It's the beginning of December and the holiday season is in full swing. All the campaigns have launched and you have thought of everything. Or have you? While other campaigns are flying on holiday spending autopilot, you can swoop in and re-invigorate sales during the peak season and even when everyone else has called it quits for the year after the Holidays. It's never too late to breathe new life into a holiday search campaign and you can take these tactics back to the office.
Moderator: Kevin Ryan, Vice President, Global Content Director, Search Engine Strategies and Search Engine Watch
Speakers: Kevin Lee, Executive Chairman and Co-Founder, Did-it.com, Matt Naeger, Vice President/General Counsel, Impaqt
It's Matt who appears as the first speaker, and poses the question What did you learn from last year? He emphasizes the need for you to learn from the previous year, you need to track what percentage of online sales took place in December, it's important to track traffic and revenue daily and not less frequently. He says we need to think "cyber" everyday, he talks about what he's learned from the cyber monday, that it's the start of the season. The other entity that's got a lot to teach you is the competition. It's more important to manage the market than the budget, more important to react to the changing market than be fixed on just the budget.
Your search needs to be kept up with the other marketing media, you need to be creative. And don't ignore the organic, you can very well expect the results change on a daily basis and you need to act with paid search strategies. Be ready to launch anytime, and to build supporting messages. If you got some new and creative pieces then earlier the better, so that they can be approved well in advance and be ready for launch anytime. You can test the creative by the time of day, particularly for high volumes. Vary the creative with the audience that's more likely to be available at a specific time eg "happy home makers."
He says, equally important is the continuous fine tuning of the campaign, suggests that don't buy what you can't sell and don't sell what you can't deliver. The delivery times should vary with products. You need to use creative for typical delivery times and not just stop at the last ship date. Volume and margin should determine the product focus, buy generic keywords on low position. Also be on the lookout or the exact search queries that people use and not just the broad keywords.
Kevin's gonna present next, he straight away gets down saying that online holiday shopping has gone up since last year, and questions have you been getting a fair share? Make use of slush funds to cash in on the opportunity. It's important to consider holidays for planning as conversion rates on a large scale during the time. If you plan based on old data you're at a loss. Keep a track of shopping cart size, lag times, etc.
He emphasizes the need to pre-load campaign creative, so that you could be up and running in no time when you want. High opportunity seasons is another area for which new campaigns would work well, include special offers like promotional coupons, shipping deals. He again stresses on monitoring the buzz index through Yahoo Buzz, Google Trends and off course you own sales info. Trends are important because the let you cash in on the opportunity fast. Monitor your competition, suppliers in terms of spending, you could piggy back their spendings. Remember that buzz isn't there as a matter of chance, try to find the halo around it.
Good techniques include viral marketing, tv, bug banner buys, home page takeovers. Don't feel it's late to introduce offers for holidays. He then compares "free shipping" and "free FedEx," as the latter clears the doubt, if the customer start to wonder whether you'd have enough time to deliver or not.
The next speaker was Bill, but he got stuck at the airport he sent, info to Kevin which suggests that you could keep promoting gift cards after Christmas as there's a huge timeline between Hanukah and Christmas, so there might be a lot of scope for the cards.