Planning Your Programmatic Advertising Campaign for Christmas

If you’ve just finished your advertising campaigns for the last weekend of November - congratulations! You have successfully passed a huge milestone in your advertising calendar. Now you can sit back, relax for a moment …. and then focus on what’s truly ahead of you. The holiday season is now upon us and after the November warm-up, advertisers are in the crucial time frame when they have to decide how to plan their Christmas promotional campaigns.

To make this task easier for you, we selected 5 great tips that you can use when preparing your Christmas strategy:

Start by building groups of your consumers.

Use the abundance of data you have at your disposal and make your campaigns as targeted as possible to the specific behaviour of your consumers. Get your 1st party data (CRM, subscriptions, downloads and purchases you’ve recorded from your website, very importantly - your past advertising campaigns data, etc.) and match it against your 3rd party data providers to find common behaviour trends. Then divide the findings into specific groups that bear similar interests (e.g. same product they’ve looked for, similar time they were active on your website, same actions they’ve taken in the conversion funnel, etc.) and structure your strategies based on this information.

For those not so familiar with programmatic technologies - the task of data collection and data crunching is done by Data Management Platforms, while you remain in the pilot seat to decide what type of customers you’re looking for and how are you going to target them. The process is otherwise known as audience segmentation. You can find out more about it here.

Retargeting is great for Christmas advertising campaigns. Use the data you’ve collected from your just finished November efforts and retarget those Black Friday or Cyber Monday consumers who didn’t convert. Or use the excellent opportunity for upselling or cross-selling offers. Bonus tip: cart abandonment is a very popular trend among retargeting practices for Christmas campaigns. When building your segments indicate at what stage of the purchase they were and what was the price value in the cart to decide how best to target them again.

Don’t hesitate to explore. Don’t base everything on retargeting, leave some space to explore the market for new opportunities too. One way to do that is by using the data you have to build a lookalike audience. Typically this is a large group of potential consumer who have not visited your website but share a lot of similarities with your converted consumers.

Be specific in your metrics. Make the most of the granular targeting you can use in your campaigns. Set specific values for your bids, recency and frequency so you can be sure to match the profile of the consumers you’re trying to reach. If we are to use the cart abandonment idea, and depending on your particular targeting style of course, you can set higher bids for the consumers who have abandoned their shopping cart with more expensive items and actively bid for a chance to win them back. As we have always advised, however, be careful not to overdo your retargeting and try to avoid bombarding your most desired consumers with repetitive ads at all channels every hour.

Test and optimize constantly. The digital space is a Wild West out there, especially around Christmas. Your campaign needs to be as “fresh” and powerful as possible. Examine the feedback you get from your activities and adjust your strategies accordingly. Of course this is easier said than done. Real-time optimization is a task that is best entrusted to Artificial Intelligence Campaign Optimization Engines. When operating on your campaigns, each minute for them is a new learning experience and they can independently decide in what way to adjust your buying strategy so it will meet your objective and your consumer’s expectations. In this way you have more time to examine the overall development of your campaigns and decide on your next strategic move.

If you’re curious to find out more, you can check our November Recap, where we explain how Real-Time Optimization, Artificial Intelligence and Big Data help advertisers improve the performance of their Black Friday and Cyber Monday campaigns.