Search Marketing Influencer Series – Mike Kujanek (Part 2)

Dec
07
2015

Mike Kujanek is co-founder and Senior Vice President, Managing Director of searchmarketers.com, offering industry-leading expertise in paid search, SEO, mobile, and display media.

With the holiday season upon us, have you adjusted your campaigns?
We have been ready to execute our clients’ holiday marketing plans for quite awhile – especially for seasonal online retailers. Most creative updates are prepared and finalized well in advance of launching during the peak Black Friday and Cyber Monday periods.

The keys to success during this vital time for any brand marketer, retail or otherwise, are: a) availability, b) vigilance, and c) responsiveness. While in-house marketing and agency teams strive for holiday “perfection,” advertisers should be prepared for all contingencies, such as business-related issues (i.e. inventory out of stock, pricing changes, etc.), technical issues (i.e. site server crashes, landing page, and ad copy issues), or competitive activities (i.e. better pricing or newly untapped opportunities). I can’t stress enough the importance of full team commitment and availability to support campaign efforts during this time, especially key decision-makers. Stay caffeinated!

As we pick up the pieces from Cyber Week, can you share some holiday campaign planning best practices?
Several common holiday campaign traits have emerged over the past few years. Here are a few things I’d recommend marketers keep top-of-mind during the busy holiday season:

  1. Adjust biddable media targets higher as conversion rates increase vis-à-vis holiday sales. You should be able to absorb higher acquisition costs while exceeding non-seasonal ROI.
  2. Pay attention to competitive bidding and conversion rates. Your ROI and conversions should improve during the holiday period, whether or not you adjust your bids. However, keep close tabs on competitive bidding as they could limit available volume as well as your brand’s ability to sustain SOV.
  3. Reconsider and update budgets accordingly. As a by-product of higher bids and faster cost accrual, expect the need to raise daily campaign budgets. For example, if your Cyber Monday campaign’s budget is reached halfway through the shopping day, the end result would be many missed opportunities.
  4. Repeatedly check for potential errors. Outranked ads, bad ad links pointing to dead or missing pages, or even a crashed server can make or break a brand’s campaign performance. Stay on top of your campaigns to ensure that avoidable errors never see the light of day.
  5. Do not underestimate Cyber Monday. This year’s tepid Black Friday may change marketer’s perceptions on the overall value of putting a good chunk of their marketing dollars into that one, single day. In previous years we have witnessed too many marketers prioritizing Black Friday over the rest of the post-Thanksgiving shopping season. The growth and prevalence of mobile as a go-to channel for many holiday shoppers should sound an alarm that Cyber Monday (and Cyber Week, for that matter) will continue the trend of exceeding Black Friday traffic in the years to come.

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