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7 Holiday Marketing Strategy Mistakes to Avoid

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It’s (almost) the most wonderful time of the year! The holiday shopping season is known for its demand for deals and promos and sometimes hectic behaviors. To reap the benefits of shoppers’ willingness to splurge, businesses of all sizes need an airtight marketing strategy. Here are seven common mistakes to avoid when designing your holiday marketing campaigns.

1. Planning Your Holiday Marketing Strategy Too Late

In 2022, it was reported that a whopping 56% of US consumers started holiday shopping in October, according to Mckinsey. That means if you’re still thinking about or planning your holiday marketing campaigns in October, you’ve missed out on a huge pool of potential customers.

While it might seem early to plan in August and launch in September, it’s the perfect time to take advantage of the biggest shopper opportunities. From choosing your promotions to designing all your ads, get started with planning ASAP to make sure your brand is front and center when people start shopping.

2. Forgetting About Mobile Shoppers

Swrve says 2022 hit the record of online sales coming from smartphones on Black Friday at 48%. Shoppers are looking for great deals on their daily commute, between meetings, and everywhere else. Make sure you don’t miss out on mobile shoppers by ensuring your holiday strategy includes mobile ad units and works across mobile screens.

3. Not Considering Your Customers' Journey

As the holiday season is the busiest time for online shopping, your customers won’t appreciate getting bombarded with the same ad across every channel. Instead, consider how your different marketing efforts can work together — ideally in an omnichannel strategy — to avoid brand fatigue and improve sales.

Psst: Platforms like ours make leveling up your holiday marketing campaigns pretty easy. AdRoll's Marketing Recipes help you figure out the perfect combination of marketing touchpoints (and channels) to make sure you grow sales and revenue without annoying shoppers.

4. Forgetting About Seasonal Discounts or Sales

People love sales; however, with so many online shoppers comparing deals and bargains, you must consider your pricing carefully. Make sure you strike the right balance between value and return on investment, and then let shoppers know about your holiday pricing across every marketing channel.

5. Targeting Too Narrow of an Audience

One of the most important holiday marketing lessons to keep in mind is that targeting is critical — it’s the only way to ensure your ads are relevant to all potential shoppers. Most brands and retailers see organic traffic increase over the season, but don’t let that fool you into narrowing your targeting to only the highest-potential shoppers.

This is the perfect time to attract new site visitors, draw window shoppers to purchase with deals and bargains, and bring back previous shoppers to buy more. Make sure your marketing mix includes plans for all stages of shoppers, because there is a good chance you’ll miss out on new shoppers by only focusing on a select few.

6. Assuming Your Media Costs Won’t Change

Unsurprisingly, with more shoppers browsing stores online during the holiday season, more businesses are advertising, increasing the cost of ad space. To reach the right people at the right time on your budget, you’ll need to be more flexible and creative than at other times of the year.

Don’t just spend more, spend smarter by partnering with platforms that can help you take advantage of marketing automation and AI to improve your marketing performance. The best part? You’ll get access to data in a way where you can take action to get the highest return on your ad spend.

7. Forgetting About Email or Not Tying It to Your Ads

Your online strategy should be everywhere your customers go. While display and social ads go a long way, don’t forget to reach out to customers in their inboxes as well.

Email is a valuable way to connect with the right shoppers, especially when you pair them with ads — our research shows that when the two tactics work together, shoppers are twice as likely to convert. Just make sure you have a compelling message, fantastic visuals, and a clear call to action.

For holiday email tips and tricks, check out this guide. 

Build Your Holiday Strategy Today

With these seven holiday marketing lessons, you’re one step closer to taking your holiday marketing campaigns to the next level. For more on holiday marketing, check out our resources below!

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