Here's the Secret
These days, it’s no real secret that Facebook ads are extremely powerful, but our Black Friday / Cyber Monday results shocked even us. In the span of just a mere four days, our digital marketing agency in Tokyo had turned around USD 10,000 in ad spend into over USD 200,000 in sales for one of our e-commerce clients. If you struggle with math, know that is a 2,000% return on investment.
What’s more, this particular set of results wasn’t unique. In fact, all of the brands we work with were seeing similar results during this same timeframe.
Wait, Japan Does Black Friday and Cyber Monday?
Now, for context, understand first and foremost that Japan doesn’t really do Black Friday / Cyber Monday. Though there are a few brands hopping on the overseas trend here and there, the culture around this consumer holiday just isn’t native to the so-called Land of the Rising Sun, as can be seen from some of our other digital marketing agency blogs for Japan.
Alas, while there isn’t the same degree of hype here around Black Friday / Cyber Monday, this doesn’t mean that companies can’t profit immensely from doing a limited time offer (or LTO for short). After all, a sale’s still a sale at the end of the day!
How We Successfully Advertised On Black Friday / Cyber Monday
Anyway, how we as a digital marketing agency in Tokyo achieved the aforementioned results is a bit of a verbose story. The long and the short of it is that this incredible ROI was achieved thanks to the combination of a number of factors. As with any LTO, we started with strong offers (as much as -25% off for one of our e-commerce brands) with an impending cut off at the end of Cyber Monday.
What’s more, we also insisted that all clients running Black Friday / Cyber Monday sales rebrand their entire site to reflect the ongoing LTO. This one seemingly subtle change ensured messaging congruity both before and after the click and greatly increased conversion rates.
In terms of the digital advertising itself, we opted to make heavy use of Facebook’s dynamic ad features to quickly identify winning creatives and weed out the underperformers. Since it was impossible to A/B test variations prior to the Black Friday / Cyber Monday period, we basically left it up to Mark Zuckerberg to come up with the best combination of visual, headline and primary text. While we tend to use a lot of static creative for our scaling campaigns, this simply isn’t an option during LTOs as the nature of the time constraints leave no leeway to properly vet variables.
If you would like to learn more about dynamic creative testing, check out our blog: How to Build The Best Fb Ads Using Dynamic Creative.
For first touch, we launched our campaigns to very broad audiences (read: everyone on Facebook and/or Instagram in Japan) with the Dynamic Creative feature enabled. This allowed us to feed Facebook up to 10 visuals, 5 headlines and 5 primary texts per ad set. Through iterative A/B testing, the algorithm would then go about coming up with the best performing iterations. As a result, we were able to optimize our ads in real time while also compensating for the lack of time to properly test.
When it came to retargeting throughout the Black Friday / Cyber Monday LTO period, our strategies deviated a bit depending on the type of client. For those with one-product shops, we used very similar messaging and creative to the first touch ads going out to cold audiences.
For apparel clients and the like which have a wider range of offerings though, we made use of catalog ads as these show users exactly what they had seen on the site. As you might imagine, this was immensely powerful and drove very solid ROAS.
Learnings From Advertising For Black Friday / Cyber Monday
One major learning for us as a digital marketing agency in Tokyo was the power of scarcity. Though the LTO in and of itself put time constraints on the Black Friday / Cyber Monday sales, we were shocked to see how profitable our last day messaging was for AdVertize’s clientele.
In some instances, these ads were generating over a 3,000% ROI on the budget that was allocated to them. We initially launched these last chance ads on the final day alongside what had already been working. Had we known that they would perform this well, we would have funneled all available budget to these new variations.
All in all, the major takeaway from our Black Friday / Cyber Monday results was that LTOs work incredibly well in Japan (albeit, if you take the time to rebrand your website). Here, the consumer already expects to find a cheaper price online since there isn’t the same white glove service that there is in brick and mortar shops. When you make use of tactics like Facebook’s Power Five and add a limited time frame on top of a strong offer though, you really start to see that the Japanese consumer really does buy frequently online.
So, while Black Friday / Cyber Monday might not really yet be a “thing” in Japan, any seasonal occurrence can be used as an excuse to do an LTO. Just be careful not to do them TOO often or you’ll end up devaluing your brand. We're here to help at AdVertize. Feel free to contact us for support for your marketing needs, or even questions to this or any other one of our top digital marketing agency blogs for Japan.