While every marketer should have a clear goal in sight for every eventuality, there’s no marketing opportunity more significant than holiday marketing. So how will you set yourself up for success this holiday season? It’s time to think like Charles Dickens.
Holiday Marketing Plan
Hear us out on this one. Ebenezer Scrooge, Dickens’ famous, festive anti-hero, provides the perfect role model for marketers looking to understand what a successful holiday season looks like. No, this doesn’t mean you need to be extra tight with your marketing budget or spend endless hours scouring Google Analytics to dictate your next campaign. Instead, it means to reflect on your holiday marketing strategies from the past, present, and future to understand how your goals will impact your ongoing success.
We’re going to follow along this classic Christmas tale with visits to past, present, and future to help you navigate all aspects of goal setting. Planning your holiday marketing can be a bit hectic but getting your goals created will keep you grounded. Just as Jacob Marley rattled his chains to warn Scrooge of his potential fate, here are my words of caution to any marketers hoping to get through the busy holiday season as best they can.
Holiday Marketing Strategies: Begin by Changing Your Ways
Like Marley, I’m telling you to change your ways. The holiday season is too important to simply add a few festive adornments to your campaigns and then ramp up your marketing activities by throwing money at your them to see what sticks. Instead, you need a properly considered objective.
If you don’t have an objective for your marketing campaigns, you’ll never know if you’ve been successful or not. Those objectives will not only help you better understand your success. They will help you better plan for the eventuality. A great first step is to set goals in Google Analytics. This will help you keep on track and adjust your strategy to reach your desired destination. However, before you set those objectives, you’ll need to seek the advice of some wise souls.
Holiday Shopping Statistics? Say Hi to the Ghost of Christmas Past
If your business has history, you’ve got a valuable resource to look back on. This information is essential because it will inform you how your previous campaigns performed, what a reasonable conversion rate looks like, and how much money you might need to spend if you want to base your objectives on your previous year’s success.
When analyzing the past, it’s essential to take your time to make sure you clearly understand your history. Your business will highly likely have multiple sources of data and, as a result, multiple versions of the truth. For example, a cursory look at the data stored in your CRM system or Google Analytics might tell you that your paid search activities were responsible for most of your sales. At the same time, your email marketing campaigns might appear to have driven very little success — but is this true?
Everyone in your marketing organization must sing from the same hymn sheet when analyzing your seasonal data. To ensure you assign marketing budget and resources where it is most effective, you’ll need to find an attribution model that works for you.
Most businesses will want to beat their previous festive season’s sales achievements. If you’ve been a diligent marketer and nurtured all those expensively acquired leads from last year’s holiday campaigns, creating Customer Lifetime Value (CLV), this shouldn’t be a problem. However, if you’re one of those marketers that forgets a subscriber is for life and not just for the holidays, you might be in trouble.
The Ghost of Christmas Present and Solid Analytics Goal Tracking
Press reports suggest that the 2022 holiday season might not be as lucrative as in previous years. Rising fuel costs and the ongoing supply chain crisis mean that people may have less money to spend this year and are planning to shop much earlier than usual.
This news means marketers might not want to play a long game and emulate previous successes. Instead, they need to move fast and take full advantage of significant sales events like Black Friday and Cyber Monday. This year is not a marathon. Instead, it’s a sprint and may be over before many marketers realize it.
The good news is, if a product you have access to is in limited supply, you probably won’t have to worry about discounting come Black Friday.
It’s also important to remember that when campaigns are tied to individual products, they should only remain active for the duration of the availability of those products. Every subsequent click or send is a wasted resource that could be deployed elsewhere or just kept in the bank.
The very best marketers will have an intimate knowledge of product availability, margin, and CLV. You don’t want to be the kind of busy where money ends up being thrown at a marketing problem only to discover there is no chance of a positive return on investment anytime soon.
The smartest marketers will use carefully aligned technology in a fully integrated Martech stack to monitor and automate this process. Ecommerce and analytics tracking will keep you looped in on exactly where your numbers are at and what your impact is. It might be a cliché, but marketing efficiency this festive season really is all about working smarter and not harder.
The Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come
The holidays come but once a year — however, the profits it generates can potentially last a lifetime (or, at the very least, the lifetime of the subscriber’s relationship with your business). If an average customer or subscriber sticks with you for between 18 and 24 months, you may only have two years to generate a profit from the customers you acquire this holiday season.
The holiday season isn’t just about the sales that come your way from September through Black Friday and Cyber Monday and into the New Year. A successful holiday season will see you all the way to Valentine’s Day, through spring and the dog days of summer, and into another festive season before rinsing and repeating the process.
But just because you rinse and repeat the process doesn’t mean you should rinse your subscribers by bombarding them with untargeted and irrelevant campaigns.
You can drive quality and efficiency in your campaigns by carefully collecting and managing the data you acquire in your CRM system and using marketing automation technology to ensure you only deliver the right message to the right person at the right time. By adopting this strategy, you’ll be gifting your business a bright future for years to come.
There’s Still Time to Save Your Holiday Marketing Plan
With the holidays looming, you must not act like Scrooge and leave it until the last minute to put your marketing plans into action. Scrooge might have come around in the end, but he lost many years to regret.
Start early by getting your goals in place. With the proper support and technology, you’ll have the holidays all wrapped up and the satisfaction of achieving what you set out to at the beginning of the season.
To learn more about how the marketing experts can help you celebrate holiday success this year, next year, and for the foreseeable future, contact us today at firstname.lastname@example.org.