Get ready for the marketing holiday season, because it’s almost upon us—and for some brands, it’s already started. At this time of year, it’s super important for marketers to get everything right or miss out on the short, yet valuable, opportunity of heightened consumer activity during the season of giving. In today’s post, learn some high-level things you can do to set you and your team’s success for the holidays.
The holidays require careful planning for most people: organizing get-togethers, arranging travel schedules, and finding the perfect gifts for loved ones. But successful marketers take holiday planning to a whole new level, carefully laying out campaigns to maximize holiday ad budgets while non-marketers are still thinking about their Fourth of July barbeques.
Chances are your team has been thinking about the marketing holiday season for months. Now that you’re in the home stretch, here’s a handy checklist to make sure all your bases are covered before the launch of your campaign.
Be prepared for the Cyber 5
The Cyber 5 are the five days from Thanksgiving through Cyber Monday, and the importance of these five days grows every year as part of the marketing holiday season. In 2018, Internet Retailer estimated that shoppers spent 19% more than they spent in 2017. With holiday spending expected to rise 5% this year and 53% of consumers planning to do the majority of their shopping digitally, 2019 could be the biggest year yet for the Cyber 5. Make sure you’ve got something special planned for this crucial time period.
Get the green light
And if you do have some special promotions and deals planned for the Cyber 5, or any other time during the holiday season, make absolutely certain you have editorial approval before your team takes off for the holidays.
Sometimes, ad can get stuck in the publishers, like Google and Facebook, because of minor issues that could have been easily resolved during the planning period. Check carefully to make sure there are no problems and all your ads are ready to go live before the team is out for turkey day.
Mark your calendars
Deals that promote holiday perks like free shipping or special discounts go a long way toward winning customers during the holidays, but nothing will lose a customer quicker than having them click a deal only to find it’s not valid. Make sure the ads that promote special offers are not scheduled to run during times after those deals have ended.
Make a (budget) list
And don’t forget to check it twice. Before those marketing holiday season campaigns launch and the office clears out, don’t forget to double-check all the budget settings in your accounts.
It’s also important to add budget cap alerts for all of your platforms to your holiday budget to-do list. These alerts will inform you when the budget is running low, which is especially critical when even a half-day loss of holiday advertising can be devastating.
Have a contingency plan
By closely monitoring the budget settings on your accounts and paying close attention to those daily and weekly reports, you can quickly move the budget around if certain campaigns and channels aren’t performing as expected. However, it’s important to have a plan in place before campaigns launch with dates by which budgets can be moved and a handy list of who is authorized to quickly approve on-the-fly changes.
In order to see how well holiday campaigns are doing at a glance, make sure to set up report templates so that teams can easily pull and share reports, both daily and weekly.
Of your tracking codes. Double-check that they are all correct and well-organized so that in January—when the team is ready to assess the holiday campaign—all activity has been measured and is easily available for accurate reporting.
Around the marketing holiday season, many of us start using those saved up vacation days before the end of the year. It’s smart to have a schedule of who will be out of the office on which days and to share that schedule with the team. No one wants to wake up on a vacation day to an urgent message from the office because something went unfinished before everyone cleared out.
Stay in touch
The holidays are one of the busiest times of the year for marketers and compounded with the fact that many on your team will be in and out of the office on their holiday vacations, it can quickly become the most harried as well. It’s a smart strategy to set up a daily meeting throughout the season. The meeting can be brief–just a 10 minute catch up with everyone involved in holiday marketing campaigns is all it takes to stay on top of minor issues before they become major challenges.
And after all the marketing holiday season madness dies down, don’t forget to celebrate a job well done!