Media Insights

Marketer’s Guide to Holiday 2020 | Edition 4: Cyber 5 Tips

Cyber 5 ecommerce sales are expected to outpace last year by nearly 40%. Competition will be high, and small changes will go a long way. Ovative is here to share our tips for monitoring and managing media performance to ensure successful results.

We know the extended holiday shopping weekend, taking place from Thanksgiving through Cyber Monday is sure to look different this year. Ecommerce demand is expected to surge and make up for in-store losses, retailers are extending deals into week-long events, consumers continue to increasingly leverage mobile, and early delivery and store pickup demand are on the rise with concerns around overwhelmed shipping capacities. Each day we will see upwards of 35%+ gains to last year with most sales driven on Cyber Monday, Black Friday, and Thanksgiving Day.

We have put together five key tips for monitoring media performance during Cyber 5 to help you maximize performance by taking into account changing consumer behaviors, high demand, and elevated competition. Download the full list here. 

Tips for Cyber 5:

  1. Proactively manage budgets. 

    • Adjust spend to account for increased seasonal demand. Align spend with site demand and the promotional calendar. Test increasing the aggressiveness of your targets based on expected performance.
    • Align on target CPA, ROAS, and EMR (Enterprise Marketing Return) thresholds as competition increases.
    • Have forecast options ready for incremental or shifted spend and know the marginal efficiency impact of scaling budgets. Digital channels may need to scale to offset broader trends. Be sure to align on the flexibility of budgets to capture performance if it is there.
    • Always ensure budgets are not hitting caps to avoid maxing out on profitable spend opportunities.
    • Maintain hourly pacing documentation and use last year hourly spend as a guide.
    • Backup spend changes to have a repository to revert back to if needed. There is conflicting information on how much platforms will automatically account for seasonality this year, so flexibly testing into adjustments will be critical.
  2. Inspect and test top campaigns and keywords.

    • Continuously monitor top brand terms, non-brand terms, campaigns, and products. With brands investing more online this year, we can expect increased competition, which will impact costs. Leverage last year as a benchmark to ensure optimal positioning on top segments as competition ramps.
    • Set up alerts against top campaigns and keywords to draw your attention to urgent problem areas.
    • Validate a consistent and relevant experience across your top campaign creative, copy, promotions, and landing pages.
  3. Keep your product strategy top of mind.

    • Ensure product feeds are refreshed regularly to ensure you are serving the most relevant and available merchandise to customers at accurate price points. 
    • Point campaigns to in-stock inventory and have a contingency plan in case of sell-out to avoid customer frustration and lost revenue.
    • Understand which products offer the deepest year over year discounts and consumer attention. Feature these products in creative and prioritize with higher spend. 
  4. Monitor site performance.

    • Develop an open and clear communication plan with your site team to keep a pulse when the experience is functioning as expected, and elevate alerts if issues impacting the consumer experience arise.
    • Keep an eye on key site indicators including visits, bounce rates, conversion rates, and cart abandonment rates. These are leading performance indicators to identify areas that may not be working and need media to be redirected.
    • Set up site alerts and have a contingency plan to pause or redirect media if the site experiences downtime or major issues impacting the consumer conversion.
  5. Establish a proactive communication plan, with your teams and leadership.

    • Align with your direct team, cross-functional partners, leadership, and external partners on who is on point each day of the holiday weekend. It is critical to have a plan for maintaining consistent execution, monitoring, reporting, and alerting as needed.
    • Agree on when and how you will connect for key milestones (e.g. mid-day performance reviews meetings or emails) including KPIs and participants for those moments.
    • Overcommunicate. If you see something, say something.

While sales have been pulled forward this year, holiday shopping does not stop with Cyber 5. Leverage insights gathered during this key period to inform your approach to December, shifting tactics, budgets, and creative based on how the consumer is responding.

Interested in reading more from Ovative on how to prepare for the holiday season? We’ve put together The Marketer’s Guide to Holiday 2020 | Edition 1 Playbook available here to share key consumer insights and trends, potential complications to plan for, and actionable recommendations to win.

Ovative is a digital-first media and measurement firm seeking to transform the measure of marketing success. At Ovative, we help brands move the needle. We are curious. We value your brand. We want to see you succeed. Connect with us to learn more!

Download the checklist here. 

Sources: eMarketer, 2020.


Chris Thueringer

Senior Manager, Media

About the Author

Chris is a Senior Manager on the Paid Search team. He has over 10 years of agency experience with a focus on leading Paid Search strategy and execution for Ovative’s largest and most complex accounts across industries, including apparel, home goods, outdoors, and higher education. He is passionate about solving complex problems and maximizing Enterprise Marketing Return.

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