Marketing Briefing: Why influencers could help market around this holiday’s supply chain issues

This Marketing Briefing covers the latest in marketing for Digiday+ members and is distributed over email every Tuesday at 10 a.m. ET. More from the series →

We already know that holiday ads are coming early this year — getting people to shop earlier due to supply chain issues means advertising earlier, too. That’s not the only change marketers are making to their holiday plans: they’re are also increasing their investments in influencers and creators for this holiday season, according to influencer marketing and agency execs.

There are a few reasons. With the uncertainty around supply for certain holiday items, some marketers are wary of spending on a big holiday ad shoot for products that could be out-of-stock. Working with influencers and creators gives marketers the ability to quickly pivot messaging or pitch as needed, according to influencer marketing execs, who say that influencers can also “humanize” the messaging around supply chain issues.

“With all the uncertainty, there’s more money flowing into influencers because it’s easier to do influencer marketing last minute versus TV or other channels,” said Danielle Wiley, CEO of influencer marketing shop Sway Group. “Changing messaging on an influencer campaign is much easier than changing messaging on a TV commercial that’s already been produced.”

Making changes to messaging to directly address some of the issues brands are facing this holiday season can “add a softness” and “humanize what would be challenging to say with traditional messaging,” noted Vickie Segar, founder of influencer marketing agency Village Marketing, adding that the number of requests for influencer marketing for the holiday season is somewhere between three to five times that of last year. 

Apple’s iOS 14 impact — and the attribution issues it has caused — is another reason some marketers are relying on influencer marketing. Some marketers are now moving paid social media spending to influencer marketing to get the attention of younger generations on social channels.

“Brand marketers want to show up on social media because that’s where consumers are spending time,” said Segar. “Not only have people started to understand influencer marketing more, more people want to be influencers. At the same time, paid social is having this shift where people are pulling dollars from paid social [because of iOS]. Now, a lot of those funds are getting pushed to us. There’s a perfect storm creating a huge push toward the creator.” 

Marketers and agency execs expect the increased focus on influencers to continue long after the holiday crunch. 

“Across the board, marketers are putting more and more focus on creators, and [the] holiday is no exception,” said Katy Wellhousen, account director at cultural marketing agency 160over90. “The Gen Z consumer is growing up, and their spending power is increasing. They’re more influenced by the people they follow online than any other demographic, so brands increasing their creator budget to get on their gift list this year is a no-brainer.” 

3 Questions with Canada Goose’s CMO Penny Brook

What’s Canada Goose’s current marketing strategy and how has it changed over the last year?

We’ve always been an authentic brand, with an enduring quality. Over the last year we’ve understood more deeply the importance of our role in enabling people to thrive in the open and that for many, the outdoors have become an emotional and physical sanctuary. During this time, we’ve leaned into the agile nature of our brand and focused on the varying degrees of zeitgeist across regions. Due to changing consumer behavior, we prioritized our virtual channels and, in the future, will work hard on innovating further here whilst creating complimentary physical experiences.

We also focused on fostering a sense of community during a time of uncertainty and disconnect and prioritized platforms where we could meet our target audience, through email and social. While some brands pulled back on marketing over the last year, we continue to lean into our story to connect with our consumers.

You’re getting into a new product area with footwear. Has the playbook for product marketing changed for you guys in doing so?

While footwear is a new category for us, it’s still us, and we’re sure consumers will recognize that right away. As one of our biggest category expansions to date, we’ve enhanced the experience and amplified the activations. Our community — Canada Goose Basecamp — will be able to exclusively purchase our footwear this week (Oct. 22 – 27) ahead of launch with access to limited quantities of both boots. At launch, we’ll have interactive and immersive in-store displays that bring the collection to life in a curated fashion. Guests will be able to have their foot custom measured with the Canada Goose Foot Scanner Powered by Volumental for a perfect fit. OOH 3D ads and digital projections will include a QR code, driving to an AR lens on Snapchat, enabling consumers to virtually try on the boots. All boots purchased will be packaged in limited-edition branded hard cases that can be reused for travel or storage.

What’s Canada Goose’s holiday retail strategy?

This year’s holiday campaign will celebrate the playful moments that come with the holiday season in a bright, fun and endearing way. Last year’s holiday season was one that many of us celebrated apart, so as we continue emerging from an extended period of isolation and uncertainty, we want to encourage our consumers to come together, revel in the season and, most importantly, have fun. — Kimeko McCoy

By the numbers

There are just about 30 days left until Black Friday, meaning the holiday season is just around the corner. And with the global supply chain bottlenecked thanks to the pandemic, marketers will have a lot on their plate. But according to new research from digital experience analytics company, Contentsquare, only 7% of marketers have finalized their sale season preparations. As conversations around holiday retail heat up, find more details from the report below:

  • 50% of retail marketers surveyed don’t feel well-prepared for the holiday shopping rush.
  • Over a third (37%) of retail marketers experience stress throughout the whole season.
  • More than a quarter (26%) believe starting sale season preparations earlier on in this year will make the season less stressful for them. — Kimeko McCoy

Quote of the week

“The fact that we can fly people to the moon, but we’re really having trouble with attributing media investment return [means] there’s an opportunity within the industry.”

— Cara Pratt, svp of Kroger Precision Marketing, on the need for better use of data in advertising.

What we’ve covered

More in Marketing

In the marketing world, anime is following in the footsteps of gaming

As marketers look to take advantage of anime’s entry into the zeitgeist, they might be wise to observe the parallels between the evolution of anime as a marketing channel and the ways brands have learned to better leverage gaming in recent years. 

With the introduction of video ads and e-commerce, Roblox looks to attain platform status

Roblox is expanding into more areas than just ads in 2024. Much like platforms such as Amazon and Facebook have transcended their origins to evolve from their origins as online marketplaces and social media channels, Roblox is in the midst of a transformation into a platform for all elements of users’ virtual lives.