Cristian Tirado

Cristian Tirado

Data Analytics Consultant

How to prepare your programmatic strategy for the December holiday season

3 December 2021

Black Friday and Cyber Monday (and the related discounts and promotional campaigns) are over. 

It’s time to start preparing our programmatic actions for the most important giving season of the year: Christmas. 

Why start so early?

These days, Christmas shopping begins earlier and earlier, especially in the USA. Based on studies by Statista, this shopping season can start as early as September-some shoppers even start earlier! In the USA in 2020, roughly 40% of Christmas buyers completed their shopping before the end of October, while only 15% of regular consumers start in December. 

Our gift to you

🎁 In the spirit of the season, we’re going to gift you the main insights and customer behavior that you will indeed to adapt your digital strategy, beginning with the following practical recommendations:

  • Prioritize the established budget and efforts for the two weeks prior to the beginning of Christmas. This period is fundamental due to the fact that 21% of Christmas shopping happens here.
  • Focus on the message and the look & feel of our activities. A message with a clear call to action, with references to this period, helps us to improve interest and user experience.
  • Competition increases dramatically during the whole month of December. CPM prices increase due to high demand, so we must prepare our budgets accordingly.
  • McKinsey studies confirm that many consumers are seeking holiday inspiration to their shopping decisions on social media. The most influential platforms are Facebook (67%), Youtube (57%) and Instagram (52%). 
  • Possible shortage of supply + delivery delays are forcing many consumers to be more proactive about their online shopping. We must be transparent and provide  shoppers clear information about stock and the possibility of delays.

How do you accomplish it?

Now that we’ve considered the panorama and main insights, we’re prepared to plan our digital marketing strategies. Some actions that we can apply to make sure our programmatic campaigns are remarkable include the following:

  • Make the most of our audience lists, especially those who have interacted with us most recently. Be sure to include Black Friday and Cyber Monday converters, so as to study users’ profiles and purchase behavior through the audience analysis module. Audiences originating from our Adserver, Data Management Platforms or Customer Relationship Management tools let us create custom, effective campaigns.
  • Coherently use third party data: it’s very important to find qualified users, categorized on strict criteria and in accordance with the General Data Protection Regulation (especially if you have international customers).
  • Closing direct agreements with Top Publishers helps us to gain users according to certain online behaviors, and in accordance with our historical users.
  • Recommend formats: We want to attract the customers that are able to understand our philosophy and promotions. The best way is by crafting a journey wherein the user has multiple creative touchpoints within the same advertising action.

Here we have two options:

  • Storytelling for display formats 
  • Video sequences for Youtube 

Here we highlight Native creatives due to their high conversion rates, as they are non-invasive to the user because they adapt to different formats and editorial styles. Moreover, it is and easy way to reach a much wider public, thus improving the brand reputation.

These are only some basic tips. There are practically an infinite number of ways to achieve our goals within the programmatic environment. Display & Video 360, like other DSPs, manage a very large inventory. However, the results of our campaigns depends in great measure on our planning and ability to optimize our resources.