As I write this column, figures for online sales for the 2011 holiday season are starting to pour in. If the surveys and forecasts are correct, it looks like retailers will have a strong year. In fact, comScore is reporting sales are already up 14 percent year-over-year for the first 20 days of November and sales are expected to reach $27.6 billion in December, a 15 percent gain over last year. While these figures are without a doubt stronger than the 2009 to 2010 (12 percent) season, many experts agree this year's diligent planning due to the tough economic conditions including earlier promotions, extended store hours, and free shipping offers, as well as better integrated marketing with social support has contributed greatly to getting Americans to open their wallets. So with less than 30 shopping days left, what should every brand be doing now to keep the momentum moving into 2012?
So little time, so much to do. But by paying a little attention to post-holiday community building and empowering your community to share their positive experiences with others across the social web, you'll be making two important steps to driving revenue and success throughout 2012. Combine these efforts with some post-analysis, innovative thinking and testing, and a focused attention on measurement, and you'll be winning invaluable friends and support internally as you drive competitive advantage for your brand for years to come.
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Michael Della Penna is senior vice president of emerging channels at Responsys. His responsibilities include spearheading the overall strategic direction, partnerships, and solution offering across emerging channels including social and mobile for the company. Michael is a seasoned marketing professional with a long, proven track record of launching successful marketing, branding, and sales strategies for leading public and private companies. Most recently, Michael founded SuiteDialog, a full-service email and social CRM agency that helps brands ignite conversations and cultivate relationships with customers across the social web. Prior to SuiteDialog, Michael founded Conversa Marketing, a social CRM company that was acquired by StrongMail Systems in 2010. Before branching out on his own, Michael served as chief marketing officer for Epsilon, a leading provider of multichannel, data-driven marketing services. Michael's other key marketing leadership roles include CMO at Bigfoot Interactive, VP of strategic development at CNET Networks, Inc., and VP of marketing at ZDNet. Michael received a B.B.A. and an M.B.A. from Hofstra University.
December 12, 2013
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