‘Tis the Season: Things to Consider when Planning your Holiday Marketing Strategies

By Emma Ballard, Digital Account Manager

The holidays are fast approaching and with their imminent arrival comes holiday spending; people are ready to spend more preparing for the holidays. With the right planning, we identify the best strategies to help our clients capitalize on this period to drive results and increase revenue.

The holidays are fast approaching and with their imminent arrival comes holiday spending; people are ready to spend more preparing for the holidays. With the right planning, we identify the best strategies to help our clients capitalize on this period to drive results and increase revenue.

Your Digital Presence is Important

According to the National Retail Federation’s post Black Friday 2017 report, 64 million U.S. customers shopped both online and in-store last year and 58 million shopped online only. That’s over 120 million American consumers who made a purchase online, in contrast to the reported 50 million consumers who shopped exclusively in-store. Furthermore, even offline purchases are influenced by the information online. 7 out of 10 people who made an offline purchase had researched online beforehand. What this means for brands is that to capitalise on the increased consumer intent to buy, brands need to ensure that their websites are informative, easy to use and relevant. This translates to: page load speeds should be optimized, product information should be up-to-date and helpful, and the location of your brick and mortar stores should be easy to locate.

Start in Advance with Higher in the Funnel Awareness Tactics

There are always going to be the shoppers ripping into the mall parking lot on Christmas Eve, but the data suggests that that customer group is shrinking. According to Google, by the end of November, 82% of consumers have already found ideas for half of their gifts, which means they have most likely already spent a considerable amount of time researching their purchases.

To capture the attention of those shoppers at that phase, we recommend starting early using higher in the funnel awareness tactics. This means focusing on display, shopping/product listing ads, broad search terms and television at least a month out from any seasonal event. You may not see an immediate return on these tactics, but these early investments in brand and product awareness will pay dividends as the holidays approach and people start thinking about their purchases. There should also be emphasis on mobile creative for this stage of the funnel; most consumers window shop on mobile and then make the purchase via desktop or in store.

Leverage your Customer Data to Reach out to Your Existing Customers and Find New Ones

We recommend looking at your holiday sales from the previous year to forecast what sales might look like this year. This will help you set realistic targets and objectives and decide on an appropriate budget for your seasonal campaign. Expect to heavy up in November and December, but by how much depends on several factors, such as your brand awareness, industry, product range and audience size (to name a few).

Additionally, leveraging customer data from last year’s holiday season isn’t just a learning exercise, it is a potential market that should be catered to. Reach out to last years customers with special offers and discounts through a targeted newsletter campaign. Customer lists can also be used to reach potential new customers who are like your existing base; this can be achieved through lookalike targeting or similar audiences.

Consider This, so your Customers Consider You.

For those consumers who are lower in the funnel and might have put you on their list of gifts to give but may have not yet pulled the trigger to purchase, there are a few tactics that can tip the odds in your favour and stop competitors swooping in on a potential sale. Do your research (because you can be sure that they will) and make sure that your pricing is competitive (especially during the promotional period). Furthermore, there are additional ways to set yourself apart from your competition that don’t rely solely on price. Make sure you provide transparency in relation to lead times, shipping costs, delivery dates and inventory levels on your product page before they make the purchase. There is nothing more frustrating than confirming an order only to find out it will arrive after Christmas.

For those customers who visit your site but don’t make a purchase, retarget your ads to them by heavying up on remarketing tactics. Leverage your creative to remind users of why they visited your website, the products they were considering, and consider using a deeper discount or remarketing offer to push those people over the finish line.

In summary, marrying the right mix of awareness and lower in the funnel consideration and conversion tactics will help drive results and increase the performance of your holiday marketing strategy.

2018-11-16T20:23:23+00:00