What Marketers Want For the Holidays: Scale and Impact

Americans will spend more than $450 billion this year on holiday gifts. For some retailers, holiday sales can represent as much as 30% of their annual revenue. So exactly how important is the holiday season to marketers? It’s everything.

Americans will spend more than $450 billion this year on holiday gifts. For some retailers, holiday sales can represent as much as 30% of their annual revenue. So exactly how important is the holiday season to marketers? It’s everything.

Panel on The Future of Retail (L-R): Brian Venuti (Vice President Global CRM – Patient, Retail Optical and Sun, Luxottica), Fabiola Velarde (US Managing Director, Carolina Herrara), Carina Ertl (CMO, Tourneau), Luis Spencer Freitas (Director, Omni-Channel & Innovation LVMH) and Courtney Packard (Director, National Sales, GroundTruth)

We spent some quality time at Microsoft’s New York City HQ last week for a half-day deep dive on what brands are doing to prepare and ensure they are getting the biggest possible slice of the holiday pie.

L-R: Gregg Weiss (Director/VP-Digital Marketing & Social Media, Mastercard), Marc Sternberg (Co-Founder, Brand Innovators), Alison Arbitrio (US Retail & Consumer Goods Marketing, Microsoft), Sonal Mistry (Event Manager, Microsoft), Brandon Gutman (Co-Founder, Brand Innovators), Ian O’Donnell (Sr. Director-Industry Solutions, Microsoft)

A few rapid-fire thoughts after an engaging day of discussions.

1) Microsoft has an incredibly cool space in a to-die-for part of Manhattan (5th Avenue between 53rd and 54th). You can see the vibrant “living walls” in our photos above and below. On the lower level sits the brand’s interactive flagship store.

Brand Innovators co-founders Marc Sternberg and Brandon Gutman welcome the crowd

2) GroundTruth–our sponsor for the day–is a location-based marketing company so pairing them with Microsoft was a great fit given Microsoft’s physical store locations.

3) Quote of the day had to be this nugget from our emcee Jay Mandel (Founder of The Collective NYC): “If you have scale with no impact, you’ve got nothing. And if you have impact with no scale, you’ve got nothing.”

4) An inspiring opening keynote by Ian O’Donnell, Microsoft’s Sr. Director-Industry Solutions, broke down the mission that fuels the Microsoft brand: “Empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more.” Now that’s the kind of clear purpose brands need.

Ian O’Donnell (Sr. Director-Industry Solutions, Microsoft)

5) Using location data to spike holiday sales is good business. Nicole Genchur, Senior Marketing Manager-Marketing Insights for GroundTruth, shared a terrific success story about her firm’s work with the luxury accessories brand Coach. Coach’s objective was to leverage GroundTruth’s location & audience targeting tools to drive ~20,000 in-store visits to retail locations during a two-month timeframe. Instead they ended up driving more than 30,000. (You can learn more about it here.)

Nicole Genchur (Senior Marketing Manager-Marketing Insights, GroundTruth)

6) We loved this quip from UNTUCKit Chief Digital Officer Lockie Andrews on marketing in the retail space: “Technology is the easy part. It’s the humans that are more challenging.”

Jeff Hackett (SVP Sales-North America, GroundTruth) with Lockie Andrews (Chief Digital Officer, UNTUCKit)

7) We leave you with a few more images from a terrific day with our Microsoft friends and extended BI New York family.

Dave Spinato, VP Global eCommerce, Harman
Mike Brooks, SVP Revenue, WeatherBug

Ryan Anderson, VP Marketing, Growth Brands, Marriott International
Alicia DiStefano, VP, Head of Industry, Retail & Restaurant, GroundTruth

Brittany Capalbo, Director, Digital Marketing, Clarins

To learn more about this and other Brand Innovators events, go here.

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