For brands, the holiday season is often the busiest—and most lucrative—time of year. Consumer spending in the U.S. is expected to hit 100 billion, with Black Friday having brought in a record of $7.9 billion (with 40% of purchases coming from mobile phones). So it’s easy for brands to feel tempted to celebrate their holiday successes and coast into 2018.
But it goes without saying that the retail season is far from over come January 1st. By drawing on insights gained throughout the holidays, brands can define (and refine) their ideal audiences, enhance their marketing campaigns, and give their January ROI the extra boost it needs.
Where Were Consumers at Christmas?
You can find out a lot about a person by the way they shop—especially during the holidays.
Did the doting husband buy a bracelet for his wife in stores after meticulous online research? Or did he simply wander into a crowded jewelry store on Christmas Eve and buy the first thing he saw? Did the mother-of-three brave the Black Friday crowds and take advantage of all the in-store sales? Or did she refuse to set foot inside a store, buying everything from the comfort of her living room on her tablet?
Thanks to historical location data, brands can gain a deep understanding of how and where consumers shop—whether online, in-stores, early, late, all at once, or in small doses. This information, in turn, can help advertisers define their ideal audiences—and deliver effective and personalized ads.
If a winter apparel brand is looking to boost sales on its winter coats this January, how can they make sure their marketing campaign is effective? First, they can tailor their ads to consumers based on what they know about their shopping habits. For the woman who spent the holiday season moving from store to store in search of the lowest prices, the brand can serve ads inviting her to check out the unbeatable in-store sales. For the consumer who prefers to shop online, the ad can point her in the direction of the company’s ecommerce site.
Measure Your Success
What else can brands learn from the holiday season? By harnessing sales data, brands can measure the impact of their holiday ads on in-store sales. This is what we’re currently doing for our clients with the help of our partners RSi’s Ansa and IRI.
For example, a CGP brand can take advantage of our partnerships to determine which of the consumers who saw their holiday ads actually went into a store and made a purchase. By understanding which ads were most effective and which consumers were less responsive, advertisers will be better equipped to tweak and optimize their campaign the next time around.
By combining sales and location data, advertisers can also find out which ads performed best according to the store location. If, for instance, an ad for a beauty product resulted in a huge sales uplift at Walmart—but not so much at Walgreens—the brand may want to shift their budgets accordingly.
This information won’t just help brands improve attribution; they’ll also be able determine where their products are selling out and where they seem to stay on the shelves. With these insights, brands can reduce wastage and increase sales.
Brands looking to keep sales up throughout the new year must make sure they take home their greatest holiday gift: rich insights into consumer shopping habits and spending patterns. Advertisers can then use these insights to inform their January campaigns and lift sales throughout 2018.