4 Tips to Boost Marketing ROI During the Holidays

For marketers working within the retail, eCommerce, and consumer packaged goods industries the holidays are P-R-E-T-T-Y important. And in the era of COVID-19—an era in which consumers are watching their discretionary spending more closely than any point since the Great Recession—the stakes are even higher. With so much on the line, it’s critical you do everything you can to boost marketing ROI during the holidays.

That means doing everything you can to:

  • Reach the right customers

  • With the right promotional messages

  • In the right channels

  • At the right time

“But what good are optimizations now?—it’s already the middle of October!”, you say. 

Well, there are still plenty of last-minute things you can do to boost marketing ROI during the holidays. Here are four, last-minute tips to help you get the very most out of this holiday season. 

Marketing for holidays is more important this year, with 39% of American shoppers spending less than last year

Tip #1 – Focus on true personalization

When it comes to maximizing the effectiveness of your marketing, personalization and relevance are critical to driving optimal returns. The more personalized and relevant the messaging, the more persuasive the marketing; the more persuasive the marketing, the easier it is to build a strong relationship that leads to better acquisition and retention.

But for personalization to be effective during the busy, chaotic holiday season, it needs to be quality and it needs to scale. 

Quality personalization goes beyond barebones demographic data—gender, location, etc.—and digs in deep. It’s marketing that speaks to individual purchase history, content consumption, behavioral signals, and more. While every brand batches-and-blasts “personalized” marketing to millions, your brand can stand above the fray if it focuses on true personalization.

But how do you and your brand balance true personalization with the competing need for wide-scale, high-volume campaigns that are a cornerstone of holiday marketing?

You do it by capitalizing on three things:

  1. Cutting-edge, AI-powered automation

  2. An exhaustive source of third-party data to supplement existing first-party data

  3. A robust data infrastructure capable of processing a tidal wave of consumer signals obtained from a complex web of audiences.

Tip #2 – Don’t leave any channels unattended

Customers shop in-store, on their smartphones, on their laptops, through their CTVs and more. To that end, make last-minute adjustments to your holiday marketing campaigns and budgets to ensure you’re ready to engage and support shoppers no matter where they are. To be clear, this doesn’t mean spending equally across channels—it just means investing in all of them. How you choose to divvy up the spend should be based on where the “power buyers” for your products and services tend to live.

It's important to cast a wide net in order to gain new customers this holiday season

Tip #3 – Leverage location-based signals to capture bonus buyers

The holiday season creates a unique opportunity for retail marketers to act on location data. No other time of year has so many people flocking to specific retail locations, offering remarkable opportunities to influence critical buying moments on a broad scale.

Here are some creative ways to take advantage of location-based data at the last minute during the holidays:

  • Send exclusive, location-based offers via SMS to customers who frequent specific brick-and-mortar locations.

  • Gather location-based data to customize email marketing campaigns that will increase open rates and drive conversion.

  • Use geolocation to offer exclusive BOPIS promotions where customers willing to buy online and pickup at the nearest store receive special discounts.  

Placing an emphasis on contactless shopping methods will increase your customer base this year

Tip #4 – Engage with your most loyal customers

Perhaps the easiest and most impactful last-minute adjustment any marketer can make to boost marketing ROI during the holidays is doubling down on known, loyal customers. While most holiday marketing campaigns are aimed at attracting new customers or amplifying brand awareness, existing customers can go ignored.

 That’s a tactical error.

Instead, recognize and reward existing customers for their loyalty and value as brand ambassadors. Considering the top 5% of current customers are responsible for 60% of revenue on average, it’s far more efficient to zero-in on these existing “power buyers” than it is to try and capture net new business. 

Need help to boost marketing ROI during the holidays?

The most important season for the retail, eCommerce, and consumer packaged goods industries is here, and time is running out to make the adjustments you can to boost marketing ROI during the holidays. For more holiday-marketing advice, be sure to visit Zeta’s Holiday Hub, and if you have any specific questions about how your brand can build more lucrative, long-lasting relationships during this important time of year, don’t hesitate to contact us.


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