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How to Power Holiday Campaigns with Merrier Measurement and Analytics

Emily Hoffman

For retail marketers, the holiday season is the most critical time of the year. The majority of their annual revenue is generated between November 1 and December 31. For 2019, Salesforce forecasts retailers will bring in a record $136 billion in the U.S., and we predict digital revenue to grow at 13% year-over-year.

While the holiday season is full of exciting opportunities for retail brands, it also brings challenges. Forget visions of sugarplums — here’s what’s dancing in the heads of retail marketers: 

  • Maximizing ad spend: Since the majority of their marketing budgets get used up during the holidays, retailers face big pressures to maximize their spend.
  • Mitigating risk: During the holidays, you’ve got to spend money where it’s most effective. If you don’t, you’re sunk, and that’s enough to worry any retail marketer.
  • Real-time data: Marketing spend needs to be used when it’s most effective, and that means retail marketers may need to pivot mid-campaign based on real-time customer feedback.
  • Real-time reporting: During the holidays, retail marketers need to know how campaigns are performing in real time, not weeks or months later.

To make the most of holiday opportunities, retailers must combine, analyze, and act on data from multiple places — all within a limited amount of time. Here are some merry measurement and analytics strategies retailers can start using this year.

1. Analyze trends and make the most of time series reporting

With trend analysis and time series reporting, retail marketers can understand the short and long-term impacts of their efforts and make data-driven decisions in real time. 

Time series reporting is especially valuable when it comes to identifying spikes during the holiday season. This type of reporting drills down into specific intervals of time — days, weeks, months, and years — to analyze data and seasonal changes as they happen. 

Using these types of reporting and analysis, retailers can answer critical business questions during the holidays, such as: 

  • How much inventory do I need to maintain during this period? 
  • How much product will be sold during the month of December? 
  • How much website traffic can I expect, and how will it impact e-commerce sales?

Trend analysis gives marketers unique insights about historical trends from previous holiday campaigns, which they can then use to prepare for upcoming holiday seasons. When retail marketers combine trend analysis with time series reporting, they can increase the frequency of targeted messages at optimal times and reignite sales. 

With the knowledge unlocked by these reports and analyses, marketers can more effectively strategize, set goals, and predict performance to make the most of their holiday marketing campaign budgets.

2. Connect marketing and sales data

Close collaboration between sales and marketing is never more important than during the holiday season. By connecting marketing and sales data, teams can clearly see which interactions generate leads, allowing them to make data-driven decisions and maximize budgets. Connected data also helps retail companies anticipate product demand so they can stock appropriately and avoid missing out on revenue. 

For retail marketers, adaptability is of utmost importance. If a campaign isn’t generating sales — especially during the holiday season — there’s no time to lose. Marketers must be able to quickly reallocate their ad spend to the right channels and platforms to ensure their content generates real results. 

During the holidays, retailers often promote special product offers and discounts. If marketing can’t clearly see sales data, it may continue to advertise the same offers even if the company runs out of stock. With connected data, marketers can see inventory dwindling in real time, and make the decision to pivot advertising spend toward a new product or offer. 

3. Focus on lifetime value

Many marketers consider multi-touch attribution to be the holy grail of marketing attribution models. However, it has its limitations. Allocating share of attribution can be a challenge — are you giving too much credit to paid media? Too little to organic social? Plus, soft factors like brand awareness and offline activity are often overlooked. 

In a world where organizations are becoming more customer-centric, mature brands are beginning to focus on new indicators of marketing success. Customer lifetime value, customer churn, and RFM — recency, frequency, and monetary value — are all customer-centric metrics that can tell you what people really think of your company. Tracking attribution data is still a key part of campaign strategy, but granting more weight to customer-centric metrics can keep companies focused on building experiences that attract and retain loyal customers year-round.

Measure with Marketing Intelligence 

The holiday season is a busy time for everyone — retail marketers perhaps most of all. With so much going on in the marketing workshop, it’s vital for retail marketers to adopt merrier measurement strategies. For good cheer and even greater ROI during the holiday season, be sure to connect your data and adopt at 360-degree view of your customers.

Datorama, an AI-powered marketing intelligence and analytics platform, can help connect and unify data across siloed sources and channels and then analyze and take action on that data in real-time. This allows marketers to put these measurement strategies into action this holiday season to optimize campaigns and maximize ROI across their businesses.

To learn more about Datorama, a Salesforce company, visit or request a demo

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