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Holiday Marketing Strategies: How Advertisers Can Get Ahead in 2023

Published: Oct. 04, 2023

An estimated 1.328 trillion in holiday sales are on the line for brands this year. In other words, the stakes are high to capitalize on this golden opportunity.

As the holiday season approaches, savvy advertisers are gearing up to navigate a dynamic and competitive landscape, armed with innovative strategies that will set them apart from the crowd. This post will explore key trends, tactics, and insights that will empower advertisers to meet and exceed their goals, ensuring a prosperous and memorable holiday season in 2023.

Whether you're a seasoned marketer or just beginning to explore the holiday marketing arena, our data-driven tips will help you stay ahead of the curve and make the most of this crucial time of year.

This is just a sampling of the insights you can find in our comprehensive guide to TV advertising for this year’s holiday season — read it here.

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Start Advertising Early

Black Friday was once the signal for consumers en masse to begin their holiday shopping. eMarketer found that brick-and-mortar retail stores saw a whopping 72.9 million shoppers on Black Friday — a strong rebound from years past. E-commerce sales resurged as well. Cyber Monday hit a new sales record of $12.43 billion, while Black Friday saw nearly $10 billion.

But that’s changed, thanks to Amazon’s Prime Early Access Sale — a new tentpole event that has pulled holiday shopping well into October. Data shows that October e-commerce sales increased by 9.8% thanks to the Prime Early Access Sale, while e-commerce sales in December dropped 8.8%.

To get ahead, advertisers start investing heavily in early October. Our data indicates that sectors with the largest increase in linear TV ad spend during the holiday season typically begin to invest more around mid to late October.

Start launching campaigns in October or early November to stay top-of-mind among consumers as they begin shopping. Better still, advertising earlier gives marketers a chance to experiment with different creative strategies, timing, networks, and programs to see what works best for your brand before the holiday season gets really busy.

Use TV (the right way) to reach shoppers

TV is a key channel for advertisers and their holiday marketing campaigns. Television provides access to a massive audience, including 56.6M unique Black Friday shoppers, according to our TV+ advertising platform. TV also works well with other channels. An Accenture study found that TV lifts digital ROI by 22%, driving a halo effect across sales channels, whether it’s e-commerce or brick-and-mortar.

But reaching viewers cost-efficiently during the holiday season requires a cross-channel approach. Contrary to popular belief, linear TV is still a viable advertising channel. Data from our TV+ platform shows linear TV accounts for 78% of Black Friday shoppers’ daily viewing time across ad-supported channels, while streaming only comprises 22%.

Most streaming content continues to be consumed on non-ad-supported platforms, exemplified by subscription-based services like Netflix. While a growing opportunity exists to reach audiences through streaming, linear television remains the most viable channel.

A cross-channel strategy requires careful planning and a thoughtful strategy. Consider that 57% of Black Friday shoppers are households that watch both traditional linear and connected TV services, representing a substantial portion of the overall audience.

Failing to integrate linear TV and streaming into a cohesive strategy may result in advertisers repeatedly targeting the same households across both platforms. Rather, focus on incremental reach — how can advertisers reach more of their target audience instead of the same viewers over and over again?

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Strategize for price-conscious consumers

Research by eMarketer shows discounts dominated the holiday 2022 season. Holiday shoppers are likely to seek out deals just the same this year.

Grappling with the challenges of inflation and the lingering effects of the pandemic in recent years, consumers have become increasingly attuned to the importance of securing a great bargain. Instead of curbing their spending habits, consumers are, in fact, becoming more astute than ever in their approach to holiday shopping.

In fact, a majority of Black Friday shoppers who consume TV are lower to middle class This makes sense — Black Friday shoppers are often price-sensitive due to budget constraints and want to take advantage of the massive deals available during that period.

To adapt, advertisers should craft ad creative that resonates with consumers’ desire to save on spending. Highlight deals and discounts available with a splashy call to action or QR code. Better still, take time to devise a precise targeting strategy. Viewers are savvier than ever and are, therefore, more likely to be even quicker in tuning out messages that don’t align with their interests.

Achieving Holiday Campaign Success for Your Brand

With considerable consumer interest on the line, marketers should ensure that their TV advertising partner can help them craft strategic campaigns that provide the flexibility and reach they need to make the most of this holiday season.

Simulmedia's TV+ advertising platform integrates robust data science, automated software, and essential integrations into a unified solution. Empowered by TV+, advertisers and marketers can adeptly navigate the ever-expanding media landscape, pinpointing holiday viewers wherever and whenever they tune in.

Our experts can help you face the headwinds ahead, no matter how chilly they may be. Schedule a demo to start.