Time to Double Down: Updated EMR Holiday Predictions

Based on Ovative’s client EMR (Enterprise Marketing Return) data, each key season Ovative shares our predictions for tactics we expect to be high-performing that marketers must be testing and investing in. Read this article to see where you should be doubling down as we prepare for Cyber 5 and Winter Holidays!

Despite some positive signals about slowing inflation and general economic health, consumers are still feeling the effects of high prices. Consumers will be asking themselves whether each Holiday purchase is worth it this season, and conversion will require more marketing touchpoints.

With more marketing dollars needed to make the sale this year, it’s important to understand if your tactics are performing effectively. Marketers optimizing their media to the legacy metric of ROAS (Return on Ad Spend) are missing key opportunities to win as the metric doesn’t tell the full story.

This is why Ovative created EMR, a metric that holistically measures the impact of online and offline revenue, future customer value, incrementality, and profitability into a single metric of success. We use EMR every day to help our clients invest in the right tactics to grow their businesses.

In September, we provided predictions about which channels would win this Holiday season in Tactics to Try: 2022 EMR Holiday Predictions. See how our 2022 Holiday predictions performed:


Time to Double Down

Lower-Funnel Tactics

Now that we are in the Holiday final stretch, brands should consider increasing their lower-funnel spend, pulling from upper-funnel channels, if necessary, to maximize immediate return. We have reached the turning point in the Holiday season where shoppers are switching from research to action, and it’s important that a brand’s advertising tactics address this shift.

Our September predictions noted that advertisers should keep their eye on Meta’s lower-funnel tactics due to its sophisticated algorithm and targeting. This remains true for Meta, and our recommendation is to double down on other lower-funnel tactics as well. Some tactics we recommend are Non-Brand Search, Display Lower-Funnel, and PLAs, which are included in our top 5 performing channels.


New Entrants


Influencers have moved up in performance as one of the current top-performing channels. Throughout the year, but particularly during Holiday, consumers spend time and money following the creators they love. 58% of consumers bought a product in the past six months based on a creator’s recommendation.1 Influencer relationships have been shown to enhance brand loyalty with customers, 44% of Millennials and Gen Z shop in-store based on creator’s recommendations2. Here are our top tips for marketers to activate on Influencer this Holiday:

  • Keep top-performing influencers in the know by sending promotional assets and promo calendars; highlighting top items that rarely go on sale and products for gifting.
  • Prioritize organic content! Organic incorporation of products can feel more authentic and engaging compared to highly produced assets. Gift your products to top-performing Influencers for inclusion in organic content such as Instagram Stories, where they can directly link to your website or product.
  • Consider turnkey advertising opportunities with podcasts, using host-recorded ads to boost brand authenticity.
  • Provide Influencers access to Affiliate links so that when they are building their content, they can easily include those links. With this strategy, brands can make incremental dollars without needing a formal campaign.
  • Continue the Holiday momentum into the new year. Customers are still spending into January, so start planning for early 2023 partnerships. Authenticity and consistency with Influencer partners are going to keep your brand top of mind with consumers, resulting in a higher EMR.


The Underdogs Are Still Performing


As noted in September Tactics to Try, CTV is experiencing steady growth with more publishers launching ad-supported options. This gives advertisers an excellent opportunity to scale. However, your video tactics shouldn’t stop there. Consumers reached with both Connected TV and OLV ad content drives incremental impact to revenue with a 140% higher conversion rate than a customer who only was reached by a CTV ad.3 The combination of multiple video tactics can ensure you’re reaching audiences everywhere they’re viewing content.

One of Ovative’s clients found through recent tests that Online Video plays a significant role as a 1st touch channel in the path to purchase, with ~25% of user paths containing OLV as their 1st touch. Leveraging MAP data, we could see that Online Videos are a significant driver in new customer acquisition, driving the 2nd most efficient Cost Per Incremental Customer (only outperformed by Paid Social).4

The CTV landscape is changing quickly. We are keeping an eye on new streamers joining the AVOD marketplace. New entrants like Netflix and Disney+ could change the game and affect future EMR evaluations of this tactic.



TikTok remains an emerging channel we’re keeping our eye on. As we noted in our previous report, TikTok’s user adoption is booming, which positions the platform as a potential power player in the advertising space. In recent tests run on our brands, TikTok has performed favorably compared to other social platforms. TikTok has shown strong upper-funnel brand awareness, scale, access to a different demographic, and most importantly incrementality, one of the four pillars we look for when assessing EMR. The most surprising was the extent to which it impacted stores – even more demonstrably than ecommerce – which makes it an effective lever to pull as a change of pace from other channels/platforms. 

TikTok’s newer ad-serving algorithm is still in its infancy stage. For example, operators cannot explicitly exclude regions from targeting on TikTok; they can only identify those to include. So far this has not affected the media being served but shows that there are still some pieces of TikTok ad experience that need to be ironed out.


We are in the home stretch of Holiday! It’s important to stay flexible to optimize current opportunities. We’re here to help!

At Ovative, measurement is at the core of everything we do. We continually update our insights and hypothesis through testing and EMR performance rankings. Let’s strategize tactics that will bring your clients down the funnel.

Let’s Work Together To Optimize Your Marketing

1Discovery-led shopping study by GFK (Meta commissioned survey of 12,063) 2020
2LTK Case Study
3TTD Reporting (5/15/22 – 7/6/22)
4Ovative OLV Test Results, 2022


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. Connect with us to learn more. 

Lillian Smith

Senior Analyst, Paid Social

About the Author

Lillian is a Senior Analyst on the Paid Social team at Ovative.

Dale Nitschke

Dale Nitschke

CEO & Founder

About the Author

Dale is the Founder and CEO of Ovative. After years of operating a large omni-channel business and leading a customer data initiative, Dale knew there was an opportunity to create a marketing firm that helped clients become more customer centric and drove better performance outcomes. A gap existed between business consultancies and advertising agencies that modern marketing approaches demand. He also believed that a strong, healthy culture could attract and develop smart, talented team members. In 2009, he formed Ovative to bring media, measurement, and consulting together under one roof to enable an enterprise approach that drives more revenue and grows clients’ customer base.

Prior to founding Ovative in 2009, Dale spent 23 years at Target Corporation where he served as President of Target.com and grew the ecommerce business from start-up stage to a $1 billion+ business and established the foundation of Target’s Guest database capabilities. Previously he served as SVP Merchandising at the Department Store Division of Dayton Hudson. Dale has advised retailers and brands globally on business, growth, marketing, and measurement transformation strategies.

Outside of Ovative, Dale is a leader on topics including business strategy, change management, and team leadership. He serves on the board of Allergy Amulet and on the Dean’s Advisory Board of the Wisconsin School of Business at UW-Madison.  He enjoys spending time with his family, up north in northern Wisconsin, playing golf, and cheering on Wisconsin sport teams.

Seth Brand

Senior Manager, Consulting

About the Author

Seth is a Senior Manager on the Consulting team at Ovative.

Amanda McCann

Senior Manager, Consulting

About the Author

Amanda is a Senior Manager on the Consulting team at Ovative, specializing in Retail Media Networks.

Jenny Reinke

Senior Analyst, Measurement Solutions

About the Author

Jenny is a Senior Analyst on the Measurement Solutions team at Ovative.

Annie Zipfel

Executive Vice President, Media

About the Author

Annie is the Executive Vice President of Media at Ovative. She oversees delivery and growth across paid and owned media (digital, traditional, and retail media) and creative services.

Annie has more than 30 years of experience in media, brand management, insights/analytics, marketing, and product. She has also developed large, high-performing teams and built new measurement capabilities. Annie led the marketing team at Andersen Windows & Doors, leading the digital, social, content, customer insights, and creative functions. Prior to that, Annie served in multiple marketing leadership roles at Starbucks, REI, Target, and General Mills, with a keen focus on brand, media, insights, analytics, and measurement.

Annie is an industry leader in brand management, customer insights, e-commerce, social media, and analytics. She enjoys hiking, traveling, cooking, fishing, and spending time with her sweet dog and two sons.

Bonnie Gross

Executive Vice President, Talent Services

About the Author

Bonnie is the Executive Vice President of Talent Services at Ovative. She is responsible for attracting and retaining top talent and creating a culture in which our team thrives personally and professionally. Under Bonnie’s leadership, Ovative has defined an industry leading leadership and development program and transformed our approach to talent recruitment with a focus on diversity, equality and inclusion. Prior to her current role, Bonnie led Ovative’s Client and Business Development team overseeing client satisfaction and new growth opportunities.

Before joining Ovative in 2014, Bonnie spent 13 years at Target Corporate as the VP of digital and Digital Marketing where she led the launch of Cartwheel, an industry-leading social shopping application. Bonnie was the VP of Marketing for Fingerhut for 15 years prior to joining Target.

Leander Cohen

Analyst, Consulting

About the Author

Leander Cohen is an Analyst on the Consulting team at Ovative.

Will Silva

Analyst, Measurement Solutions

About the Author

Will is an Analyst on the Measurement Solutions team at Ovative.

Sarah Chang

Sarah Chang

Analyst, Consulting

About the Author

Sarah Chang is an Analyst on the Consulting team at Ovative.

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