Tips to creating a holiday marketing plan on a budget


Holiday marketing budgets are a tremendously important piece of your overall marketing strategy. During the holidays, sales numbers go way up as consumers purchase gifts for their family, friends, and even themselves. Most companies expect this holiday sales boost and do some preparation, including traditional marketing activities like dropping prices and adjusting ad campaigns for holiday shoppers.

While even a little bit of planning is great, price-dropping and refocused ad campaigns aren’t the end of the story when it comes to holiday marketing. During this time, ad impressions, direct traffic numbers and average order values all get a huge boost. That said, not every company can afford to spend a huge amount on their holiday advertising – but how you spend the dollars you have is critical. Here, we’ll help you figure out how to get the most out of your holiday advertising, and give you best practice tips for your holiday marketing budget.

1. Re-examine your dayparts

It’s common to get into a repetitive marketing pattern when you know something has worked for you and others in the past – but planning your holiday marketing budget is the perfect time re-examine your strategies. Case in point: Dayparts for radio. Morning and evening drive times are, of course, great, but there is a lot of value in other listening times. You can really boost your frequency by re-examining your dayparts.

2. Stay focused

It’s tempting to want to throw holiday marketing money every place you see others succeeding, but resist the urge. If you spread yourself too thin, you run the risk of becoming noise. When advertising on radio, “own” one station or one audience segment fully before you try to expand your presence to two or three or even more.

3. Plan in advance

Don’t want until right before the big shopping season to start planning your holiday marketing budget: Do it now. Not only will this help you gauge your overall marketing needs for the year and the holiday season, but you’ll also avoid the significant increase in holiday advertising prices.

4. Communicate with your salesperson

This is one of the most important things you can do to ensure your marketing success year-round, but especially when planning for holiday marketing: Communicate with your sales rep about how you can save money or budget better. Often, your salesperson will be able to suggest things you can do to tweak your strategy, whether it’s shifting part of your budget around, integrating more of your campaign, or changing dayparts.

5. Take advantage of holiday promotions

If you plan early enough, you might be able to take advantage of holiday marketing promotions. Sometimes, marketing agencies will include holiday plans that come with extra value or diversified options. Don’t stick to the same old thing if you are getting a great, inexpensive bargain offer for trying something new.

5. Be sure you stand out!

A lot of businesses will be raising their marketing budgets in the fourth quarter and taking advantage of some of these same marketing shifts, so you need to stand out. Your creative needs to be top notch because you are fighting for more market share and consumer dollars than you are the rest of the year. Have a solid cornerstone ad that lets consumers know that you’re different, why, and why they should be shopping with you. This is just as key a piece as planning your overall budget.

Remember: Holiday marketing is a key part of your year-round marketing strategy. Planning where your money goes with your holiday budget can make a huge difference in your year-end sales. Don’t neglect this area!

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