The Secrets To Staying Ahead During Busy Season

Posted by WhatRunsWhere on October 17, 2014
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The events that excite shoppers the most are also the ones that send marketers into crisis mode: Black Friday, Christmas, and Boxing Day.

These are all main components of the much anticipated (and dreaded) Busy Season!

New campaigns are needed to capitalize on the hordes of shoppers who are eager to buy, and could be your new consumers – if you get your strategy right. There’s also plenty of competition out there, new and old, ready to take these shoppers for themselves.

So… Does it feel like impending doom for you with busy season getting into full swing? Don’t worry, take a deep breath, and keep reading.

Learn how to get a head start (and avoid a meltdown) when it matters most, with The Secrets To Staying Ahead During Busy Season…

Secret #1 – Don’t plan for the next shopping event, plan for the one AFTER

Busy season requires a certain amount of ability to predict the future. You can’t just look at the next holiday or shopping event coming up on your calendar – you need to look at the one after that!

The best marketers at this time of year waste no time: in 2013, for instance, 49% of marketers had created and launched a holiday campaign before Halloween!

Target knows how to keep up during busy season! They started their Halloween advertising early till the end of October, and then moved seamlessly into holiday ads not even 2 weeks later.

They know exactly what their consumer’s mind is going to be on next, and it’s clear they start planning strategy at least 2 holidays in advance.



Secret #2 – Re-Evaluate past mistakes

This is the last time you’d want a mistake, big or small, creeping into your campaigns. They happen to the best of us, but try your hardest to spare them in your busy season strategy.

Go back through your campaigns from last year at this time. Analyze what you did wrong and how to fix it. At the same time, note what you did right and see if you can incorporate those similar strategies into this year’s campaigns.

During holiday season 2012, American Eagle produced ads with a catchy headline, and heavy visuals. However, they didn’t give much other information as to what their deals were or when they were occurring – this can lead to confusion with shoppers looking to buy.

Learning from their mistakes, they took a whole new route in 2013 by putting all their holiday sale details out for consumers to see.


Holiday Season 2012

Holiday Season 2013

Secret #3 – Stop playing it safe!

With goals and expectations being so high at this time of year, it’s tempting for marketers to just play it safe. They over-compensate not wanting to mess up by not trying anything new or exciting.

The only way to stand out, though, is to do something unique that the competition isn’t doing. Don’t blend in for fear of failing – if you’ve done your homework and properly analyzed your mistakes from last year, you’ll be able to pull off an innovative new strategy with no catastrophes.

Consider this – does anything stand out to you in the Black Friday ads below? Probably not, as these 2 sets of rivals all essentially say the same things in their ads and just list the dates and the sales.

Nothing is inherently wrong with them, but at the same time, nothing makes them stand out. Break pattern and show the consumer why it’s YOUR sale that should interest them!


It’s tough not to get overwhelmed during busy season, with all of the shopping-heavy holidays coming up – just thinking about it can make you exhausted!

A lot of worrying can be prevented though, as long as you  start your strategies early (sorry procrastinators). A head-start gives you time to plan for more than just the next holiday, analyze past mistakes, and come up with a breakthrough idea to set you apart – all the secrets needed to blow the competition out of the water!


Topics: Digital Advertising, Banner Ads, Strategy


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