09/27/23

Last-minute Retail Holiday Marketing Planning 

According to Deloitte’s annual holiday retail forecast, holiday retail sales are likely to increase between 3.5% and 4.6% in 2023. Ideally, your marketing plan is set, and you’re ready to maximize your holiday revenue. 

Last-minute Retail Holiday Marketing Planning  1

If you’re just starting your holiday marketing planning now, no need to panic. Starting today is better than not doing anything at all. In order to be successful, you’ll need to move quickly and efficiently. Read through the recommendations below on how to set yourself up for a prosperous holiday season.

Set measurable goals

A good marketing plan starts with clear, measurable goals. Think about what you’d like to achieve with your holiday marketing. No, “more sales” is not a measurable goal. Increasing sales to new customers by 2% YOY is. Once you’ve mapped out specifically what you need to achieve with your holiday marketing, you can start putting together the strategy and tactics to achieve your goals. 

Know your audience

Do you know who your primary, secondary and tertiary customers are? Do you know what types of media they consume the most? Do you know what time of day they shop, or which of your competitors are in their consideration set? If you can’t answer these questions, you won’t be able to find your customers. If you can’t find your customers, you can’t serve them messages. And if you can’t serve your message to the people who are most likely to buy your product or service, your marketing plan is less of a plan and more like a shot in the dark. Build out a customer persona based on your most likely to convert customer, and use that to inform your channel mix and your messaging.

Don’t chase marketing trends

This rule applies year-round, but can be even more important when you’re under the gun trying to put a last-minute plan together. Does paid social make sense for your offering? Will podcast advertising achieve the reach and frequency you need to get your message out there? Is your target customer using Snapchat? The newest marketing channels can be exciting, but they’re only effective if they help you achieve your goals. Use what you learned from your customer personas and don’t waste money chasing trends just because they’re new.

Maximize your budget 

There are a ton of ways to make your holiday ad budget stretch further. Minimize media waste with a targeted channel mix. Work with trusted production partners who understand and respect your budget limits. Negotiate for better ad placements and no-charge added value. Even when you’re working last minute, there are ways to squeeze extra value out of your ad spend.

Be realistic about your budget

Unless you’re in a super-seasonal vertical (think: Christmas Tree farm) your holiday ad spend shouldn’t eclipse your annual marketing budget. Set your budget based on a reasonable ROI. A knowledgeable marketing partner can help you figure out what your spend should be relative to your goals.

Don’t half-ass your creative

Lazy copy, shoddy production quality, and uninspired photography can all kill an ad campaign before it even gets off the ground. If you’re spending thousands of dollars on media, don’t let your messaging be an afterthought. Your message needs to be extra compelling during the holidays when there’s more noise than ever and your competition is ramping up their ad spend. Working with trusted creative partners who respect your budget and understand your end goals is key to creating advertising assets that attract customers and help you hit your KPIs.

No matter where you are on your holiday marketing journey, Charlton Marketing can help. Contact us today and make your holiday season a success!