Black Friday is the most important day of the year for many retailers (and, of course, for people who like to buy stuff). To win out, brands need to nail their marketing strategy to attract as many deal-seeking customers as possible. The competition is fierce, especially considering the explosion of online-only companies that are grabbing increasingly more “wallet share.” (Cyber Monday, anyone?)

There are lessons to be learned from Black Friday PR and marketing strategies, for both B2B communications and marketing pros. Consider these examples of successful consumer campaigns and translate them into opportunities to build awareness among your audiences.

Inspirational Examples of Black Friday PR and Marketing:

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The Container Store

Deep discounts are popular this time of year. But this niche retailer took a different approach. Instead of a limited stock of products that rapidly sell out and leave customers dissatisfied, The Container Store sent out coupons for 30 percent off any item in the store. They released this promotion to their loyalty program members a few days before Black Friday, giving the company time to spread out the purchases and handle any out-of-stock items.

Barnes & Noble

pr and marketing example

The bookseller captured more in-store foot traffic by offering something that online bookstores would have a hard time matching: signed books by a wide range of authors. While the company also offers other more traditional Black Friday discounts and specials, it proves that “out of the box” thinking can be an important differentiator – and revenue builder.

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Capital Teas

An omnichannel approach is necessary for retailers with an online and offline presence. While channel-exclusive specials may be a viable approach for some companies on Black Friday, others risk customer confusion that leads to people asking for promotions from the wrong channel. Capital Teas avoids this dilemma by making Black Friday deals universal to in-store and online customers. Since its storefronts are mostly smaller than those of other retailers, it’s important to spread purchases across all channels to help reduce the load on its physical stores.

Here are three ways you can translate these Black Friday PR and marketing lessons to your next B2B campaign:

  1. Build the hype early. In the retail world, we start seeing teasers for Black Friday promos before Halloween. (It seems to get earlier every year!) Give your audience time to get excited about your next “big thing” by building a cadence of communication long before launch. This means extra and earlier planning on your part, but the added efforts will be rewarded.
    Give your audience time to get excited about your next “big thing” before launch.Click To Tweet
  2. Make it timely. Black Friday shoppers aren’t shopping willy nilly; they’re on the hunt for specific holiday gifts. Timing is everything in B2B too. Consider aligning your campaigns and offers to coincide with your audience’s needs – such as “tradeshow season” or planning/budget cycles.
  3. Partner up. Retailers often couple deals to sweeten the benefits – for themselves and their customers. Take this hypothetical example: “Buy this TV and receive the Game of Thrones Season 7 DVD for free!” Samsung and HBO both win. The “two is better than one” mantra also applies to B2B. Consider partnering with a non-competitor brand to package – and strengthen – an offer. The added incentive is appealing to buyers, and it helps both brands expand their networks and potentially boost their bottom lines.

Whether Black Friday is critical to your business or not, it’s universal knowledge that every brand needs the right mix of marketing and communications to make an impact. You can’t rely on creative advertising or email marketing alone; similarly, social media or traditional media on their own won’t get the job done. You need a balanced, integrated approach to draw your audience in and win out over the competition.
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With more than a decade at Stern, Ned has had the opportunity to counsel – and learn from – some of the brightest minds in business. A lifelong student, he is always searching for new ways to hone his craft by applying insights and ideas from outside sources. He says inspiration can come from anywhere in the world – from his young children to emerging start-ups to more established brands – which he constantly draws on to infuse creativity into client programming. As vice president, his pragmatic leadership style combines with strategic thinking to effectively connect clients with top-tier media, conferences and industry influencers. If he hadn’t answered the call to become a communications pro, you might have found him as a carpenter crafting wood furnishings and cabinetry.