With the holiday season now in full swing I thought I would talk about some important topics that affect the success of the holiday selling season and lead into a great new year.

The most significant hurdle during the holiday is resource management. Businesses must ensure they don’t miss out on key dates for promotions or the substantial increase in holiday volume due to staffing and time management. This comes down to a few key areas that allow teams to plan and manage holiday marketing campaigns efficiently and deliver the greatest results:

– Data integration
– Automation driven by data
– Ease of use

Let’s go through each of these topics

Data Integration
One of the main issues most companies face is gathering and compiling a complete set of data in a single data warehouse with confidence in timing and quality. This all starts with the base analytics tagging of the site and the ability to map the data with ad tracking codes for any tactic seamlessly. The base tagging will deliver as much (or as little) data as a company needs to run their business. But this is a critical statement – businesses might under estimate what is truly possible with the right data. A broad example is conversion rate. Yes if a site is capturing orders (if that is the ultimate metric), then they can calculate conversion rate. However, if they are not capturing visit data along with entry and exit page pathing, they can’t determine bounce rates or create a program to optimize the landing page experience for visitors. And this would come down to having tags on the checkout page, but not having tagging across the site.

Automation driven by data
Looking at search campaigns specifically, the search marketer of course focuses on the high volume terms or groups that are driving the majority of conversions. These keyword sets are handled with special care and optimized to ensure goals are met. However, we all know there are far more words or groups in the tail that have a significant impact on the overall campaign, but require far too much time to manage manually. Which is why automated bid algorithms are another critical aspect of search marketing. And to tie in the data integration piece, a business must capture metrics throughout the purchase funnel to align keywords (or defined custom groups) with their relative metric to define appropriate bid amounts and set automated bid strategies to adjust based on current data. The ability to create these bid strategies by simply pulling in the key metrics is imperative to run a full scale and efficient campaign.

Ease of Use
Another significant topic in the search marketing world. One specific area here is launching new campaigns or bulk edits. Managing and scheduling across multiple engines is a necessity during the holiday; every impression and potential click is battle ground. Companies must put forth compelling offers and creative tied to landing pages to attract potential buyers. But that creates timing challenges – you do have a life outside of work. Definitely during the holiday with the over abundance of dinners and gatherings. Who wants to remember to log-in or go into the office at 11pm to launch the campaigns that must go live at midnight? Automated scheduling will free you from these restrictions and give you time to think about other important details; which leads us back to resource management.

Overall, if you have access to the right data and the right tools to manage your campaigns efficiently, you will generate better results during the holiday because you had time to ensure the basics were being covered and you had time to think about new strategies to expand and refine your marketing programs.

Get the most from your holidays on a professional and personal level. And if you don’t, contact Adobe, featuring Omniture Technology to ensure you are ready for your next selling opportunity.