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17 Oct 2023
Holiday Guide 2023 | 4 min read

The Ultimate Holiday Planning Guide 2023

Rockerbox - Ashley McAlpin Written by Ashley McAlpin
on October 17, 2023

As we approach the 2023 holiday season, there's an air of anticipation mixed with the pressure to make every strategic decision count. Brands face a myriad of challenges – from ever-evolving consumer behaviors, shifting macroeconomic dynamics, to the intensifying digital marketplace landscape. While there’s no one-size-fits-all solution, the power of collective wisdom cannot be overlooked.

Drawing insights from seasoned industry professionals across various sectors, we've curated this comprehensive guide to navigating the festive season. From leveraging digital platforms to diving deep into data, each tip offers a unique perspective, aiming to help brands optimize their strategies and make the most of the holiday rush.

Dive in to discover actionable advice, best practices, and strategic insights for your brand's success this holiday season!

🎁 1. Dive Into Value-Driven Purchasing

Erin Becker, Senior Manager, Measurement, US Retail, Pinterest

  1. Focus on value over price. Consumers on platforms like Pinterest value longevity, quality, versatility, and more over just the price tag.
  2. Prioritize positivity. Brands should ensure their ads appear in positive environments to bolster impact.
  3. Engage consumers meaningfully throughout their purchase journey. Ensure your advertising strategy encompasses the entire sales funnel.

🌲 2. The Time to Plan is NOW!

Ben Dutter, Senior Vice President of Strategy, Power Digital

  1. Understand the precise nature of your goals. What do you need to achieve in Q4? Determine the key metrics that will drive your goal.
  2. Validate your paid media's contribution. Ensure you're getting a good return on your advertising investment.

🎉 3. Realism is Key

Himanshu Arora, Growth Marketing Manager, Bamboo

  1. Be practical with growth expectations, especially in the evolving economic context.
  2. Optimize mobile experiences. A poor mobile website can lead to lost opportunities.
  3. Proactively initiate demand generation strategies and utilize an omni-channel approach.

📧 4. Elevate Retention through Communication

Carla Donahue, Director of Retention, WITHIN

  1. Implement a quarterly control group strategy for email/SMS campaigns during Oct-Dec.
  2. Differentiate transactional and marketing sends. Personalize communication and even sender names for seasonal relevance.

📈 5. Alignment is Crucial

Nicky Delasalle, Vice President of Growth, Direct Avenue

  1. Ensure that metrics align with overarching strategic growth aims.
  2. Prioritize ad measurement, especially in light of increased CPCs and CPMs during the holiday season.

📌 6. Leverage Social Media Platforms Intelligently

Mimi Liu, Product Marketing Lead, Snap

  1. Initiate holiday advertising early on platforms like Snapchat for stronger results.
  2. Tailor your advertising to resonate with the platform's user base, focusing on themes like humor, relevance, and music.

🔍 7. Question Assumptions, Optimize Results

Bryan Karas, Founder and CEO, Playbook Media

  1. Challenge assumptions about what's driving campaign results. Validate the real impact of campaigns.
  2. Diversify creatives and themes. Don't rely on a one-size-fits-all strategy.

⏳ 8. Prioritize Timely Strategies

Susan Mees, Growth Expert, GrowTal

  1. Recognize the importance of early advertising, especially on platforms like Pinterest.
  2. Conduct a postmortem of past strategies. Analyze and iterate based on past successes and failures.

📊 9. Integrate Comprehensive Data Analysis

Heather Zuleba, VP of Data & Analytics, Partnerize

  1. Utilize an agnostic attribution provider to ensure transparent and holistic data analysis.
  2. Dive deep into past performance metrics to shape current and future strategies.

🎥 10. Embrace Comprehensive Strategy & Measurement

Aleia Gland, Head of Partner Measurement, Pinterest, Canada

  1. Recognize that consumers are initiating their holiday journeys earlier. Leverage this by advertising on platforms like Pinterest ahead of time.
  2. Ensure a robust measurement plan. Understand success metrics, eliminate data silos, and regularly iterate on strategies.

Navigating the tumultuous waters of the holiday season requires more than just hope and a bit of festive spirit; it demands a strategy rooted in data, expertise, and adaptability. As we've journeyed through the insights of industry leaders, a few common themes have emerged: the importance of understanding your audience, leveraging data-driven insights, and the value of early planning and flexibility.

Each tip in this guide, drawn from the experiences and insights of professionals across the marketing landscape, acts as a beacon, guiding brands towards a successful and impactful holiday season. As marketers, it's our job to not only navigate the challenges but to turn them into opportunities. As the holiday season beckons, let's draw inspiration from these industry thought leaders, apply the insights, and craft campaigns that resonate, engage, and drive results.

Remember, the festive season is not just about numbers or hitting targets; it's about creating meaningful connections, building lasting relationships, and bringing joy to your audience. Here's to a successful, thoughtful, and impactful holiday marketing season for 2023!

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