Corporate Eye

Brand Digital and Social Campaigns Are Not Aligned with Consumer Online and Mobile Purchasing

holiday sale shoppingRetail brands are ramping up their marketing efforts as the 2012 holiday shopping season approaches, but new research from Yesmail Interactive reveals that brand digital and social marketing campaigns do not align with consumer online and mobile purchasing preferences and patterns. That could mean brands are missing significant opportunities to connect holiday campaigns to consumers and to meet end-of-year sales goals.

Yesmail Interactive surveyed more than 500 consumers and analyzed their shopping preferences against marketing campaigns from the following companies: Amazon, Apple, Best Buy, Crate & Barrel, Dell, Game Stp, HH Gregg, JC Penney, Kohl’s, Macy’s, Nordstrom, Pottery Barn, Rue LaLa, Sears, Sprint, T-Mobile, Toys ‘r Us, Verizon, Walmart, and Williams Sonoma.

While 7 out of 10 survey respondents indicated that they’ll spend the same amount or more during the 2012 holiday shopping season as they did during the same time in 2011, the marketing campaigns of leading brands are missing opportunities to capitalize on how and why consumers use email and social channels for shopping activities.

The following findings show that marketers are not meeting consumer shopping trends in mobile and online environments, and are missing opportunities as a result of this misalignment:

Mobile, Social, and Email Promotions

  • 80% of online shoppers and 71% of in-store (offline) shoppers claim that email promotions (discounts, free shipping, etc.) influence their purchase decisions.
  • 62% of survey respondents have used a mobile device to compare web prices to in-store prices while shopping in a brick-and-mortar store.
  • More than 41% of mobile device owners have made an online or offline purchase as a direct result of a promotional email message that they viewed on their device. However, only two-thirds of those email messages linked to brand web pages that were mobile-optimized.
  • Social media promotions drove 34% of shoppers to make a purchase, but only 8% of Facebook and 4% of Twitter campaigns focused on discounts, free shipping, and other money-saving promotions.


  • Nearly 80% of in-store shoppers prefer to make purchases on the weekend. Only 31% of online shoppers prefer to make purchases on the weekends, but nearly 50% of online shoppers prefer to make purchases on Monday, Tuesday, or Wednesday.
  • Nearly 40% of survey respondents preferred to make purchases between 6:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m., but only 5% of email campaigns sent by brands were sent during that time period.
  • Nearly 60% of survey respondents preferred to interact with brands on social media sites between 6:00 p.m. and 2:00 a.m., but more than 60% of social media campaigns on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ are launched between 10:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. Central Time.

The survey also found that 20% of consumers plan to begin holiday shopping at least three months before the holidays begin. That means retailers should already be running 2012 holiday marketing campaigns. Is your brand leveraging the opportunities identified in this survey? Simple modifications to your campaigns could have a significant effect on their success based on the findings from this survey.

Image: Jay Lopez

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Susan Gunelius is the author of 10 marketing, social media, branding, copywriting, and technology books, and she is President & CEO of KeySplash Creative, Inc., a marketing communications company. She also owns Women on Business, an award-wining blog for business women. She is a featured columnist for and, and her marketing-related articles have appeared on websites such as,,, and more. She has over 20 years of experience in the marketing field having spent the first decade of her career directing marketing programs for some of the largest companies in the world, including divisions of AT&T and HSBC. Today, her clients include large and small companies around the world and household brands like Citigroup, Cox Communications, Intuit, and more. Susan is frequently interviewed about marketing and branding by television, radio, print, and online media organizations, and she speaks about these topics at events around the world. You can connect with her on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, or Google+.