In today’s digital advertising landscape, the biggest challenge for marketers is accurately scaling campaigns while ensuring privacy. This has never been more true than during the holiday season - when it’s more important than ever to make a connection with consumers. Here are some ways for digital marketers to achieve their goals this year:
Embrace first-party data
The holiday season is when consumers are inundated with advertisements, making it crucial to stand out from the crowd. One way to do this is by connecting with existing customers while implementing privacy protections. Instead of relying on third-party data, which is becoming increasingly restricted, consider utilizing first-party data (1PD) in advanced models.First-party data allows you to have a deeper understanding of your customers’ preferences and behaviors. It can be used to create predictive models that pinpoint where your customers are most likely to engage online during the holiday season. By meeting them in these spaces with relevant ads, you can significantly improve your campaigns’ performance.
One benefit of using first-party data for modeling is that it helps address data fidelity issues. When you onboard data into digital platforms, you can lose up to 40% of your records, resulting in a smaller audience reach than intended. However, by leveraging first-party data as a seed for well-trained models, you can actually amplify and extend your reach, finding more customers who resemble your best customers.
Target consumers through contextual relevance
During the holidays, it’s critical to ensure that ads reach the right audience. While behavioral targeting has been the go-to strategy, it has limitations. For example, consumers often need to engage in specific activities over a threshold to become part of an audience, which can be quite restrictive.
Contextual targeting offers a more instant and relevant approach. It places ads in front of people who are already part of the target audience and are engaged with content related to your product or topic. For example, imagine someone researching holiday gifts and purchasing a baby gift. Suddenly, they find themselves part of an audience for children’s products, even though their interest was momentary. Contextual targeting avoids such misalignments by focusing on the context in which consumers engage with content. And that will make a difference this holiday season, when Deloitte forecasts retail sales to increase between 3.5% and 4.6% to total $1.54 to $1.56 trillion between November and January.
Augment campaigns with long-tail media
To make the most of your holiday advertising budget, consider augmenting your campaigns with a long-tail media component. Long-tail media refers to niche websites and platforms that cater to specific interests or demographics. Identifying where your target audience will be online during the holiday season and preferring long-tail media sites can be a cost-effective strategy.
These long-tail media sites often offer ad placements at more economical rates than mainstream media options. By strategically curating your long-tail media placements with a campaign-specific Private Marketplace (PMP), you can leverage microsegmentation to reach your audience efficiently and at lower cost. This approach allows you to maximize the impact of your holiday campaign without breaking the bank. This is particularly helpful when bid prices can increase by 140% over their yearly average during the holidays due to increased competition.
Future-proof your targeting
Amidst ongoing structural changes to the digital ad market, contextual targeting has emerged as an effective strategy for achieving campaign goals - during the holiday season and beyond.
Leveraging first-party data, targeting consumers through contextual relevance, and incorporating long-tail media can help advertisers connect with their audience more effectively while respecting privacy concerns. By adopting these approaches, advertisers can navigate the dynamic landscape and make the most of the holiday season’s opportunities. Embracing contextual targeting is not just a smart move for the companies that have learned to do it right; it’s a step towards a more privacy-conscious and innovative future for the industry.