CMOs to Grow Mobile Efforts this Holiday Season

More discounts and promotions are also planned
Posted on November 8, 2016 by Andrea Lillo

BDO logoCHICAGO—Generic coupons will not be on many marketers’ lists for the holiday season, as the trend is moving to targeted ads and social media apps, according to BDO’s 11th annual Retail Compass Survey of CMOs.

While more than half (58 percent) of retail chief marketing officers plan to use mobile in this year’s marketing strategy, similar to last year, more will focus their mobile efforts on targeted ads (32 percent) and social media apps like Instagram and Snapchat (29 percent). Only 8 percent of companies said they would use generic mobile coupons, down from 34 percent last year.

The study also predicted a 4.7 percent of increase in sales for the season, tied with the highest projection in the survey’s history. Also up was marketing and advertising budgets: nearly a quarter (23 percent) of CMOs said those have increased this year.

The greatest challenge for the holidays was price competition, said 57 percent of retail CMOs, followed by brand recognition (18 percent), inventory management (15 percent) and lack of in-demand product (10 percent). Following a theme since 2013, CMOs also anticipate more discounting over the prior year, reaching 72 percent this year. And one quarter of survey respondents, up from 16 percent last year, say they plan to offer more discounts and promotions during the 2016 holiday season than in 2015.

“Conditions seem favorable heading into the holiday season this year,” said Natalie Kotlyar, national leader of BDO’s Consumer Business practice. “But the pressure is on for retailers to identify the optimal mix of promotions and pricing across channels. It’s arguably the toughest decision retailers will make—and the most critical factor in their holiday season success.”

The report surveyed 100 CMOs at leading retailers nationwide in September and October.


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