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Campaign planning 2020: Christmas is now!

Timely campaign planning in all its glory – but isn’t the beginning of September a bit early to talk about Christmas? Not at all! In fact, it’s high time to prepare for the end of the year in terms of marketing. Especially if you want to stay one step ahead of the competition. In doing so, it is important to take into account special factors that have a significant impact on the success of Facebook advertising at Christmas time. 

Christmas e-commerce shopping on phone

This year, Christmas shopping will again play a key role in the sales strategy for all marketing managers with a consumer focus. But 2020 is also under a special star in this context: due to the corona crisis and the severe restrictions for stationary trade, online business will be buzzing like never before during the Christmas season this year.

In fact, Covid-19 and the consequences of the pandemic seem to have had a lasting impact on consumer behaviour, across generations. According to a survey, even after the crisis almost one in two young people in the age groups (Generation-Z, Millennials) wants to shop online more often. But Internet shopping is also very popular among Generation-X and among the baby boomers.

Discrepancy between ad spend and sales
In view of this special market situation, it will therefore be even more important than ever for advertisers to reach their (new) customers via the right channels – and above all to do so at the ideal time. In any case, the potential for optimization in terms of timing is immense: a survey by Facebook shows that a large part of sales are generated during the Christmas business in October, while the ad spend is highest at the end of November.

A considerable proportion of Christmas shoppers start their shopping in the fall, and some even start before October. The central milestone for planning Christmas marketing – before the “crunch time” in December – on the other hand, are the super sales events Black Friday and Cyber Monday at the end of November. The crux: many consumers buy something on these days, the advertising pressure is immense. Those who, on the other hand, already start their campaigns now have little competition to fear.

If you look at the behaviour of the target group in detail, two things are remarkable: On the one hand, Facebook found out that 60 – 65% of the Christmas shoppers surveyed in Europe are mainly looking for gifts for themselves. In addition, the search for inspiration is increasingly taking place via mobile devices: Among the baby boomers alone, the proportion of those users has risen by 85% between 2018 and 2019, and the proportion of buyers has even increased by 93%.

What Christmas shoppers want
It is to be expected that the trend in mobile shopping will be further strengthened by the corona crisis. One indication of this thesis is the e-commerce boost in general and the sharp rise in usage figures in social networks. Accordingly, Facebook in particular lends itself as a channel for targeted Christmas campaigns – especially if the wishes of the users are specifically addressed.

According to a study commissioned by Facebook, a significant part of users in Europe wait for promotions, discounts or offers before buying a product. If advertisers are in a position to offer such deals early enough, they can achieve considerable conversions as early as autumn – and then with a much smaller advertising budget than in November.

Phone, tablet and hair products at a table

Ensuring the success of Christmas campaigns
Expectations from users constantly increase and it is clear that the service aspect is one of the most important factors for the many users. In practice, this means that advertisers should already specifically address these needs in their ads. Answering questions about product availability or shipping time before they are asked can turn even insecure users into customers. Hints such as “We ship the same day” or “Newly arrived now” are often enough for a conversion.

Here are five more recommendations for action to ensure that your Facebook campaign for Christmas is a success:

  • Make it easy for users: Use Dynamic Product Ads to best present your product selection and availability. Make sure that the path to purchase is as accessible as possible for the user.
  • Create a clear added value: Facebook ads should also provide a clear added value at Christmas time. Show clearly which problem your service or product solves and use the targeting options to reach the right target groups.
  • Establish dialogue: Use other Facebook services to optimize customer communication. Enable messaging for a direct exchange or, for example, WhatsApp for downstream purchase questions.
  • Go for the “New Normal”: Include the current situation in your ads and keep in mind that user behaviour has changed fundamentally. Overall, people are spending more time at home instead of going to concerts.
  • Have the courage: The Corona crisis has also ensured that many people have tested certain offers – especially from the online world – for the very first time. This is a big opportunity to venture into Facebook marketing now and tap into new customer segments.

Our conclusion: If you start planning your Christmas campaigns now and implement them promptly, you have a good chance of achieving success even when the majority of competitors are still on their summer vacations. The formula for success: A purposeful speech with relevant contents, paired with a certain intuitive feeling, which can make the difference in these special times.

SIMON BEYER
CHIEF STRATEGY OFFICER
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