Silly season, savvy digital strategy

3 ways marketers can best prepare their advertising to maximise ROI this Christmas

Silly season, savvy strategy
Silly season, savvy strategy

Can you hear that in the distance? Is it the sounds of sleigh bells ringing? Perhaps a whistle-tone from Mrs Mariah Claus?

It might seem soon, but there’s no better time than the present to prepare your brand for the present-giving season.

How will Q4 be different this year?

According to research conducted by Monash University, most Australians get in on their Christmas shopping early, with 55% of Aussies starting their shopping one or more months in advance.

It’s not just limited to Christmas – according to NAB, Australians spent more than an estimated $8 billion across the four days from Black Friday to Cyber Monday in November 2021, and it’s only expected to grow this year.

With inflation tipped to peak in December at 7.75% – the highest since 1989 – consumers are getting less bang for their buck. Combined with supply chain snarls, pandemic hangovers, war and post-lockdown behaviour, the average consumer will want their dollars to go further over this Christmas period.

This year, the silly season will become the savvy season. Brands will need to play their advertising strategy smarter in order to penetrate the market.

What opportunities can your brand unlock over the Q4 period?

This end of year, more than ever, media inventory will be in high demand.

With one in two shoppers returning back to in-store retail purchasing post-COVID, we’ll see a dramatic increase in the already growing programmatic Digital-Out-of-Home space. An evolution from traditional out-of-home, brands are able to use better targeting capabilities and better audience tracking capitalise on premium, high-traffic physical locations to cut through advertising noise.

With the World Cup on in November, there’s still opportunities to have your brands appear on World Cup content programmatically through display, video and broadcast video on demand – so long as you book soon, as inventory gets booked quickly.

Towards the end of the year, studies confirm that social media influences 58% of respondents’ buying decisions, with YouTube, Instagram and TikTok as the platforms shoppers will turn to for guidance on their Christmas wish list. Advertisers can capitalise on social media by starting their branding work months earlier.

Typically, display and video CPMs increase approximately 45% in the 2 months to Christmas. At Bench, we strongly recommend to strategise and plan your Q4 media now, well in advance, to take advantage of locked-in preferential rates that will give advertisers an edge in the game.

How do you start planning your Q4 activity now?

  1. Create that creative ‘journey’- much like Santa’s travels from the North Pole, it’s important to focus on your customer’s journey to your brand. Use multiple creative touch points within the same advertising action, personalise your messaging, and follow your user through a multi-channel strategy between display, search and social channels.
  2. Effectively measure your branding activity over the Christmas period – by integrating digital branding activity as part of your marketing funnel, our study has shown an uplift in conversion rate by up to 3000% and improved performance at the bottom of a brand’s funnel. Combined with a brand lift survey, you can understand the impact your brand has had on the market, and change strategies on the fly.
  3. Retarget early, and often – in order to reach your audience in the lead up to Christmas, create a highly targeted ad campaign reaching your first-party audience, with messaging to reflect familiarity and time-sensitivity. Starting your campaign early and using a 4-8 week runway period also allows you to build your remarketing list early on and get highly-targeted as the campaign nears Christmas.

By planning your activity early, you can cut through with a strong share of voice early on, and lock in your media rates – otherwise you will be left with coal in your stockings.

Want to improve your brand’s sales this Christmas? Speak to one of our experts today.