Holiday marketing begins with establishing connections

It may come as a shock to some at this point in the year, but savvy retailers and marketers are already beginning to plan for this year's holiday shopping season.

It may come as a shock to some at this point in the year, but savvy retailers and marketers are already beginning to plan for this year's holiday shopping season. While brands tend to tap into the traditional themes of family and giving for their promotional strategies, new research suggests retailers need to think beyond these confines.

Among the findings, research firm Motista determined brands need to begin connecting with customers now in order to instill loyalty come the holiday season, leveraging an actual emotional connection to produce sales.

To achieve this, retailers need to develop marketing strategies that insert their role and purpose into the lives of their customers. They need to engage prospects through the social web and establish a connection that will incite word-of-mouth recommendations.

Alan Zorfas, co-founder and CMO of Motista, pointed to the essential need for retailers to establish more relevant connections with their customers.

"We see connection driving higher levels of purchasing and advocacy across a multitude of industries," he said, "and the brands that act on this data are able to execute successful marketing campaigns that motivate their target audiences more effectively."