellness issue. And then there’s the cosmetic side as you said, where there may be a lot of skincare benefits that they can come from having CBD as an ingredient.

Adrian Tennant:     So what excites you most about working with CBD products?

Michael Law:        That’s a really easy one. I think the growth potential. So if I’ve got a two-pronged answer, I would say the growth potential and the reported health claims from consumers and the potential for a regulated category that is going to uncover significant  consumer health benefits from CBD at the right levels and the right level of quality. So the first is just I’ve worked in a lot of categories that were static, they didn’t have any growth and that’s when you see traditional consumer packaged goods categories that are struggling for growth, you see a disproportionate focus on promotion and that’s when you get the massive amount of coupons and free-standing inserts in the Sunday papers and all kinds of discounts and shelf tags. This category doesn’t really need that. There’s so much growth potential and I’ve never worked in a category that has the potential to grow five to ten times in the next three, four years. Let’s say that there’s a lot of research that says it will be 20 billion [dollars] – if it’s half of that, that’s still a massive amount of growth. And then on the other side, as I mentioned, the health benefits, the reported health benefits that consumers are conveying anecdotally and through the repeat purchases are just phenomenal and so I’m excited for the research to catch up with where consumers already perceive the benefits and I think that will really unlock the next level of growth in this category.

Adrian Tennant:     That’s great. Thank you, Michael. For more information about Eagle Labs, how can our listeners find you?

Michael Law:        I can be reached by email at Michael.Law@EagleLabsInc.com. You can see our brand website at IMPIRICA.co and for any of your listeners that are interested, I’m happy to offer a special discount of 50% off your first purchase if you use the code BIGEYE at the checkout.

Adrian Tennant:     That’s great. I know our listeners are going to be really excited about that. Thank you very much, Michael. 

Michael Law:        Real pleasure. Thank you. 


Adrian Tennant:     Three things that stood out to me during the conversation with Michael… Firstly, he believes that retailers would do better to have all products containing CBD in one aisle location rather than having them scattered throughout the store. In the various subcategories we heard from Michael that consumer satisfaction with CBD is high and the brand loyalty is correspondingly higher in this category compared with OTC products. And finally, I think Michael underlined the importance of working with CBD marketing experts who know how to get products stocked by retailers and avoid a promotion or sales discounting strategy. Thank you to our guest, Michael Law of Eagle Labs contract manufacturing in SaintPetersburg, Florida. You’ve been listening to IN CLEAR FOCUS, a unique perspective on the business of advertising, produced by Bigeye. If you have questions or comments about the content of today’s show, please email us at info@bigeyeagency.com, and if you have ideas for topics that you’d like us to cover, please let us know. You’ll also find a transcript of today’s show on our website at Bigeyeagency.com under “Insights.” For IN CLEAR FOCUS, I’ve been your host, Adrian Tennant. Thank you for listening. And until next week, goodbye.

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TREND ALERT: The power of pop-up shops & why they work so well

Pop-up shops are all the rage right now with restaurant incubators as one of the most popular new investment models and traveling retail stores creating tons of buzz. Now it’s time for you to get in on the trend. Implementing a pop-up shop is a lot easier than you think (especially if you have a great agency partner who can help you execute the amazing experience); So don’t let that be an excuse to not leverage this powerful and trendy marketing tool. Still not sold? Let us help.

Pop-up shops let you try before you buy … err … invest:

The overwhelming majority of restaurants go out of business in under three years – not because the concept or cuisine isn’t on point – but because they simply run out of money before they break even. Commercial and retail rent is climbing higher than ever before. And small business owners and startups are being forced to make trade-offs when it comes to expansions and launches. Pop-up shops let entrepreneurs have a little more freedom to test into new markets or locations with lower entry costs. Instead of paying a premium-price for turn-key commercial space or depleting your cash flow on high-impact renovations and staging, a pop-up shop can boost sales, pump up excitement, and prepare for a bigger launch in stages. At worst, you have fewer assets on the line in case the endeavor bottoms out.

A bang-up buzz building tool:

If you already have a formal launch in the pipeline, don’t think you can’t take advantage of a pop-up shop. In the time leading up to your launch, mini pop-up shops or traveling teaser booths can keep interest up, generate brand awareness for your actual launch, and identify influencers and tastemakers who can become your customer champions. Pop-up shops also let you expose your concept to markets that might not otherwise organically find your location. Pop-up previews can be a powerful marketing experience that breaks through the clutter in a memorable way. Click here to learn about how we have helped other clients balance budget with impact when previewing a new idea.

Trial and error through pop-up shops:

Pop-up shops are a great way to test new products, menu items, or ideas without risking your brand reputation or your customers’ expected experience. Businesses can even test into offshoot brands or new markets with all the same low-risk benefits of using pop-up shops to gauge your primary business launch. Look no farther than the food truck industry to see how this concept has worked and can to your advantage. Many popular restaurants started as spinoffs from food trucks and evolved into permanent brick and mortar establishments to satisfy the masses. Pop-ups are a safe space to get the metaphoric recipe right before going live with your main course.

Create a social media heyday:

People love events that make them feel “in-the-know” or exclusive. You’ve seen those invites on Facebook: a secret concert with a to-be-announced (TBA) celebrity, featuring TBA food vendors, in a trendy, TBA venue. As the day creeps up, details trickle out. This type of hype is viral, organic gold. And the best way for you to get in on the action (or create your own) is through pop-up shops. Whether you’re doing it alone or partnering with complementary businesses and brands, pop-up concepts are fun and easy to share. They allow you to be anywhere your customers are, and join the social media action at ground zero. And with new live-streaming options on Facebook or apps such as Periscope, there’s no limit to your reach.

Last, but certainly not least, pop-up shops are fun. Get in touch with our team today and we’ll show you what we’re talking about.

Retargeting (or remarketing) is creepy, but it sure works

Retargeting has been described as “turning window shoppers into buyers,” something that every business craves.
But this actually isn’t the best analogy – perhaps more of an overeager sales clerk who helps you in the store, then accompanies you to several other stores, all the while telling you what you’re missing out on.

You may call it a little creepy. The sales associate may call it being pleasantly persistent. Digital marketing experts call it a smart, effective method to encourage customers to learn about a product or business, and then be reminded about it later, and once again for good measure.

For those aren’t entirely sure what retargeting is, the short version is that it’s the ability for an advertiser to “follow” you when you visit their site, and have their ads appear on other pages you visit after you’ve departed. The frequency varies, but it explains why ads reappear for places you just visited on the Web or social media, even though the site you’re currently connected to may not have anything to do with that particular topic.

Far more than mere coincidence, (or in case you might have envisioned an advertiser with an unlimited budget who is keenly aware of the sites you visit), retargeting is a way to constantly remind customers about a particular business.

It also works: according to CMO, Adobe’s marketing blog, businesses typically see a 2 percent rate of people visiting and buying. But when retargeting is in place, all sorts of good things can happen, including a 400 percent increase in ad response, and 3 out of 5 buyers saying they notice ads on other sites. Those are impressive results.

Retargeting also isn’t terribly annoying – 25 percent of people surveyed had a positive or very positive reaction to seeing extra ads, compared to 19 percent who dislike them, and 57 percent who are neutral on the notion of retargeting.

For marketers considering adding the practice to your greater digital strategy, here’s what you should know:

How retargeting works

The mechanics of retargeting ads are pretty simple. On your home page or any inside page, you include a bit of invisible Javascript code at the footer. When visitors arrive at your site, your script will send a browser cookie to their phones or desktops. When they visit other pages in the future, the cookie will instruct the page to call and display your ad in one of the page’s available ad slots.

Retargeting requires working with a remarketing company, which usually is a member of common digital ad exchanges, and can help you craft your message. Social media channels like Facebook have their own process for targeting or retargeting, which can include ads on the right –hand column, or in your news feed.

When you establish your retargeting campaign, you’re able to configure how often your ad is displayed, be it every time visitors go to another page; or possibly, every fifth site they visit; when a certain keyword shows up (such as shoes). This also begs the question, “Does that style of ads end if the customer goes back to your site and buys something, or does it expire after a week or longer?”

AdRoll, a popular online provider, has confirmed that different subjects can require different timing when setting-up your unique campaigns. It recommends that people seeking travel info should be retargeted immediately, while those who are more interested in specific retail goods may not need to see these ads as frequently.

Some retargeting services allow you to get even more hands-on in your ad. ReTargeter, another option, said some people prefer self-serve campaigns, where they design all the aspects of their program, from the sizes of ads to where they appear. This may be better for your budget, however it may elicit more of a technical challenge than seeking a full-serve provider. The following include different types of retargeting, with varying strategies for various industries:

Health Care Retargeting

Pew Research study stated that 72 percent of Internet users tried to find health info during the past year. To counter the sometimes “iffy” results on various sites, there are also a variety of useful resources that have a stake in providing searchers with adequate details, including community health providers, along with plenty of pharmaceutical companies who don’t want anyone to forget their product.

According to HealthCareCommunication, retargeting allows health info seekers to do their homework, while returning slightly more educated about a specific topic. For instance, an individual may visit a site for their local doctor or hospital to learn about a particular procedure, and then, in turn, visit other sites to explore the topic further. Following all of this research, seekers will be prepared to be return to their initial site, hopefully with more knowledge.

Providers are advised to include a call to action – ask people to do something – and not have a retargeting campaign last longer than 30 days.

Hospitality/Tourism Retargeting

We’re all familiar with the frugal traveler who goes out of his/her way to spend as little as possible when on the road. On the other hand, there are those who stimulate the local economy with plenty of purchases of food and lodging, car rentals, souvenirs, and other expenditures. Either way, much of a traveler’s research is performed online, especially when comparing prices and making reservations.

If you’re a travel business, Trooz, a travel marketing site, suggests that a retargeting service can help you partner with other related businesses, especially of the higher-priced variety. That way, if you represent an inexpensive B&B, you may still target customers who visit airfare or local travel sites. In addition, you might also consider a service that includes international visitors.

Restaurants, another part of the industry, also have the potential to reap benefits. Restaurantnews.com confirms that those who click on your ads will already be familiar with you and what you offer, resulting in a stronger lead, rather simply than trying to tell the world that your brand exists. Throw in a coupons or a deal, and position your company in an even more exciting manner to fellow restaurant fans.

Retail Retargeting

Here’s where retargeting/remarketing really is a winner. If an item catches a shoppper’s eye, but he/she say “better not,” retargeting gives brands a second, third, and even fourth chance to talk the potential buyer into their purchase. Since so much of shopping can be deemed an impulse buy, a merchant can retarget shoppers by frequency alone, with phrases such as, “Are you sure?”, or, “Are you still thinking about these snazzy boots?” In addition, retargeting can be used to highlight items in an online shopping cart that that a prospective purchaser may have abandoned. With a reminder that the items are still waiting to be purchased, it’s not as difficult to successfully complete the transaction.

Based on the popularity of retargeting, there’s plenty of potential to include it as component of your marketing plan. Some experts warn not to rely too much on this singular service at the expense of other marketing options, but it has the potential to help extend your reach and politely nudge your audience in a desired direction.

Still have questions about retargeting, and considering a potential partner to lend industry expertise to your campaign? Contact our team of digital marketing experts to help close more sales – and drive-up revenue – for your brand.

To check out more of our media planning strategies, visit our Media services page.