The More Screens the Merrier This Holiday Season

December 13, 2017

By Patrick Hanavan

Holiday sales this year are expected to increase up to 4% over 2016, according to Insider Radio, with the potential to reach $682 billion. Advertisers looking to get a piece of this massive pie have the calendar working in their favor with 32 days between Thanksgiving and Christmas and an extra shopping weekend because Christmas Day falls on a Monday this year.

As advertisers prepare to spend big bucks to bring in big bucks, it's time for their marketing strategies to be equally ambitious. This holiday season is going to be all about maximizing screen time across every device and every platform.

Be Everywhere

Today's consumers require that advertisers deliver messaging beyond the television set. The brands most successful with this will have a clear theme introduced through a video ad airing across all screens, mirrored in a call to action on Facebook, promoted through a branded SnapChat filter and then made shoppable through a Pinterest placement.

Target is a master of this. In an effort to compete with the likes of Amazon, the company is emphasizing its diverse array of brands through specially targeted TV spots featuring a wide array of influencers, Ad Age reports, from HGTV's Fixer Uppers' Chip and Joanna Gaines to fitness guru and Instagram star Massy Arias. In conjunction, Target recently announced a partnership with Pinterest, which promises creative use of cross-screen and cross-app advertising this holiday season.

Mobile First

Advertisers need to embrace the on-the-go nature of the modern consumer and reach them where they live — on their phones. A customer watching a holiday ad on TV will ultimately convert by being shown specific deals via mobile while at the mall. With 82% of consumers using their mobile device in store to guide purchase decisions, the small screen is too important to forget.

The credibility bestowed by an in-store app is unparalleled when it comes to building conversion rates. Studies show that 57% of consumers prefer to make a purchase from an app versus the mobile web. During the hectic holiday season, the ease of using a mobile app, directly linked from mobile web ads, makes the consumer path to purchase more direct.

Know Your Audience

Consumers share a love of the holidays, and the gifts that come with it, but they don't share shopping habits. Women are four times more likely than men to use multiple devices during the holiday shopping season. And 67% of Millennials claim to do all of their holiday shopping online. Based on these statistics from MNI, brands need to be smart in tailoring their messaging both for the channel it appears on and also for the audience most likely to live there.

The value of knowing your audience goes far beyond simply maximizing your cross-screen presence; it can have a direct result on your holiday bottom line. Recent research from McKinsey and Company found that brands using data-driven personalization in their marketing campaigns can expect to improve their ROI 15 to 20%. Targeting and personalization are made easy with the current spate of AI-powered digital advertising technology, which has the power to optimize both display and video ads based on individual users.

At the end of the day, a multi-screen approach holds the keys to a successful holiday advertising campaign. A Tapad study looking at three holiday campaigns from Fortune 500 companies found that a cross-device campaign doubled return on ad spend. When offline promotions are included, ROI triples.

Ultimately, the holiday shopping season is too important for brands to take a one-size fits all approach. From shoppable video to interactive Snapchat filters, the sky really is the limit when it comes to exploring creative options for connecting with your target audience.


"The More Screens the Merrier This Holiday Season." MediaPost, 12/13/17.

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