Too soon to build your holiday wish list? Not according to over 35% of Americans who will start their holiday shopping before the end of this month, according to a new survey by BlackFriday.com, which is why many advertisers are already in holiday mode, building campaigns for the busiest selling season of the year. For those looking to take advantage of efficiencies in programmatic advertising to incentivize holiday shoppers, it’s not too late to build the perfect digital marketing mix for every potential consumer on your list.
Not sure which tactics should be on your nice list and which will give you nothing more than a lump of coal? We’ve got you covered. Check out these three tactics to unwrap a high performance programmatic ad strategy this holiday season.
Make mobile your new holiday tradition.
Mobile penetration isn’t just changing communication habits; it’s evolving consumer holiday shopping behavior. Whether they are looking for great gift ideas or checking if the hottest toy is on their local shelves, shoppers will use their smartphones for more than just directions to the store this season.
With total holiday sales expected to be over $884.50 billion in 2016, it’s more important than ever for retailers to reach consumers while they research holiday gifts. According to a Nielsen study, 72% of consumers used a mobile device to narrow down the options, and 60% used their smartphone to check local inventory. Once they’re in the door, a staggering 82% of consumers continued to use their smartphones in store to help them make purchase decisions, according to research from Google. And when they do buy online, more than 39% of shoppers will look to their smartphone to make the purchase during the holiday season.
Quick Tip: Make sure your creative is mobile-ready in the top 3 on-the-go ad sizes: 320×50, 300×250, and 728×90.
Go home for the holidays, with hyperlocal ads.
During the holiday shopping season, many of us become creatures of convenience, visiting the stores we’re closest to in order to avoid crowded parking lots and long checkout lines. Smart advertisers use proximity to their advantage, targeting consumers when they are close to their store’s location.
Since 85% of consumers say they’d be more likely to shop in stores that provide coupons and special deals personalized just to them, advanced programmatic geotargeting can be especially useful for holiday campaigns with dynamic creative. Serving in-store promotions or product-specific ads to consumers within the perimeter of their store locations, advertisers can target those most likely to interact. With programmatic geotargeting, marketers can combine audience data filters and contextual layering with location signals to deliver hyper-relevant ads that resonate with individuals.
Quick Tip: Large retailers with beacons in place can communicate relevant value-added services with shoppers during crucial in-store moments—for instance, sharing the location of free gift-wrapping stations to those near a checkout lane.
Don’t be a turkey and wait until the last minute—pace your ad spending.
It’s no surprise that programmatic prices will rise as advertisers compete for consumers’ attention during the top holiday shopping days. CPMs for display inventory typically rise during the five-day period between Thanksgiving and Cyber Monday and in the last days leading up to Christmas. And in 2015, Thanksgiving was the highest ranked among digital shopping days.
Ensuring campaign delivery during these high-cost weeks means proactively pacing your spend and continually optimizing your bids to overcome the imbalance between supply and demand.
Zig when others zag. Don’t forget to also minimize buying during prime price spikes for ongoing campaigns that are not holiday-specific. Ramp those campaigns back up after Christmas when CPMs drop to capitalize on performance.
Quick Tip: December 21st has become a top holiday season digital shopping day for last-minute buyers. Be sure to save campaign budget to target these eleventh-hour customers with hyper-relevant promotions, like free expedited shipping upgrades.
Noah is a 15-year agency veteran who brings his deep cross-channel and cross-vertical media experience to the digital table. He co-created an agency trading desk, leading a trading team into the real-time-bidding environment before it was an industry-accepted practice. As a member of the sales-enablement team, he lives on the front lines of the digital world providing our clients holistic strategy recommendations, insightful research, and in-depth analysis and evangelizing all things programmatic. You can find him in an airport near you on his way to a client meeting.