Happy Marketing November 2023

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📅 November, 2023
📖 Read time: ± 9 mins


Post-Thanksgiving, my schedule is jammed, my Christmas tree is (almost) up, and Mariah Carey’s seasonal warbling is poised on my playlist.

Just. One. More. Month. (And a million things to do.) Before. Christmas!

As the marketing world gears up for the holidays, this issue of Happy Marketing will be a bumper, delving into strategies for 2024, the perils of bad copy, and … *checks notes* … 8-foot jars of mayo?

Well, with that out of the way, let’s dive in.

Do ALL Millennials Know their Hogwarts House?

Yes, I’m a Gryffindor. Yes, I can’t buy a house because of my crippling student loan debt. And YES FINE my personality around this time of year revolves around pumpkin spice everything. But I’m not like other millennials.

As marketers, we like to make decisions based on sweeping generalizations. But we should presume at our peril, especially when making assumptions by generations.

Don’t believe me? Take Gen-Z as an example. Now, think back to when you were their age. You liked statement necklaces, skinny jeans, and a side part. You’ve changed.

My Spotify wrapped this year. Don’t @ me.

My Spotify wrapped this year. Don’t @ me.

People of certain age groups don’t always act/think/opine the same way at any moment. But they do tend to go through the same processes. Our top tip? Keep your strategy aligned with where we’re going rather than where we’ve been, and orientate on Gen-Z’s motivations rather than passing trends.

The Importance of Copy

This month, my inbox has been flooded with fabulous design and poor copy.

You know the one – the incredible photos, the super cool gif, the subject line working hard for the click…. and the incorrect apostrophe that is way out of place. Or the CTA that is nowhere to be found. Or the downright bad repetition.

Literally nothing puts me off more than lazy ass copywriting and yet this month my inbox was jam-packed with emails I wanted to send back.

I mean, I get it. With Thanksgiving and Black Friday this month and then your Christmas campaigns around the corner, November is hectic. But that’s no excuse!

Let’s take a look at an example. Here’s the Pro Lash Erase remover email that grabbed me with its super sleek graphic. From afar, this email looks great! Until you read it.

Repetitive, vague features. No juicy benefits. That bizarre, un-personable tone of voice you get when too many people make tweaks.

Me, when someone makes ‘corrections’ to my copy.

Me, when someone makes ‘corrections’ to my copy.

Bad copy loses you customers. Not in an obvious way (they rarely say that’s why) but in a real hits-you-where-it-hurts way. Trust me. This holiday season, get a good copywriter on your team and leave it to them. Your campaign stats will thank you.

(PS — and how are we measuring all this beautiful copy? Remember, click-thru rate is king)

Building a Rock-Solid Strategy

At this time of the year, it’s easy to get caught up in the creation. There’s so much to do before school’s out! A holiday campaign, that holiday lead magnet, those ad creatives…

When your to-do list is as long as Santa’s naughty list, you can let your strategy slip, suffering from ‘funnel vision’ as you churn out content you hope will resonate with your customers.

If that’s true for you, it may be time to go back to the drawing board when it comes to your content strategy. Check out these frameworks as a great place to start, then drill into the numbers here.

Numbers, ammiright? (Check out more of Tom Fishburne here)

🏎️✨Brands Getting It Right

Sporting events always bring out the best in marketing, don’t they? And the F1 Las Vegas Grand Prix was no exception.

The Grand Prix saw fabulous experiences from T-Mobile, Moneygram, and Heineken, featuring celebrity performances from J Balvin and others, incredible displays of branding, and F1 racers endorsing products.

The aim: create a party for consumers.

It got me thinking — the best marketing messages are fun.

For us, it’s a job, but for the consumer, a glass of cool beer is an evening/weekend activity and a chance to let their hair down. Their T-Mobile SIM is a chance to escape into their mobile games or call their grandmother for a weekly chat. We shouldn’t lose sight of this in all our planning.

Even if we’re selling ‘boring’ B2B software, our products should excite; the best brand messaging should tap into that.

Adidas is also having a moment. Upcoming Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles X Adidas designs are expected to be released in 2024, and the Unheardof X Adidas long-awaited collab is expected to drop any day too. The benefit of collabs like this is that they introduce new audiences to brands, help large brands spotlight smaller creators, and limited editions make products collectable — all great in the world of sneakers.

PS It helps when the products are great (someone please buy me a pair of those “Grandma’s Couch” Unheardof x Adidas Rivalry Lo and I will love you forever).

Need more inspo for brand success? Here are some creative billboard ideas that I loved this month and that are downright FUN; here are some brands that are KILLING IT on TikTok, and here is my winner of the Black Friday ads competition (honestly, anything Mean Girls gets a tick from me).

Brands That Might Need A Rethink

On the flip side, this year’s weirdest brand experience award has to go to Kraft Mayo.

The condiment giant is gatecrashing the Merriam-Webster Word of the Year competition, asking people to ‘search moist’ and propel the word moist to the top of the rankings.

Why? Urm, yeah. I’m not sure, either.

I guess because mayo is moist? And because of the free boost an association with Merriam-Webster gives? Who knows. But, judging by the reaction, it’s not taking off.

We all know our fave metric is IG comments. And, well… it’s not looking good.

Not Such a Marvel©

Another brand not doing too well this month? Marvel, who posted their lowest opening weekend ever.

I mean, I get it. I’m kind of bored of superheroes lol. Every film is the same, every story is the same, every crashing fight scene is… the same.

Me, waiting for Marvel to come up with some new ideas.

Me, waiting for Marvel to come up with some new ideas.

Marvel is an interesting case study on too much of a good thing. With Disney Plus streaming the Marvel universe on demand in my comfy living room (where I can wear my PJs, drool on my cushion, and eat much cheaper popcorn from the microwave) you won’t catch this girl propping those box office figures up.

Not only does your brand have to be cool, but it also has to be a bit scarce. Businesses would be wise to remember that.

Separating the Bops from the Flops

If big brands like Disney and Kraft got it wrong, what hope is there for the rest of us?

Well, my suggestion? 👂🏽Listen closely.👂🏽

Social listening is your friend here. Need tips for how to get started then make the most of your insights? Check these out.

The Discount Trap

I remember a few years ago, I worked with this incredible ecom brand (who will remain anonymous here lol).

They had some fab products, a wonderful email list of engaged and active customers, and a steady stream of income from sales. The trouble was, they couldn’t get steady full-price sales and only made meaningful money during a sale period.

Why? They fell into the discount trap.

Their promotions always included heavy discounts, and to improve sales they gave out discounts often. I’m not just talking about $5 off here and there; I’m talking huge discounts from a full price of $300 to a measly final price of $69.

You can guess what happened. Their customers wouldn’t buy at full price knowing a sale was around the corner. So, the brand had to keep the discounts coming or face a loss.

This is the problem when marketing teams put too much emphasis on sales; customers simply won’t pay full price.

If this sounds familiar, don’t despair. Olive Garden was in a similar mess. Now, it’s wising up to the discount trap and “building a healthier business” that can retail at full price. The chain currently draws only 80% of the traffic it attracted before the pandemic, but it won’t back down; discounts are on their way out.

Digging your way out of the discount trap will be painful, after all.

It’s Pinterest’s World and We’re Just Living in It

I honestly think Pinterest is the most underrated social media ever. And here’s why:

    1. Pinterest results DOMINATE the Google Search Images page. Seriously – you try to find unique content for your monthly newsletter without clicking on Pinterest. It’s impossible.
    1. Visitors from Pinterest are more likely to convert into sales faster than from any other social media source. I can testify to this — I bought a sofa in 5 clicks this week, all because of Pinterest.
    1. Pinterest has insanely high engagement. People share, browse, and pin like crazy! This means more clicks, more conversions, and a hell of a lot more traffic to your site.

    As well as this, Pinterest makes it easy to ‘follow the money’ — a digital marketing tip they themselves use, where marketers prove the worth of any marketing investment by showing how much money it can generate.

    So, have you got a Pinterest strategy yet? If you’re an ecommerce marketer and the answer’s ‘no’, stop what you’re doing and get it set up. Thank me later.

    Seriously. Go now.

Ramping Up Engagement

If you’re still here, you obviously have a great Pinterest strategy. Pat yourself on the back.

The next question, then, is how to increase engagement? Don’t you wish sometimes you could A/B test your posts?

Boy, do I have some good news for you. Meta’s latest update to the insights platform means that the guesswork is gone from social media, with options to A/B test different captions, cover images, and more.

I’m PSYCHED about this, honestly – it’s such an exciting moment for our IG feeds, and things are about to get funky when it comes to drilling down into metrics and optimizing performance. Plus, here are some great tips for you to make the most of it.

A Shopping Web Portal? That’s so 90s!

Back to the future, baby, that’s where Google is taking us with their new shopping search feature.

This new feature, accessible when users search for ‘shop deals’, aggregates the best deals on the web (the best-optimized deals, that is) and presents them with prices and ratings for customers.

Why do we need this? Well, Google is facing competition. Shopping on social media is up, and those Gen-Z-ers love to find their answers on social media, too. Could Google be out of a job?

Well, at least not for the time being.

Here are my thoughts on their new deals page:

  1. Pricing is everything. I have said this before, but this year and looking ahead to the next, the cost of living crisis means that consumers are watching their spending more than ever. Price wisely.

  2. Ratings mean more! Genuine, real-life ratings are worth their weight in gold (stars).

  3. We’re in for a whole host of new ad potential and optimization content, so look out to stay ahead of the competition.

It may feel retro but watch this space. I predict this lil’ old shopping portal will be big news in 2024.

2024 = The Best Yet

It may seem premature wishing you a happy new year in November, but I know you’ll all be checked out already by this time next month anyway you’re as excited as me for 2024!

And you should be.

This coming year tentatively promises to be a good one: with some experts predicting the economy will perform well, consumer spending will moderately increase, and those all-exciting AI developments on the horizon, there’s a lot to be optimistic about in marketing.

So, I’ll leave you with some good news for a change!


CEO & Founder,
Nouvel Âge Media


CEO & Founder

Happy Marketing

A newsletter for marketing insights, stories and winning strategies.

Happy Marketing

A newsletter for marketing insights, stories and winning strategies.

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