Checklist for the Holidays

The Must-Do Digital Checklist of the Holiday Season

For decades, the coming of the fall season for brands – and brand marketers and advertisers in particular – has meant one thing: time to get ready for the intense holiday season. It was a slower, quieter time spent preparing for the retail storm that is the last month of the year. With consumers shopping for the holidays as early as September and advertising campaigns following suit, the start of fall is a crucial time for any brand to make a name for itself.


The last thing you want to do is launch into the coming holiday season without the right preparation and a defined strategy. You might be feeling overwhelmed with everything there is to do, or even wondering where you should start. The following checklist will help you make the most of your data to create digital campaigns that result in the best possible fourth quarter for your brand.


Review Past Performance


The best place to begin is with your own data from the previous year. Analysis of past campaigns, looking at what was effective with your customers in the past, is the best source of information on the strategies, messaging and imagery that will win them over again this year. The right metrics to focus on will depend on your brand and marketing goals, but Forbes’ list of 50 metrics offers some suggestions of values to track.


Optimize Your Digital Presence


It’s never too early to start preparing your website, landing pages and social media for the holiday season. Putting out teasers of your holiday content early will also give you the opportunity to test and refine your strategies and campaigns before the greatest push from Black Friday to Cyber Monday. You’ll also want to make sure your website and apps are completely ready for the additional traffic that holiday shopping will bring.


Beat the Competition at List Building


With people already thinking about their holiday shopping, this is the perfect time to start growing your list of potential customers. You can do this by offering early promotions and sneak peeks of coming holiday offers. By focusing on your lists now, you can capture early sales and build a group for retargeting while your competition is still in the initial stages.


Make the Most of Loyal Customers


If you already have a faithful base of customers, holiday campaigns are the perfect time to let them assist with your marketing efforts. Influencers may have the most dramatic effect on consumer decision-making, but customer testimonials, reviews and other customer-generated content are often the missing piece to converting potential leads who have yet to make a decision. Social proof of this type can be incredibly powerful.


Test Early and Often


A jump-start on planning and holiday campaigns lets you launch and review them throughout the holiday season. By being strategic about these early tests, you can continue to refine and improve each piece of your holiday efforts, arriving at the most effective content and campaigns as shopping deadlines approach.


The holiday season is an exciting and stressful one for marketers – the pressure is on to deliver campaigns and promotions that perform better than ever. By tackling each piece of this checklist, you will be well on your way to refining your marketing efforts for a very successful holiday season, as well as building customer relationships and loyalty.


December 4, 2017