It’s August – we’re enjoying the summer days and the holidays feel so far away… but you’ll wake up one day in the near future and wonder how Black Friday & Cyber Monday could possibly be a week away and potentially experience a full-fledged panic attack. Nobody wants to live that. I’ve learned over the years that holiday planning needs to happen earlier. Here are 3 things you can do today to prepare for the holidays this year:
1. Gather Insights
Studies show that people are searching for the holidays earlier and earlier. Reach out to your Google or Bing account managers to see if they can pull industry search trends that are specific to your market. You’d be surprised to see how things vary by category. Over the past 2 years I’ve seen interest pick up noticeably 3 weeks prior to Thanksgiving week. This is an opportune time to build your audience and take advantage of people searching on their mobile devices so you’re top-of-mind and front-and-center when the big sales hit at the end of the month.
2. Test Early
There are plenty of holidays to test new tactics before the big Black Friday/Cyber Monday sales hit, and you’d be smart to take advantage of these to test new tactics both in your ad and on your website. Test out different sale duration, urgency messaging, price cuts/strike-outs on your site, cross-channel marketing pushes – see what works and what doesn’t. Waiting for the big holidays to test these tactics is a mistake, and could cost you a lot of money.
3. Identify Past Successes
The most valuable insights are in your hands. Use historical data to identify tactics that worked for your business as a baseline, and build from there. It takes time to analyze the data and find your hidden gems – and you will want to test these again before the holidays. Don’t wait until the last minute to dig these up!