Marketing Lessons from Singles’ Day: The Four Ps Prudently Prove Prevalent

Nov 15, 2018 • Aaron Goldman

This year, Chinese Singles’ Day – the 11th of November – smashed records with over $30 billion in sales. For context, Black Friday and Cyber Monday in the US combined for less than $12 billion last year.

What is Singles Day? Well it started simply as celebration of being single – the four number ones in the date 11/11 represent singles. Now it’s grown into a day for singles and couples alike to binge shop, binge watch, and binge eat – all within the massive Alibaba ecommerce family.

So what can marketers learn from Singles Day to help prepare for Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and the rest of the festive season?

Classically trained marketers will recall the 4 Ps – Price, Product, Promotion, and Place – as the keys to any successful plan. While the classic purchase funnel is gone, the Ps’ prudence proves prevalent. And, of course, 4C is here to help capture critical commerce.


More than any other time of the year, how you price your product on Singles Day can make or break your sales. When consumers are scouring for bargains, you better make sure you’re offering one – or at least offering the perception of one. As Cyber Weekend approaches, be considerate about which products you’re willing to decrease margins on or even use as loss leaders to draw in customers for future purchases.


Whether it’s Singles Day or any other day, all the best Ps can’t help you if your product isn’t up to snuff. You may be able to generate some short-term sales but you’ll suffer in the long-term from returns, negative reviews, and drains on customer service. Make sure you’ve done your diligence with consumer insights to understand what your customers want and expect. 4C Brand Compass can get you in the heads of your – and your competitors’ – key audiences so you can see what makes them tick and tick off product specs accordingly.


The best-selling products on Singles Day did not simply get lucky and catch fire during the event. These marketers spent all year building their brands and leveraging media to engage and persuade consumers. Through 4C, you can plan and execute campaigns across mobile and social platforms like Apple News, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Snapchat, and Twitter. You can also tap TV through the NBCUniversal networks or leverage our newest partnerships with a4 (Placemedia) and MASS Exchange (AMC). And you can go over-the-top with premium video across properties plugged in to Freewheel, SpotX, and Telaria.


Singles Day is everywhere. Like Mariah, there’s simply no escaping the phenomenon. It’s on TV. It’s on your phone. It’s on your computer. It’s on your tablet. Why? Because that’s where the shoppers are. To win the epic battle for attention, marketers must think multi-device, multi-channel, and multi-platform. Brands must be as ubiquitous as Singles Day itself! Scope by 4C enables this surround-sound effect through features like multi-screen sync. We also connect with Amazon Advertising so you can be present at the point of purchase.

Singles Day may only come once a year but the lessons for marketers are timeless. If you’re feeling lonesome, remember 4C is here to help you Up Your Retail Game this season.

Now it’s time to single out the rest of 4C’s Insights.

Get the rest of 4C’s Insights Volume 134 here.

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