In a recent study of over 300 retailers, Card & Gift Network found social media was the most popular online marketing activity for the greetings card and giftware industry. Card & Gift Network founder Charlotte Biggs recently undertook a year long research project to see how greetings card and giftware companies were promoting themselves online.
Charlotte says of the project, “With a better understanding of how the industry is promoting itself online, we can measure our efforts against best practice of professional marketers and find new ways to improve.”
The first part of the research has just been published, with some surprising results for how the marketing tactics of greetings and gift businesses differ from traditional marketing companies. The research looked at what marketing channels card and gift companies are using online.
Analyzing data from 343 retailers, Charlotte discovered that the most popular form of marketing was social media:
- 88% of businesses surveyed were using between 1 and 7 social media channels to promote their greetings card and gift products.
- For the majority, 75%, marketing efforts were concentrated on 1 and 4 channels; the most popular of these were Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest.
- Of these Facebook was the most popular social media channel with 71% having a Facebook page for their business.
Commenting on the first findings Charlotte says, “The popularity of social media is a great sign that the industry is forward thinking and willing to embrace new technologies to reach customers.”
These figures surpassed other online marketing channels.
- 47% of the 343 companies analyzed had a blog to showcase their brand.
- 48% used email marketing, despite this being one of the most popular marketing methods for professional marketers.
- Just 15% (52) companies had used ‘Pay Per Click’ paid advertising to promote their business in the last year.
Reviewing the first set of data, Charlotte is positive about the potential for card and gift companies to utilize online marketing. “The research so far shows that there’s lots of potential in online marketing for card & gift retailers; for the majority there’s still many marketing strategies they could implement to reach new customers and sell more online.”
She adds, “Many of the small businesses I mentor feel stuck with online marketing and eCommerce. I think this research shows that a lot of companies have more options than they realize.”
This first publication is just one element of the research project. More detailed research looking at each of the marketing strategies (blogging, email, paid ads, pr, SEO and social media) in detail will be published in the coming weeks.