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Best Digital Marketing Strategies for the Holidays By Jake Stewart


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"From the SMX East 2014 Conference in New York City, NY. SESSION: Merchandising & Search Marketing For The Holidays . PRESENTATION: Best Digital Marketing Strategies for the Holidays - Given by Jake Stewart, @Adlucent, Senior Product Manager - AdLucent. #SMX #31D"

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Best Digital Marketing Strategies for the Holidays By Jake Stewart

  1. 1. SMX East 2014 Best Digital Marketing Strategies for the Holidays
  2. 2. Holiday Marketing Challenges • The holidays offer a tremendous opportunity • Holiday spending reached an all-time high in 2013 ($42.75B), up 10% from 2012 ($38.91B)1 • Cyber Monday was biggest online spending day ever ($1.735B) • However, the holidays also present significant challenges • Customer shopping behaviors shift rapidly • Promotions change frequently • Retail competition escalates dramatically Retailers need specialized strategies to win the holidays Sources: 1. ComScore #SMX @Adlucent
  3. 3. Product Ads Strategies • During the 2013 holiday season, Adlucent observed that Product Ads outperformed non-brand text ads across a variety of metrics1 • Clicks (3X) • Ad spend (10X) • CVR (10X) • Revenue (5X) Holiday Season 2013 Clicks Ad Spend CVR Revenue Non-Brand Keywords Product Ads Sources: 1. Adlucent. “2013 Holiday Discoveries: The Impact on Retail.” #SMX @Adlucent
  4. 4. Product Ads Strategies • 2014 is the first holiday season under the new Google Shopping Campaigns paradigm for Product Ads • Use your campaign structure to your advantage by selectively promoting seasonal high performers New nested campaign structure #SMX @Adlucent
  5. 5. Product Ads Strategies • Construct your Google Shopping Campaigns to capitalize on seasonal sales opportunities: 1. Tag products according to seasonal marketing and merchandising strategies (use the custom labels attributes) • Best-sellers • Seasonal items • Shipping cut-offs 2. Create a separate high priority Shopping Campaign 3. Add product groups targeting the new custom labels 4. Bid manage these product groups more aggressively to generate more traffic and sales #SMX @Adlucent
  6. 6. Product Ads Strategies • Use Google Merchant Promotions to advertise holiday promotions, like discounts and free or expedited shipping Google Merchant Promotions can increase CTR by up to 7% and decrease CPC by up to 11%1 Sources: 1. Venus/Google case study #SMX @Adlucent
  7. 7. Product Ad Strategies • Customers are 83% more likely to visit a store if they can check the availability of an item online first1 • Use Google Local Inventory Ads (LIAs) to • Increase foot traffic after shipping cut-offs occur • Capitalize on shopping days when mobile traffic exceeds desktop • Move unsold inventory off shelves Sources: 1. Google #SMX @Adlucent
  8. 8. Intent Optimization Strategies • Mine query reports regularly to identify valuable new search terms • Add keywords or edit product data to improve query matching • Focus your attention on non-brand terms, which are more likely to provide opportunity to capture new customers looking for gifts • Customers searching for category terms (“skateboards,” “sweaters,” etc.) are three times more likely to convert during the holidays1 Sources: 1. Millward Brown/Google #SMX @Adlucent
  9. 9. Bid Management Strategies • Use year-over-year data to set bids in anticipation of season increases in CVR and AOV 18% 16% 14% 12% 10% 8% 6% 4% 2% 0% Week 1 Week 2 Week 3 Week 4 Week 5 Week 6 Week 7 Week 8 Week 9 Week 10 Week 11 Week 12 Week 13 Week 14 2012 2013 #SMX @Adlucent
  10. 10. Bid Management Strategies • Re-evaluate Mobile Bid Parting scheme to serve ads where customers are shopping most Sources: 1. IBM. “Seventh Annual Online Retail Holiday Readiness Report.” 2013: 19.1% of sales from Mobile1 #SMX @Adlucent
  11. 11. Bid Management Strategies 0% 2% 4% 6% 8% 10% 8-Dec-13 9-Dec-13 10-Dec-13 11-Dec-13 12-Dec-13 13-Dec-13 14-Dec-13 15-Dec-13 16-Dec-13 17-Dec-13 18-Dec-13 19-Dec-13 20-Dec-13 21-Dec-13 22-Dec-13 23-Dec-13 24-Dec-13 25-Dec-13 26-Dec-13 Sources: 1. Adlucent CVR • Use Day Parting to accommodate CVR fluctuations • Last year, one apparel retailer saw a 45% day-over-day drop in CVR following the Christmas shipping cut-off1 Shipping cut-off Christmas day #SMX @Adlucent
  12. 12. Testing Strategies • Rotate ad copy to determine the optimal variation for the holidays • Try holiday-specific sitelink text • Identify key phrases to motivate customers “Shop Early!” Ad Variation CTR +20% CVR +14% • In 2013, an Adlucent client tested ads that had a “Shop Early!” holiday theme to instill urgency • These variations significantly outperformed the historically best-performing ads for the account1 Sources: 1. Adlucent. “2013 Holiday Discoveries: The Impact on Retail.” #SMX @Adlucent
  13. 13. Testing Strategies • Test landing page variations during the period prior to the seasonal peak and use winners during the holiday rush Control Test One Adlucent client increased mobile revenue by 89% over the Thanksgiving weekend by testing mobile landing pages1 Sources: 1. Adlucent. “2013 Holiday Discoveries: The Impact on Retail.” #SMX @Adlucent
  14. 14. SMX East 2014 Merchandising & Search Marketing for the Holidays