Each holiday season, Goldman Sachs (GS) converts the lobbies of their New York City and London offices to a small business marketplace, featuring dozens of small businesses from their 10,000 Small Businesses (10KSB) and 10,000 Women (10KW) programs. Both programs, established over ten years ago, help entrepreneurs around the globe create jobs and economic opportunity by providing access to education, capital and business support services.
The holiday tradition not only offers GS an opportunity to celebrate the program graduates and shop their small businesses, but also provides real value to these entrepreneurs who benefit from holding a physical retail space in the heavily trafficked area.
With the pandemic-forced social distancing in 2020, GS had to pivot their plans and saw the opportunity to instead virtually host the holiday marketplace in order to drive awareness and traffic to over 60 small businesses. To do so, we created a virtual small business Holiday Market—our #MakeSmallBig Holiday Market—on gs.com. Through a strategic paid media plan and promotion on the firm’s social media channels, the reimagined GS Holiday Market enabled us to reach a much larger group of shoppers, beyond GS employees, and to drive real support to small businesses during the pandemic.
The campaign traffic drove to the market on gs.com and allowed visitors to learn a bit about the companies, browse some of their popular items, and linked directly to their websites to shop a diverse range of products–from gourmet marshmallow treats to organic skincare products.
The holidays are both a critical and extremely challenging time for small businesses, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic, which has left many businesses shuttered and others struggling to survive. Survey results from 10KSB scholars throughout the US and UK showed that there was a critical need for help.
Our solution: Building a digital holiday marketplace and arming small businesses with the marketing resources typically reserved for big brands like Goldman Sachs. We helped #MakeSmallBig by turning over our marketing budgets and channels to these small businesses, essentially acting as their super-charged “marketing arm.”
The execution was three-fold:
First, we turned our Instagram feed into a virtual, shoppable Main Street, featuring creative storefront renderings of small businesses from the 10KSB and 10KW programs. To ensure we were making the most positive impact on the highlighted small businesses, we paused our normal cadence of social content series and dedicated our Instagram feed solely to the campaign for a month-long takeover – posting only storefronts that drove to the individual small business pages prompting followers to shop.
Then, we took it to the brick and mortar shopping world, turning Brookfield Place, a big retail shopping destination in NYC, into a small business shopping center with a 22-screen QR-coded takeover that surprised shoppers with a way to shop at small businesses during the holiday season.
Finally, we dedicated a digital media buy to promote our virtual Main Street where people were shopping online. We prompted people to shop during the holiday season by driving traffic to the holiday marketplace on gs.com. Our paid digital and social executions aligned with the organic social posts by showcasing small business storefronts. The digital campaign aimed to generate awareness of the #MakeSmallBig Market and the participating small businesses. We made a big splash with homepage takeovers that encouraged people looking for gifts to shop, amplified the market through custom newsletter sponsorships, and got people in the holiday spirit by reminding holiday music listeners to “make small big” with uplifting audio spots on Spotify.
The entire campaign drove to an online marketplace where shoppers could learn the stories of the different small business owners and their businesses and, of course, shop their products.
We leveraged a channel mix of paid and organic social media along with partnerships with the Skimm, Washington Post, NextDoor, Fortune, Politico and Spotify. The objective was to drive traffic to the #MakeSmallBig Holiday Market to ultimately drive to the small business owner pages for shopping, while also raising awareness of GS’ 10KSB and 10KW programs, and GS’ commitment to small businesses. The campaign was successful in both generating traffic with 180,000 visits to the marketplace and awareness by delivering over 47M impressions during its flight.
We’ve also received anecdotal success stories from the small business owners who were highlighted:
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