Media Insights

Marketer’s Guide to Holiday 2021 | Edition 3: What’s A Marketer To Do?

We know you’ve got a lot to consider this holiday season, but don’t panic. In this post we share three recommendations from our experts for marketers to incorporate in their holiday 2021 plans taking into consideration broader macro, industry, and consumer trends.  

Last week we shared the key considerations and trends that will be impacting holiday 2021 and how you should be taking action for each. So while many are hoping and planning for a “return to normal,” consumer shopping behaviors have changed, and marketers must be prepared to deliver this holiday season in new ways. Read on for three recommendations from the Ovative experts to incorporate in your holiday 2021 plans.

1. Maximize your enterprise return through a fluid investment strategy.

Have frequent budget and scenario conversations. Create up and down scenarios including the following components:

  • Measurement: Develop a proactive measurement strategy in anticipation of trends that enables fast, nimble, and fluid investment decisions across your marketing portfolio.
  • Digital Experience: Double down on digital experience to ensure your digital, mobile, and hybrid experiences exceed consumer expectations. Reach consumers where they are, measuring and accounting for cross-device behavior, improving the shoppability of social ads, and adjusting search bidding based on evolving consumer intent. Optimize your mobile-first digital experience, including considerations for site speed, stability, and delivery.
  • Enterprise Support: Where you doubled down on digital-only last year with stores closed, ensure you have a strong plan for driving and measuring enterprise sales (online + store sales).
  • Flighting: Plan to pull budgets forward and accelerate based on early performance. A dollar in October is as good as a dollar in December.
  • Promotions: Leverage promotions thoughtfully to accelerate business as you hit or miss forecasts. Don’t starve a hard- working promotion due to time constrained budgets. Stay competitive on Free Shipping.
  • Categories: Consider profitability and LTV in your product category investment approach. Emphasize products across the site and through marketing that deliver a high marginal return for the business and are in-stock.
  • Customer: Maximize impact from current customers and the influx of new customers. Have a plan to grow and retain the influx of new customers you may have seen in the last few months while maximizing impact from current customers.

2. Align operations and logistics with marketing.

  • Know when and what inventory is available, sync messaging and spend to your delivery strategy, consider ship cut-off dates, and lean into stores with ‘Buy Online, Pickup In Store’ (BOPIS) in metro areas.

3. Expect the unexpected.

  • Build a playbook of likely potential outcomes, closely monitor key indicators, plan for each scenario, and be prepared to adjust in the moment as reality plays out.

We have outlined 3 potential situations that could play out during the 2021 holiday season, what indicators you should be watching, how to prepare, and take action if needed.

The holiday season represents a significant opportunity for marketers. To win, marketers must maximize enterprise return through a fluid investment strategy, align operations and logistics with marketing, and expect the unexpected. For more on holiday preparation and execution, download our Marketer’s Guide to Holiday 2021 or connect with us 

Ovative Group is a digital-first media and measurement firm. We bring together the best of media, measurement, and consulting to enable an enterprise approach to marketing that increases our clients’ profitable revenue, strengthens their customer base, and creates sustainable competitive advantage.


Steve Baxter

Executive Vice President, Media

About the Author

Steve is the Executive Vice President of Media at Ovative. Steve oversees delivery and growth across paid digital media, owned digital media, traditional media, marketplaces, and creative services. He has been with the company since 2010 and launched Ovative’s media practice in 2012. Prior to joining Ovative, Steve worked at Target for 8 years where he led development of... Read More >>

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