Want to make your holiday marketing a success? Try AI

- August 22, 2023 3 MIN READ


As the end of the year approaches, business owners must prepare to face a unique set of obstacles. In contrast to last Christmas, when consumers were eager to splurge, the current economic landscape presents a challenging road ahead. With an elevated cash rate not seen in a decade and the highest inflation experienced in 30 years, many Australians are experiencing a decline in purchasing power, so how can you make sure your marketing hits the mark? asks Harry Lowes, Director Mid-Market at Meta ANZ 

This year, and according to the most recent Meta Seasonal Holidays research report, we expect consumers to prioritise value. We also expect a huge spike in activity during seasonal sales events across October and November, with over 50 per cent of consumers utilising these moments to seek bargains and plan their holiday shopping.

However, this year brings a new dynamic. Few consumers are actively seeking ways to spend as they have previously. For business owners, this means you need to supercharge your product discovery. If your customers won’t be coming to you, finding creative ways to get your products to them is essential. Relying solely on loyal customers may not suffice either, as we anticipate even less brand loyalty in 2023.

According to our report, traditional discovery channels such as in-store visits (-4 per cent), search (-17 per cent), and store websites (-16 per cent) will be used less frequently during the upcoming holiday season. Instead, consumers are shifting towards discovery through social media, with searches on Meta’s platforms increasing by 12 per cent.

As we navigate through uncertain economic times, small business owners have a unique opportunity to harness the power of AI, in readily accessible ways, and take their businesses to new heights. Embracing AI as a strategic tool can pave the way for success across the holiday season and in the following years. CSIRO’s Australia’s AI ecosystem report found that 68 per cent of Australian businesses have implemented AI technologies, and 23 per cent plan to do so in the next 12 months. Significantly, 80 per cent of businesses expect year-on-year growth from technology-focused growth strategies.

In light of the limited signs of economic improvement before year-end, it’s essential that business owners begin to take advantage of some of the new AI-driven marketing tools to help them capture new buyers.

Here are some tips to help you get started with AI

Take advantage of ‘Discovery Commerce’

Businesses can use data, AI, and Machine Learning to amplify relevant offers to consumers. This will help consumers explore shopping opportunities early and make informed purchase decisions when the perfect product comes their way. AI can empower businesses to be proactive in a softer market, utilising smart analysis to mitigate risks and enhance success.

This is what we call ‘Discovery Commerce’ – a customer-centric approach that surprises customers by intuitively recommending products they love – before they’d even considered them. Our research highlights that 64 per cent of Aussie shoppers agree they enjoy discovering items they weren’t actively seeking, which can help businesses capture new customers or encourage repeat customers to explore new items based on past purchases.

Use AI to automate and optimise

AI presents the opportunity for businesses to automate campaigns or analyse performance and compare what works best – looking at aspects such as automated ads versus manual efforts – to optimise the allocation of resources. AI can also generate high-quality ad text, providing cost-effective solutions while allowing personalised customisation and asset repurposing. By letting AI do some of the work for you, businesses have more time to focus on the big picture strategy.

Personalise and target effectively

Data analysis and AI work together to empower businesses to segment customers effectively, including tailoring messaging depending on their purchasing habits. By leveraging AI, business owners can deliver personalised content, offers, and recommendations that resonate and convert with higher precision. Moreover, AI aids in identifying and targeting potential new customers who may be interested in your product or service.

Enhance customer experience with AI chatbots

Lastly, businesses have a valuable ally in AI chatbots, which can play a pivotal role in delivering instant customer support, guiding users in their purchasing decisions, and even upselling or cross-selling products. This can result in an enhanced customer experience and increased sales.

During the upcoming holiday season, businesses have the opportunity to embrace AI to navigate challenges effectively, connect with their customers and achieve greater success. By leveraging AI’s capabilities in discovery commerce, automation, campaign optimisation, personalised targeting, and customer support, businesses can stay agile, foster loyalty, and position themselves for long-term growth.

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