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By Tom Wozniak, Head of Marketing – published on on 10/26/20

As we head into the fall, the traditional holiday season is right around the corner. In fact, if you shop in person at any of the big home improvement stores, you will not only see the expected Halloween decorating options, but plenty of inflatable Santas and other Christmas decorations. It seems like everyone complains about holiday season creep each year, thinking the season starts earlier and earlier. While 2020 may be no different in that respect, it is very different when it comes to overall holiday marketing planning.

I think the term “unprecedented” gets tossed around a lot with regard to 2020, but sometimes the word really fits. In the case of holiday marketing in 2020, it seems pretty much spot on. So, how can marketers actually prepare and execute on their holiday marketing strategies this year? Here are just a few tips.

Rethink The Traditional Playbook

Marketers are creatures of habit. When it comes to holiday marketing, we like to look at what we did last year, evaluate what worked and what didn’t, and use that as a starting point for our planning. However, this assumes the world is mostly the same as the year before, or at least hasn’t changed in any fundamental ways. Here comes 2020 to just completely wreck that standard practice. Last year, most of your customers probably commuted to work, had kids attending school in person, went to stores in person and maybe even traveled regularly. Suddenly, your audience’s behavior has changed in dramatic ways. So, many of those plans you used in past years to connect with your audience may now be obsolete.

While you don’t need to start entirely from scratch, you do need to reassess virtually every part of your holiday marketing playbook to make sure it is still relevant in 2020. Are you trying to drive people to make purchases in stores or take any action in the real world? You may want to reconsider that.

The key here is to take a step back from your traditional holiday marketing planning and think about what strategies and tactics make sense in 2020. You may not always have good historical data to back up your decisions, which can be challenging for performance-focused marketers. You may want to think about most, if not all, of your campaigns as tests and be prepared to pivot quickly once you start getting initial performance data. 

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Tom Wozniak heads up Marketing and Communications for OPTIZMO Technologies.


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