Getting Holiday Planning Right

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While Christmas in July means holiday movies or festive decorations for some, for marketers, it’s time to start thinking about holiday planning! 

The holiday season can be an especially crucial time of the year for certain brands, so it’s important that they get their budget right. For marketers looking to optimize their seasonal marketing strategies, we recommend they start with an analysis of their annual sales cycle to identify seasonal, cyclical spending patterns. This can include reviewing web analytics to see whether certain times of the year see an uptick in visitors or monitoring fluctuating advertising rates to understand the changes in the costs of marketing during various weeks. 

Following that, marketers should consider using short-term seasonal tactics in-season. Short-term tactics let brands drive sales for a few weeks or months by creating a sense of urgency and causing consumers to take immediate action. These low-cost, short-duration tactics are especially useful for seasonal campaigns.   

Additionally, marketers should adjust their peak spending to the point of diminishing return. During holiday peak seasons, there is a point where each additional dollar invested returns less than one dollar. Identifying this peak means marketers can adapt their plan to spend up to that level for each channel or week of your plan, or knowingly choose to spend past that point for a lower, but continued lift. 

Another tactic is to push the limits of the peak holiday season. While a brand can land sales year-round, it is important to know what time periods yield the highest return. Once this has been determined, a brand can then begin building and nurturing sales beyond peak. An easy way to start doing this is to extend each end of the peak a few weeks, activating marketing before the peak and continuing after it wanes to help extend the buying cycle. 

Lastly, brands should ensure that they’re maintaining marketing activity year-round. So long as a product is available, marketing support helps drive sales. Further, brand equity relies on continuously earning mindshare. By going dark, brand equity decreases and marketing costs increase long-term. 

Overall, effective seasonal marketing planning decisions rely on a brand’s ability to understand seasonal cycles and adjust their plan to invest profitably across both high and low sales cycles. Considering the above strategies will help brands drive more lift, consistently, year-round.  

Keen to learn more?  Contact us today.

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