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While the holidays are normally filled with family gatherings and traditions they are now filled with lockdowns and pandemics. Though many companies are still making the most of this time of year, especially Black Friday. Traditionally, when we think of Black Friday we think of the biggest sales of the year; it usually contains extensive lines of customers awaiting unbeatable deals, and even a few people fighting over a tv. Although the Black Friday experience looked a bit different this year, it can be deemed as a success due to record breaking sales number of 9 billion dollars; sales were up an astounding 22% from the year before. As the annual Black Friday sales have come and gone, marketing strategists and professionals can learn a great deal from successful companies and how they adjusted their marketing techniques for the given situation.

It is no secret that there has been a change in consumer behavior in this year of unexpected events. With a majority of consumers online shopping instead of shopping in physical stores, this year is deemed as the first digital Black Friday. Companies have adjusted to the given circumstances by creating a mobile experience for shoppers. Many increased their ad spend and created social media and email marketing campaigns to target consumers. Walmart successfully created graphics to attract customers while others used apps to help with promotions. As this has been done by Walmart in the past, the difference this year was that the company relied on these creative designs to excite consumers to shop from anywhere instead of just in person. Capitalizing on the use of apps is a great strategy amidst these difficult times as most consumers have already downloaded their favorite brand’s app. This eases shopping experience which in turn helps customers.

Through the creation of hashtags and campaign slogans, brand recognition not only improves but it helps differentiates a business. Best Buy created the slogan of, “This year, we’re doing Black Friday all season long.” This creates the idea that Best Buy is implementing great savings for the consumer for entire Holiday season. Kohl’s created the slogan of “Too great to wait, Black Friday deals,” encouraging consumers to get early deals.

Although Black Friday has been confined to one day in the past, over the last few years it has expanded from Thanksgiving evening to encompass the following week. As for this year, the earlier businesses decided to target their customers, the more success it brought. The Wednesday before Thanksgiving was the magic day that started the buildup for the Black Friday campaigns.

To avoid missing their target market, especially on a year where sales were critical, marketing departments across the board researched strategies and curated content to appeal to their customers. Once they were able to peg their customer’s behavior and identify the benefits that their services could provide, they formulated campaigns to their advantage. Businesses like Target, Walmart and Amazon have all found success with this strategy resulting in exponential sales growth. Target’s campaign focused on having a meaningful Christmas and holiday season. This inclusive campaign raised online sales by 167%.

This year’s Black Friday may have looked different, but success was still attained through new and innovative campaigns that may be around for a while. As for the upcoming months, consumers can expect that companies will focus on contactless shopping to highlight the importance of safety and health. Consumers are consistently spending more time with digital content; this gives companies the upper hand in creating relevant and intriguing content that will lead to a purchase. As the end of 2020 is approaching quickly, companies should keep in mind that consumers’ emotions are leading them to their purchases. With genuine and heartful marketing campaigns come excited spenders.

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