How Last Year’s Holiday Campaign Can Improve This Year’s Holiday Revenue

How Last Year’s Holiday Campaign Can Improve This Year’s Holiday Revenue

Meaghan Kelly

I was going to write about eliminating holiday stress. A simple “start prepping your campaign now and be more relaxed come the holidays” message. That’s not, however, what this post turned out to be. Planning in between whiffs of suntan lotion and sips of lemonade will ensure that your holidays are as relaxing as your summer, but I’ve realized that there’s much more to it.

As I began reading recaps of the 2011 Holiday Season it became apparent that being proactive is no longer a nice-to-have, it’s a necessity to stay competitive. In a great article published by internet retailer, they interviewed Charlie Cole, Vice President of Online Marketing for LuckyBrand.com. They quoted him saying, “I’m going to be buying my ads for [Cyber Monday] in June or July because I want to be able to get my ad into impactful branding spaces. You want to get your offer in front of people in a big way, and I expect people to charge a premium for it.” The article went on to point out that Cole and others were already focusing on how they could squeeze even more growth out of key sales days, refine promotions and more effectively invest their marketing and advertising budgets for the 2012 season.

I know it’s tempting to sit there daydreaming of summer fun, keeping your company’s 2012 Holiday Campaign as far from mind as possible, but doing so could be detrimental to your bottom line. Your planning must start now.

Even with the urgency, we shoudn’t simply replace holiday stress with summer stress, so let’s ease into this a bit. Over the next few days, I task you with looking back at your 2011 Holiday season to consider the following elements. This will be the first step in a planning series to have you well on your way to a successful 2012 Holiday before Labor Day.

Your Campaign Calendar. Take note of what dates, or time periods, saw the most activity. Note any big opportunities you may have missed. For instance, e-tailers who didn’t have campaigns ready for last year’s Cyber Monday missed out in a big way. According to comScore, Cyber Monday 2011 was the biggest online shopping day in history – bringing in $1.25 billion for e-retail.  Don’t let delayed planning create lost opportunity.

Your Holiday Audience. What do you know about them –  Were they mostly new or existing customers? What devices did they use to interact with your brand? Did they have any significant shopping patterns? You’ll want to gather as much as possible about these shoppers and tailor a great holiday experience just for them. Segment, personalize and use dynamic content where possible. Fully QA your campaigns and ensure the best experience no matter what browser, mobile device or tablet they are on. As read on my Yogi® Tea Bag this morning, “In order to be remembered, leave nothing behind but goodness.”

Your Digital Marketing Mix. How integrated was your approach last year? Did you fully capitalize on cross-channel synergy? For the holidays you should have one set of objectives aimed at engaging your audience and use your various channels to create momentum around achieving those objectives. Your channels should be strategically selected to reach your audience and no channel should work alone. Learn from last year (and these months that have followed.) If you didn’t get traction from a channel, don’t be afraid to leave it. Focus on those that work for you and, on the flip side, don’t be afraid to try those that may.

Your Offering. What resonated well with your customers last year? Discounts? New Products?  Were your campaigns successful at up-selling and cross-selling? Take a close look at what worked well and focus on up-leveling it this season. Make your customers feel special. Make them feel like they are getting a great deal. Plan to be creative with your messaging– test new offers, product positioning, urgency messaging, etc. This year, don’t just give them a reason to buy from you, give them a reason to enjoy (and talk about!) their experience buying from you.

Market Trends.  What were the market trends last year that may have impacted your results, either positively or negatively? Consumer spending was up, but so were the number of promotions, discounts and free shipping deals offered by retailers. It’s highly important to consider how these and other factors may have affected your results. For the 2012 season, there’s a lot of hesitance to make market predictions just yet.  The fact that last year’s success was unpredicted, that it’s an election year, that uncertain economic influencers, such as tax changes, are looming around us, all play a part in this hesitance to make predictions. Perhaps unpredictability IS the new trend. While we wait for these insights to surface, keep focused on creating a great, noteworthy experience for you customers and be confident that you are on the right track.

Putting immediate thought into these factors will help build a great foundation for this season’s plan. There’s obviously much more to think about, and we will help you do that. Over the next month or so, we’ll provide various tips and ideas to make the 2012 Holiday Season magical (read: highly successful and not so stressful.)  We’ll be posting these here on the blog, on our Facebook page, Twitter feed and Pinterest boards. We encourage open interaction as we do and want to hear any tips or suggestions you may have to add. Our goal is to ensure that you are prepared for the holidays, that you position yourself competitively and, when all is said and done, that “relaxing holiday season” is never again an oxymoron – something I’m excited to hold up my fruity summer drink and cheers to!

I was going to write about eliminating holiday stress. A simple “start prepping your campaign now and be more relaxed come the holidays” message. That’s not, however, what this post turned out to be. Planning in between whiffs of suntan lotion and sips of lemonade will ensure that your holidays are as relaxing as your summer, but I’ve realized that there’s much more to it.

As I began reading recaps of the 2011 Holiday Season it became apparent that being proactive is no longer a nice-to-have, it’s a necessity to stay competitive. In a great article published by internet retailer, they interviewed Charlie Cole, Vice President of Online Marketing for LuckyBrand.com. They quoted him saying, “I’m going to be buying my ads for [Cyber Monday] in June or July because I want to be able to get my ad into impactful branding spaces. You want to get your offer in front of people in a big way, and I expect people to charge a premium for it.” The article went on to point out that Cole and others were already focusing on how they could squeeze even more growth out of key sales days, refine promotions and more effectively invest their marketing and advertising budgets for the 2012 season.

I know it’s tempting to sit there daydreaming of summer fun, keeping your company’s 2012 Holiday Campaign as far from mind as possible, but doing so could be detrimental to your bottom line. Your planning must start now.

Even with the urgency, we shoudn’t simply replace holiday stress with summer stress, so let’s ease into this a bit. Over the next few days, I task you with looking back at your 2011 Holiday season to consider the following elements. This will be the first step in a planning series to have you well on your way to a successful 2012 Holiday before Labor Day.

Your Campaign Calendar. Take note of what dates, or time periods, saw the most activity. Note any big opportunities you may have missed. For instance, e-tailers who didn’t have campaigns ready for last year’s Cyber Monday missed out in a big way. According to comScore, Cyber Monday 2011 was the biggest online shopping day in history – bringing in $1.25 billion for e-retail.  Don’t let delayed planning create lost opportunity.

Your Holiday Audience. What do you know about them –  Were they mostly new or existing customers? What devices did they use to interact with your brand? Did they have any significant shopping patterns? You’ll want to gather as much as possible about these shoppers and tailor a great holiday experience just for them. Segment, personalize and use dynamic content where possible. Fully QA your campaigns and ensure the best experience no matter what browser, mobile device or tablet they are on. As read on my Yogi® Tea Bag this morning, “In order to be remembered, leave nothing behind but goodness.”

Your Digital Marketing Mix. How integrated was your approach last year? Did you fully capitalize on cross-channel synergy? For the holidays you should have one set of objectives aimed at engaging your audience and use your various channels to create momentum around achieving those objectives. Your channels should be strategically selected to reach your audience and no channel should work alone. Learn from last year (and these months that have followed.) If you didn’t get traction from a channel, don’t be afraid to leave it. Focus on those that work for you and, on the flip side, don’t be afraid to try those that may.

Your Offering. What resonated well with your customers last year? Discounts? New Products?  Were your campaigns successful at up-selling and cross-selling? Take a close look at what worked well and focus on up-leveling it this season. Make your customers feel special. Make them feel like they are getting a great deal. Plan to be creative with your messaging– test new offers, product positioning, urgency messaging, etc. This year, don’t just give them a reason to buy from you, give them a reason to enjoy (and talk about!) their experience buying from you.

Market Trends.  What were the market trends last year that may have impacted your results, either positively or negatively? Consumer spending was up, but so were the number of promotions, discounts and free shipping deals offered by retailers. It’s highly important to consider how these and other factors may have affected your results. For the 2012 season, there’s a lot of hesitance to make market predictions just yet.  The fact that last year’s success was unpredicted, that it’s an election year, that uncertain economic influencers, such as tax changes, are looming around us, all play a part in this hesitance to make predictions. Perhaps unpredictability IS the new trend. While we wait for these insights to surface, keep focused on creating a great, noteworthy experience for you customers and be confident that you are on the right track.

Putting immediate thought into these factors will help build a great foundation for this season’s plan. There’s obviously much more to think about, and we will help you do that. Over the next month or so, we’ll provide various tips and ideas to make the 2012 Holiday Season magical (read: highly successful and not so stressful.)  We’ll be posting these here on the blog, on our Facebook page, Twitter feed and Pinterest boards. We encourage open interaction as we do and want to hear any tips or suggestions you may have to add. Our goal is to ensure that you are prepared for the holidays, that you position yourself competitively and, when all is said and done, that “relaxing holiday season” is never again an oxymoron – something I’m excited to hold up my fruity summer drink and cheers to!

If you like this story subscribe to our newsletter.

Get updates directly to your email and never miss a thing.

Thanks!

This entry was posted in Marketing, Strategy. Bookmark the permalink. Post a comment or leave a trackback: Trackback URL.
Google+