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Finding Your Audience: Pre-Holiday Planning

The heat of summer is still upon us. But before we know it, the holidays will be just around the corner. For marketers looking to get a head start on their holiday campaign push, now is a good time to start.

From experience executing media strategies for brands and agencies, we know a two-month lead time before launching a holiday campaign is a must. Why two months? This time frame takes into account holiday shoppers’ preference for when they shop vs the ideal amount of time needed to execute research, planning and buying for a successful campaign.

Keeping in mind the purchasing process of a potential customer is also key. We’ve found that people have expanded this into a series of mobile research moments mixed with other tasks they were completing, like cooking, watching TV or driving. A study from Google found that 38 percent of people make major online buying decisions in the kitchen, 28 percent in their cars and 21 percent in the bathroom.

Roughly sixty days is an ideal amount of time to do the necessary research regarding competitors’ spend and target audience habits. Before products go on sale, brands should consider reserving at least 30 days to tease, promote and shape their potential customers’ expectations. As with any media strategy, it’s paramount to understand where and how the audience consumes content along with other factors such as times when they most interact with media.

For marketers preparing to embark on a holiday campaign, the high demand for marketing and advertising is another concept to examine. There are many advertisers in the market, which results in consumers being sold to much more frequently than any other time of the year.

To address this, we suggest marketers explore multiple ways to reach their target audiences. Discovering how to reach users in their natural environments, but where there are fewer ads is important. A few examples of alternative ad channels that face less competition are the following:

Social Influencer Marketing, due to less intrusiveness and lower volume of ad messages.

​– SMS Marketing

Rich media like video or audio, which can command greater consumer attention through lower impressions. Unorthodox strategies like using mini-short form videos that range from six seconds or less along with full short-form content (15 to 30 seconds in length) have shown an incremental increase in brand awareness and recall.

Diversifying with unique tactics to reach your audience is key.  Marketers should strive to find areas that are going to be less competitive. When competing for holiday dollars, doing a standard marketing or media plan isn’t going to be enough.

Advertising do’s and don’ts during the holidays

Though it’s important to diversify and examine alternative paths for engaging customers, it is just as crucial to not spread ad dollars too thin. Rather, you should take note of what channels are and aren’t working. Then, double down on the platforms that are successful which can yield better results.

In regards to what should be done, seasonal relevance for campaigns is important. Ad messaging should speak to the time of year as to appear “fresh” and “new” – connecting the dots in terms of messaging and seasonality. Having a relevant new message to present during the holiday season can help engage audiences.

Voice technology: a trend to monitor these upcoming holidays

With artificial intelligence for platforms like Siri and Alexa enjoying major advancement, voice-related tech should be an area of interest for marketers. More than any other time in recent history, people have become more conditioned to talk to their devices as a means of gaining more information.

Understanding how to leverage the moments when consumers use voice-activated search is a point of interest Awlogy recommends marketers embrace.

Having a presence and understanding when micro-moments are happening and how to message to consumers based on how they’re voice-searching is going to be the biggest difference and change we see this holiday season.

Looking for feedback on how to best tackle the 2017 holiday season? Awlogy can help. Contact us today.

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