With summer ramping into full swing, the easy days of barbeques and swimming pools make it almost impossible to imagine snowflakes falling and a jolly man in a red velvet suit, trimmed in fur no less. But as marketers we must begin to envision what it will take to produce our most successful holiday marketing in order to capitalize on the reality of the huge spike in retail activity during the peak gift-giving season.
At this writing we are a mere couple of weeks from the mid-point of 2013 and only 170ish days until the holiday season is officially underway (starting with Thanksgiving). This means it's time to kick holiday planning into high gear.
First up for consideration: research! There is a vast amount of information to be gleaned by looking both backward and forward to maximize your holiday planning effort.
The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly From 2012
One of the most distinct advantages of digital marketing is the rich data we are able to obtain about how our recipients interact with any given campaign. Compile all those well-meant holiday messages for a given year and you've got a pretty good understanding of holiday marketing success.
Some of the key insights from the 2012 holiday season include:
Some of the inbox trends from last season included:
But don't stop there. Take a deeper dive into the effectiveness of your holiday emails in 2012. This will be the most valuable glimpse into what works for your audiences and should help shape your plan for 2013.
Anticipating 2013 Trends
While I have yet to discover a source with a crystal ball, there are some well-educated trend spotters who consistently make it their business to predict consumer expectations for the year ahead. The mid-year point is always a great time to check in on these trends and see which of them have begun to take off. A couple that I think are worth further investigation are:
After due diligence on last year's results and anticipated trends for the season ahead, it's time to pull your shining star of a marketing plan together. Here are my suggestions on content to include:
A plan isn't worth its space on your hard drive without implementation. So get going! Need some inspiration for what to do next? Check out my fellow ClickZ author Jim Davidson's recent column, "3 Holly Jolly Holiday Planning Meetings for June."
Image on home page via Shutterstock.
Meet Your Favorite ClickZ Contributors
Many of ClickZ's leading expert contributors will be at ClickZ Live, the new online and digital marketing event kicking off in New York (March 31-April 3). Hear from the likes of: Jeremy Hull, Lisa Raehsler, Andrew Goodman, Bryan Eisenberg, Mathew Sweezey, Aaron Kahlow, Stephanie Miller, Simms Jenkins, Jeanne S. Jennings, Dave Hendricks and more!
Tia Matsumoto is a Senior Planner on the Strategy & Analytics team at e-Dialog. She has 12 years of integrated marketing experience with an extensive background in business development, client services, and expertise in direct marketing with a digital emphasis. With proven success translating performance data into strategic action plans that increase brand exposure and leverage organizational position she has been integral in the development and execution of multichannel database marketing strategies for clients including: Abbott, American Airlines, AirTran, Calendars.com, Emergen-C, Kellogg's, NAPA Auto Parts, and The North Face.
March 19, 2014