The Impact Digital Marketing Has on Holiday Spending

November 22, 2017 / Danielle Dean

Breaking: This holiday season businesses are pouring their marketing dollars into digital and mobile media to reach shoppers.

Read time: 2 minutes, 40 seconds

With the holiday shopping season now beginning to ramp up, businesses of all stripes are kicking their marketing efforts into full gear in hopes of capitalizing on one of the most important times of the fiscal year. For many brands, this means beefing up their digital presence to reach an ever-expanding swath of web-savvy buyers who prefer to do their holiday shopping online. And it seems to be working – in fact, if early figures are any indication, the 2017 holiday season looks to be a record-shattering quarter in terms of digital ad spend. According to a report published by the Interactive Advertising Bureau, the first quarter of 2017 witnessed the strongest start of any year yet for digital advertising in the United States, with Q1 ad revenues clocking in at a whopping $19.6 billion.

These massive numbers demonstrate the ability of digital marketing to attract today’s tech-enabled consumer, and for the holiday season, in particular, brands are pouring their marketing dollars into digital and mobile media to reach shoppers in the areas where they’re most likely to be found – on connected devices. Below are some key points that illustrate the impact that digital marketing has on holiday spending, as well as what brands need to focus on in order to capitalize on this high-stakes shopping season.

Examples of How Digital Marketing Can Influence Consumer Behavior

  1. Using granular technologies such as retargeting and remarketing, businesses can refine their targeting capabilities to provide gift recommendations for people based on which products they’re researching online. Brands can also organize their product recommendations based on the interests of the gift recipient – e.g., sports fans, book lovers, etc.–and utilize proven digital channels such as email advertising and programmatic native ads to further personalize the consumer experience.
  2. Geotargeting is another excellent tool for brands to use to help drive in-store shopping. By drilling down to target consumers based on geographic factors such as city or ZIP code, businesses can deliver hyper-localized advertisements that are customized to suit the preferences of their target audience. A good example of using geotargeting to garner brick-and-mortar foot traffic would be offering an in-store promotional discount during the week leading up to a local Thanksgiving parade. Customers can download the coupon before visiting a store located on the parade route.
  3. Many brands take advantage of the age-old phenomenon of human procrastination by purchasing digital ads that target last-minute shoppers. Using leading technologies such as real-time bidding, marketers can deliver highly relevant ads to this reliable segment in order to capture those precious eleventh-hour purchases.

Holiday Spending: Making the Most of Digital Advertising

With all the hype surrounding digital marketing, it can be deceptively easy for brands to focus on method instead of message, but this can be detrimental to long-term fiscal health. More than anything else, brands must focus on creating relevant, high-quality content that truly resonates with their target audience. Messaging must be interesting enough to capture users’ attention, address their questions and/or pain points, and motivate the desired response. By truly understanding their target customer and keeping the “human element” as first priority, brands can be assured that whether they use cutting-edge digital marketing technology or smoke signals, they will be able to engage interested buyers during the busy holiday season.

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