With Black Friday fast approaching and the economy in turmoil, what will marketers do to convince consumers that they should brave the crowds and spend their hard earned dollars on a day that historically marks the beginning of the Christmas shopping season? Every retailer known to man has a sale that starts at 0 dark 30 in the morning, restaurants follow suit by opening 3 -5 hours early, signs on billboards promise the sale to beat all sales and the buzz has been building for weeks. One account of Best Buy on Black Friday placed employees at work at 2 am and shoppers in line by 3 a.m.! Even perhaps more crazy, the Opry Mills Mall in Nashville, TN plans on opening up at midnight Friday morning to give shoppers the chance to save big.
Now, onto marketing communications; I received an email from Apple that proudly proclaimed that they have “Lots of gifts. 1 day not to miss.” (Apple, 2008). Wow, I truly feel compelled to get out there and see what I might be missing. Yes, that comment is dripping with sarcasm, but on a serious note, what do marketers have to do to be heard through all the clutter? Every brand out there is asking consumers to shop with them, experience their sales and tell their friends. It is so loud that the reality may be that those who whisper will be the ones who are heard
Take this for example, a brand places a bug in the ear of a consumer, that consumer tells another who tells another who tells another. As this viral marketing campaign grows wings, the word begins to spread, the brand has not spent an exorbitant amount of money, their message has been heard and their goals have been accomplished. The consumer has not had to be inundated with their advertising and subconsciously might even prefer the brand over others who have tried hard with their rhymes and slogans.
All that being said, let’s not forget about Cyber Monday! The Monday following Thanksgiving has now been taken hostage by online shopping. But alas, this conversation will have to wait for another day.