‘Tis The Season— Now’s the Time to Plan Your 2018 Holiday Marketing Campaigns

Maybe you’re one of those people who have all their holiday shopping done by early December? You may even have all your gifts wrapped and all you have to do is ready your homemade card before hand delivering.  That is not, and will never be, me.

Every year I think I’ll do better. I vow this is the year I’ll get all my gifts during January sales for next year! Never has this happened. That’s why I’m a prime target for e-commerce and digital advertising. And I’m not alone. This year, an estimated $23.5 billion will be spent by retail on digital ads. That’s up 18.7% over the last year and represents almost 22% of U.S. digital ad spending. These figures come from eMarketer’s new forecasts for industry-by-industry ad spending.

So with all this money in play, how do brands stand out?  What should they do now to optimize search to generate sales? There’s one thing all brands should do for sure which is Start Planning NOW.

I know it’s challenging to get into this mindset when you’re thinking about summer Fridays, but I also know this: formulating holiday strategies in July will pay dividends in January! Those that have the best eCommerce holiday marketing plans in place now will not only survive, they will thrive.

At the heart of any campaign should be data.  It’s the gift that keeps on giving.

4 Tips to Jumpstart Your Holiday Marketing:

1. Sit down and analyze your customer data—and if you don’t have any, get some.
How? You can model it out, borrow some, or buy information.

2. Different demographics and generations shop differently. Use information about your core customers to determine who you want to target and how.  From there, take the time to develop and fine-tune your creative.

3. Remember that you’re going to version creative for each moment in time that each ad is being seen.

4. Above all, remember to be authentic, provide value, and speak to your targets directly.

A great way to use data is with mobile.  Holiday consumers use phones to tap into apps while in-store, and many brands use geo-targeting to provide special offers at the point-of-purchase. Retail brands spend far more than any other industry on digital advertising because, in retail, it’s increasingly about winning in search,” eMarketer senior analyst Patricia Orsini said recently.

Now, with the best laid plans there’s alway the last minute shoppers (like me). According to MasterCard, the second-largest weekly growth rate in U.S. e-commerce sales during the 2017 holiday season occurred the week of December 17, when sales increased 23.7% (Source: Holiday Shopping Preview 2018, eMarketer). So make sure you keep on pushing messaging and optimizing search—it’s never too late.

For more marketing moves that will up your holiday sales and win brand loyalists, check out the 2018 Holiday Season Guide for Marketers from MNI Targeted Media Inc.