Handling The Holidays with Adobe Media Optimizer

Novem­ber has arrived, and it’s time to get those hol­i­day ad strate­gies finalised and into action. Adobe Dig­i­tal Index has realised its annu­al Hol­i­day Online Shop­ping Pre­dic­tions; and the insights are ones brands should def­i­nite­ly be tak­ing into con­sid­er­a­tion as they man­age this season’s dig­i­tal adver­tis­ing across Search, Social, and Dis­play. Here are my top five picks from the report to apply to your ad strat­e­gy this year.

  1. Tried & True Mes­sag­ing is Still a Winner

Between sur­vey results and analysing past hol­i­day sea­sons, low prices and free ship­ping mes­sag­ing are win­ners, and will con­tin­ue to deliv­er in 2015. It’s key to remem­ber, though, not to just blan­ket your entire account with these two taglines. Keep your ad copy rel­e­vant and gran­u­lar, espe­cial­ly from a Search perspective.

For prices, lever­age dynam­ic para­me­ters to feed in up to date low prices auto­mat­i­cal­ly with­out los­ing qual­i­ty score. For free ship­ping, keep the copy prod­uct-spe­cif­ic, and add in a hol­i­day twist – espe­cial­ly if you use this mes­sag­ing year round.

In terms of exe­cu­tion, it can­not be stressed enough that ad copy is a piv­otal part of your hol­i­day dig­i­tal ad strat­e­gy that should also take up the least amount of your time. The key to busi­ness suc­cess dur­ing this time is not only hav­ing the right mes­sag­ing, but scal­ing and automat­ing it. Your team has far more analy­sis and far more com­plex tasks to be exe­cut­ing than con­stant­ly chang­ing ad copy man­u­al­ly. This is where an enter­prise solu­tion like Adobe Media Opti­miz­er comes into play, where tools like Advanced Cam­paign Man­age­ment** **can scale and auto­mate the tedious hol­i­day ad copy man­age­ment process, sav­ing time and increas­ing impact.

  1. Lever­age Prod­uct Review Functionality

There are many social com­po­nents to dig­i­tal shop­ping, and this dynam­ic is fore­cast­ed to play an impor­tant role in 2015’s hol­i­day shop­ping. 47% of respon­dents said prod­uct reviews are a key influ­encer in their hol­i­day pur­chas­es. What’s more, 44% will look to Social media to find out what prod­ucts are ‘the best’.

This means two things: First, make sure you’ve got prod­uct reviews run­ning against your Search ads. This gives your poten­tial cus­tomers a quick point of ref­er­ence for the infor­ma­tion they’re look­ing for – what oth­er cus­tomers think of your prod­ucts. Sec­ond, engage on Social media, because it’s where your cus­tomers are.

What ties all of this togeth­er from a paid ads per­spec­tive and turns this rec­om­men­da­tion from tac­tics to strat­e­gy is hav­ing vis­i­bil­i­ty over your con­ver­sion fun­nel cross-chan­nel, so you can bet­ter under­stand the val­ue of your ads at each step of the way, as well as how to effec­tive­ly mes­sage for both Search and Social. Of course, hav­ing the abil­i­ty to put your Dis­play activ­i­ty along­side both these chan­nels gives fur­ther vis­i­bil­i­ty, like in Adobe Media Opti­miz­er, and deliv­ers the insights need­ed to cre­ate a real­ly tight mes­sag­ing strat­e­gy to push hol­i­day shop­pers through your pipeline.****

  1. Make Mobile as Easy & Delight­ful as Possible

Accord­ing to the Dig­i­tal Index report, North­ern Europe has some of the most mobile-ori­ent­ed shop­pers glob­al­ly. Tak­ing this as the con­text for the pre­dic­tion that mobile sales are expect­ed to break even with tablet this year and that online shop­ping on mobile is con­sid­ered to be the most stress­ful of all devices, ensur­ing your entire mobile cus­tomer expe­ri­ence – both acqui­si­tion-side and con­ver­sion-side – is as easy and delight­ful as pos­si­ble is a key piece of the puzzle.

ADI_Holiday predictions_mobile importance

Rec­om­men­da­tions for tack­ling this from a paid ads per­spec­tive? First and fore­most, Mobile Bid Adjust­ments have got to be opti­mised and auto­mat­ed based on hard data to ensure you’re spend­ing the right amount max­imis­ing both per­for­mance and returns. Lever­age mobile-spe­cif­ic ad copy across Search, Social, and Dis­play chan­nels. Mea­sure mobile-cen­tric met­rics, par­tic­u­lar­ly if dri­ving clicks into your app. Pay atten­tion to mobile click paths in your Mobile Ana­lyt­ics, and con­sid­er upweight­ing the rel­a­tive val­ue of orders placed on mobile ver­sus your oth­er mobile met­rics dur­ing this peri­od. All of these can be achieved gran­u­lar­ly at scale through Adobe Media Opti­miz­er on the paid media side, and through Adobe Ana­lyt­ics & Mobile Ana­lyt­ics on the track­ing and mon­i­tor­ing side.

  1. Work Cross-Chan­nel

The Dig­i­tal Index report sheds a bit of light on cross-chan­nel mes­sag­ing strat­e­gy, allud­ed to ear­li­er. Accord­ing to the report, Social and Dis­play are the best mar­ket­ing chan­nels for cus­tomers to find deals. In fact, Search Engines were found by ADI’s research to be the least effec­tive, being over 3x less like­ly to deliv­er a dis­count to price-savvy consumers.

ADI_Holiday predictions_social and display

Giv­en my first rec­om­men­da­tion around price mes­sag­ing, which is known to be high­ly suc­cess­ful in dri­ving rev­enue dur­ing the hol­i­day peri­od and gen­er­ates a high response rate by shop­pers, know­ing the dis­count angle per­forms excep­tion­al­ly well on Social and Dis­play is valu­able in suc­cess­ful­ly tai­lor­ing and tar­get­ing your mes­sag­ing in the right place at the right time. As men­tioned ear­li­er, using a mul­ti-chan­nel solu­tion like Adobe Media Opti­miz­er facil­i­tates ease of coor­di­na­tion across all three chan­nels, deliv­er­ing scal­able, effec­tive mes­sag­ing and offer­ing the abil­i­ty to tar­get con­sumers as they engage with you on Search, Social, and Display.

  1. Keep It Local

Remem­ber, peak days are region­al, so plan your bud­gets and mes­sag­ing strate­gies accord­ing­ly. As the Dig­i­tal Index report shows, Black Fri­day is the biggest hol­i­day shop­ping day in the UK and Nor­way, while the major­i­ty of the Con­ti­nent and Nordics (Aus­tria, Bel­gium, Den­mark, Fin­land, France, Ger­many, the Nether­lands, Swe­den, and Switzer­land) real­ly get fired up shop­ping mid-Decem­ber.

ADI_Holiday predictions_localise strategy

The key here is flight­ing mes­sag­ing and bud­gets, as well as hav­ing a sophis­ti­cat­ed tool that can cope with react­ing quick­ly to increas­ing and decreas­ing spend to cap­ture demand as it fluc­tu­ates through­out the month. This means hav­ing con­trol over the reac­tiv­i­ty of your bid­ding algorithm’s look­back win­dow (or half-life, as we call it in Adobe Media Opti­miz­er), being able to lay­er addi­tion­al bid con­straints at a gran­u­lar, key­word lev­el to lay­er in strat­e­gy over opti­mised bid­ding, and presched­ule bud­get for a month down to the day.

With the core themes of cross-chan­nel cus­tomer engage­ment, strate­gic mes­sag­ing along the entire length of the con­ver­sion fun­nel, and qual­i­ty mobile engage­ment, suc­cess this hol­i­day sea­son depends on hav­ing sophis­ti­cat­ed tech­nol­o­gy as your dis­pos­al to scale and auto­mate a gran­u­lar and com­plex hol­i­day dig­i­tal adver­tis­ing strat­e­gy. So take a look at your tech and ask your­self if there’s any­thing you need to put on your Paid Ads wish­list this hol­i­day season.