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Make Smarter Marketing Decisions This Holiday Season

Published: September 21, 2020

Author: Joe Kerschbaum


Most digital marketers have a measurement problem.
Why? They’re over-reliant on last-click attribution, which means they either discredit assisting channels or blindly throw money at branding without understanding performance. With so much emphasis on digital for the holidays in 2020, now is the time to invest in a holistic view of your campaigns.
Once you have that view, you’ll be able to make smarter, better-informed decisions about where to allocate budget for your holiday marketing campaigns. Here are just a few things you can do to ensure you’re getting a complete view of performance for better decision-making.
For a complete strategy and detailed tactics on what you can do to stay competitive this year, download our 2020 Holiday Retail Guide.

Facebook: think holistically

As advertisers head into Q4, regulations like CCPA, iOS14, and GDPR will impact campaign visibility and subsequent measurement. Not to fret—there are things you can do to adapt your holiday campaigns to the new regulatory landscape:

  • Use conversion APIs. Supplement browser data with server data to improve measurement, reliability, and the signals that go into optimizing campaigns.
  • Move fast and make things with Facebook’s SDK. Because of Facebook’s latest SDK version, you’ll need to create a dedicated iOS14 Ad Account.
  • Explore alternatives. Look into non-IDFA matching methods that ensure privacy while delivering accurate attribution.

Because record numbers of people are on Facebook’s platform’s because of the pandemic, make sure you’re accurately measuring the impact of your social ad campaigns.

Fine-tune your search attribution

To better understand your keyword funnel, we recommend using data-driven attribution (DDA). As Google explains, “Data-driven attribution gives credit for conversions based on how people engage with your various ads and decide to become your customers.”
Why this is important: using DDA can increase efficiency by 5%, allow you to clearly identify which keywords are driving performance, and enable better, data-backed decisions.
We recommend applying DDA in Google Search Ads 360 in observation mode first to assess conversion lift before completely switching your bid strategy.

Test and refine

Incorporating a single point of truth like an MTA solution is ideal, but it takes a significant time investment and may be too risky to undertake for the 2020 holiday.
Consider doing simple things now like looking at media through different attribution models or beginning to run incrementality tests to understand the true impact of channels, specifically upper-funnel efforts, so you can properly plan media in Q4.

When you do, you’ll be much better positioned going into 2021 and have an early edge over your competition. In our recent CMO survey, respondents listed mobile marketing and paid media optimization first and third, respectively, as top digital marketing priorities—channel-specific approaches that don’t take the big picture into account.
Channel-focused plans that don’t incorporate analytics, personalization, or customer understanding may have short-term performance potential. But, they won’t help you build a complete, full-funnel strategy for sustainable growth.
Marketers who can connect growth to traffic, and measure the effects of touchpoints along the purchase journey, will have more powerful arguments to allocate budget and data-backed planning to fill the top of the funnel.

Details are in the holiday data

Understanding media’s actual impact on overall success and growth means smarter investments in the right channels, not just the channels capturing existing demand. The journey isn’t easy—years of status quo potentially need to be overcome—but if we’ve seen anything in 2020, it’s that years of change can occur in a matter of months. Start now and set yourself up for success this holiday season and beyond.
For more tactics and detailed tips on measuring your marketing campaigns for success, check out our 2020 Holiday Retail Guide.

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