This holiday season is shaping up to be a boon for retailers. According to eMarketer, shoppers will spend 6% more this holiday season than last year, the biggest jump since 2011.
With the holiday season in full swing, you probably think it’s too late to derive much more value from your year-end campaigns. Most marketers have their strategies for this crucial season locked down by October at the latest, but that doesn’t mean you can’t optimize December campaigns and generate even more sales during this busy season.
Why Advertising Is Harder During the Holidays
There’s a reason the holidays generate the most advertising spending for retailers: spending goes up dramatically. In order to capitalize on that increased spending, it’s absolutely the right idea to increase advertising budgets accordingly.
But here’s the rub-other retailers are in the same boat, and they’re simultaneously ramping up their advertising, making the quest for attention even more competitive than usual. Previous holiday seasons have seen ad impressions go up by 50% during this period, which means you need to up the ante in order for your ads to stand out and resonate.
How to Stand Out
Many marketers consider “test” a four-letter word, especially during the holiday season when so much is at stake. This position is costing marketers significant upside potential: there are significant gains to be had from running tests, even this late in the season.
In order to insure that your audience sees and identifies with your message, you need to make sure you’ve identified the right creative. There’s only one way to know, with confidence, that your creative is spot-on: methodical creative experimentation. Getting the best creative out there can mean the difference between standing out and getting lost in the holiday rush.
While running creative experiments during the holidays is an important, it’s crucial to make sure you’re running tests the right way. One of the primary concerns marketers often express about running tests during the holidays is the risk of wasting too many ad impressions and media dollars on bad ideas within a test. This very real concern is certainly a challenge, but an addressable one.
Some testing methodologies require a large volume of impressions to identify a winning ad, which means you’re wasting valuable budget and scarce impressions on the wrong ad creative. That’s why running a large multivariate test, for example, is a bad idea. By the time you find a winner, the peak holiday rush might be over. Running high-velocity tests that find winners fast and pause losers immediately can give you the performance increases you’re looking for without the waste or the risk of running under-performers for too long.
It's not too late to make sure you're getting the most out of your year-end digital ad campaigns. The best way to optimize is to test, so this holiday season, test smart, and drive better performance for the most important time of the year.