IAB: Christmas & Holiday Media Planning 2021

Part 2: Interview with Sam Thompson

Marketers will need to approach Christmas and seasonal marketing different ways in 2021 from their media planning, creative development and ensuring that goods are available for consumers in time for Christmas. In this Q&A a range of industry experts give guidance on making Christmas 2021 a success.  We dive into what the current circumstances mean for both brands and retailers themselves and the opportunities that are available. We will look at how consumer behaviour has changed in the last 6 months and how to best navigate this space to maximise the impact in the lead up to the Christmas period.

Sam Thompson, Head of Media & Partnerships Bench: Q. Even though many states are not currently in lockdown and others are on a clear path out of lockdown some marketers are nervous around locking down their plans too early. What recommendations would you make to help marketers make the most of Q4 advertising opportunities?

Sam – Given there is so much uncertainty in the market regarding lockdowns, consumer spending, shifts in media consumption trends, and marketing flexibility, it is understandable that marketers are nervous about locking in plans with their agency and media partners too early. Societal changes are happening incredibly quickly. Being locked into deals while attempting to maximise return on ad spend in Q4 can have a detrimental effect on a businesses bottom line.

Fear not, there is a simple solution that can help to combat this challenge, which is very much engrained in some marketers plans, while others are just scratching the surface. The solution is to transact media via programmatic technology. The easiest way of describing the value that a marketer can obtain by delivering media programmatically is the ability to control your media buy and be flexible when it comes to a range of factors such as creative messaging, media access, and targeting. Marketers no longer have to lock themselves into traditionally rigid deals and can now react to market changes with speed, flexibility and efficiency.

Imagine a scenario in which a marketer has locked in a national deal with a number of OOH media-owners for a product launch in Q4. If Sydney and Melbourne have a snap lock down at any stage, an OOH campaign has the potential to continue to serve in those areas that are receiving no foot traffic and create little impact for the brand. By transacting media programmatically, marketers have the control to tactically run DOOH in areas that will create the most impact (states that aren’t locked down), while shifting budget in lock-down areas to other awareness channels in which people will be consuming media indoors, such as BVOD.

Having the flexibility to react to change, while accessing high quality branding channels, that will create the most impact for a brand is your key to success, and very much achievable despite uncertain times.


This Q&A appeared on the IAB website October, 2021