Ready, Set, Retail! How to Win at Data-Driven Holiday Campaigns

by Oct 19, 2017

Don’t you hate it when it’s not even halfway through October and department stores are already stocking Christmas decorations?

Me too. But when it comes to e‑commerce, it’s impor­tant to get your holiday digital market­ing strat­egy ironed out and buttoned up months in advance. This quick guide will get you on the right foot.

Use data to schedule your campaigns

It goes without saying that Black Friday and Cyber Monday are hot times for holiday market­ing campaigns. But for the most success, look at your data more closely to find which partic­u­lar holi­days or even date ranges are ripe for market­ing.

For example, if your histor­i­cal data shows your busi­ness is more success­ful on Cyber Monday compared to Black Friday, and that two weeks before Christ­mas showed a spike in sales last year, you should allo­cate some more digital market­ing budget to those time periods to meet demand and maxi­mize return on ad spend (ROAS).

Tip: Don’t forget about ship­ping! This is crucial when it comes to last-minute buyers, so make sure the ad campaigns target­ing these customers are sched­uled to account for ship­ping time. I also recom­mend teaming up with customer service during the holi­days since social media and customer reviews go hand in hand.

Decide what your goals are for the campaign

Online stores want to drive online sales. But some orga­ni­za­tions may also want to drive offline to in-store conver­sions, raise aware­ness of an in-store only promo­tion, or even increase newslet­ter member­ship depend­ing on the company.

What­ever your goals are, make sure they are clearly defined and artic­u­lated before design­ing any creative or running any campaigns; it will make it easier to track your campaigns and allo­cate resources to the proper chan­nels. Addi­tion­ally, set up proper track­ing in your analyt­ics tool before launch­ing your campaign to ensure correct attri­bu­tion.

Tip: Aren’t you tired of being asked if market­ing really works or not? I am. CRM track­ing is my number one recom­men­da­tion for track­ing in all chan­nels. Make sure all track­ing para­me­ters align with your CRM to accu­rately track ROAS and make a strong case for more budget in 2018!

Determine which channels are best for your goals

Not all market­ing chan­nels will work for any given goal, so be strate­gic about which chan­nels are used for each goal to ensure the best ROAS. Here are a few exam­ples:

Goal: Advertise a sale or promotion to customers who have purchased previously.

Use Face­book. With the custom audi­ences feature, you can strate­gi­cally target previ­ous customers who are more likely to buy from you again, allow­ing your adver­tis­ing dollars to go further. Make sure to add Face­book event track­ing to monitor revenue, cart addi­tions, and purchases gener­ated from the campaign.

Goal: Advertise a sale or promotion to previous customers who are also in-market purchasers.

Use paid search. With Google Customer Match, you can put your ads in front of rele­vant in-market histor­i­cal purchasers. This can include count­down ads based on promo­tions (e.g. “2 Days Left to Get 20% of Your Purchase!”), or Sitelink Exten­sions that will auto­mat­i­cally update with your company’s latest sale or promo­tion.

Goal: Target new prospects who are likely to purchase.

Use display. Display prospect­ing is an effec­tive way to target new customers based on their online customer behav­ior and inter­ests.

Make sure the ad creative mirrors the customer journey

Simply putting ads in front of poten­tial customers isn’t enough. Each customer will most likely inter­act with several of your market­ing chan­nels, so make sure your ad creative and messag­ing keeps the customer journey in mind and nudges them toward a sale. Addi­tion­ally, ensure that ad creative and messag­ing is consis­tent and cohe­sive to keep customers on the right path.

Monitor reporting during the campaign

As mentioned previ­ously, it’s impor­tant to imple­ment event track­ing and other attri­bu­tion tools in your analyt­ics ecosys­tem before launch­ing a campaign. But it’s also crucial to monitor your reports during the campaign. Always look at your attri­bu­tion reports to see what other chan­nels influ­ence your digital market­ing campaigns, as this can help you make last-minute adjust­ments to resources. If you’re running display campaigns, also look at View-Through Conver­sions to get a better idea of the effi­cacy of those ads.

Now you’re ready to get your holiday market­ing campaign up and running! If you need a partner to assist you, we’re always a message away.