This Is Why Seasonal Marketing Campaigns Might Not Be Worth The Investment

Big budget seasonal ad campaigns are the sweethearts of the marketing world, but do they work as hard as they should? In Marketing Is Broken #17, we look at three alternatives to Black Friday/Cyber Monday campaigns that together can be worth up 80% of your annual revenue.
12/07/2018

Half of all Americans went shopping over the 2018 Thanksgiving holiday weekend. According to the National Retail Federation, Cyber Monday was the biggest shopping day of the weekend with 67.4 million shoppers and Black Friday was right behind at 65.2 million. Online sales edged out in-store purchases slightly, and the majority of consumers did a little bit of both.

If you’re a marketer, this is probably a pretty busy time for you. The Holidays typically see some seasonality and Black Friday and Cyber Monday are holidays we literally invented for the sole purpose of having consumers buy things from us. This is it. This is the big one.

But I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen organizations neglect their true revenue opportunities in lieu of the shiny seasonal campaign. More often than not, these advertising campaigns require a disproportionately high amount of our attention relative to the overall revenue they generate, leaving other, more important tasks undone.

That brings us to this week’s topic.

Seasonal Campaigns Vs. Always-On Marketing

Recently, a Fortune 100 company asked me to audit the digital media planning and buying efforts of their agency of record.

To give them credit, the work was pretty good. They had the right tracking in place, a comprehensive seasonal campaign that was performing well.. honestly, I’ve seen accounts in a lot worse shape in the last year alone.

The problem to me though was that this seasonal campaign was the only thing currently running in their Facebook and Google accounts. There weren’t any foundational search or programmatic campaigns with consistent weekly budgets, which meant this brand was leaving a ton of sales and market share on the table.

For many marketers, always-on marketing campaigns drive eighty percent or more of our company’s revenue. But that’s only if we can get off the treadmill that is seasonal campaigns and promotions long enough to create hard-working assets for everyday use.

Here are three types of always-on marketing campaigns that, over time, will put your Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales to shame, if you can find the time to build and maintain them.

Always-On Tip #1: Branded Search

First, branded search. This strategy involves optimizing the organic and paid search results whenever someone searches Google for phrases that include mentions of your brand.

While some companies are hesitant to buy ads for searches they should arguably just get for free anyway, having a combined paid and organic branded search strategy lets you control all of your brand’s shelf space in the search results, enforce message consistency, and direct all the clicks generated by interest in your brand to the most strategic pages on your website.

Always-On Tip #2: Non-Branded Search

Second, non-branded search. If you want to be the Band-Aid in your category, then you have to show up in Google for the phrase “adhesive bandage.” Many companies are so busy running promotions and creative campaigns that they never stop to think about all the millions of people searching for their industry’s equivalent of bandages every month. Fewer still are great at building out entire content strategies that address everything people could possibly want to know a about their niche or vertical.

Always-On Tip #3: Retargeting

And third, retargeting. Retargeting is a form of advertising that shows ads to people who have already engaged with your advertising, social media properties, or website. Everyone should be doing some sort of remarketing and typically the only thing preventing people from getting started is copying and pasting one line of code onto their website or into their tag management platform.

So there you have it. Yes, these tactics are super basic but far too often they’re overlooked by agencies looking to win awards or bill more work with one-off ad campaigns.

A solid marketing foundation built on search and retargeting isn’t necessarily as sexy as a Super Bowl commercial, but you’ll start feeling like quite the snack when you see the conversions and revenue these always-on campaigns produce.

Author: Josh Braaten

CEO - Brandish Insights

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