Black Friday and Cyber Monday are upon us yet again in the United States. And, much like the smorgasbord that awaits the family at Thanksgiving dinner, the number of retailers taking part in this seasonal event seems to grow by the year. Just the other day, eMarketer revealed that fully two-thirds of U.S. Internet users plan to shop on Black Friday this year, nearly as many on Cyber Monday, and (whisper it), almost 50 percent on Thanksgiving Day itself.
Such is the anticipation this year, that some retailers are even running pre-Cyber Monday discount offers in the build-up to the main event. Long story short: This seasonal event is more important than ever. With the caveat, of course, that with the rise of data-driven and programmatic advertising, there are arguably fewer marketers who know how to maximize its potential.
Here are ways to capitalize on it.
Marketers' planning strategies around campaigns from Black Friday to Cyber Monday is key. Especially at a time of such increased demand, it's essential to determine how best to reach target audiences and convert them at the most effective price.
It's worth remembering that until relatively recently, digital media buying was still effectively bulk buying. Marketers bought by the ton, otherwise known as a thousand impressions. But with the advent of addressable, single-impression buying—also known as programmatic—greater efficiencies and targeting are now possible.
As more and more in market start to grasp these benefits, marketers need to be proactive in staying ahead of the crowd to retain an advantage.
How do we do this? Simply through interrogating your own data, along with the insights you can gather from the wider market.
In a recent white paper produced by AppNexus, they advise to move as quickly as possible, armed with the knowledge of previous years' trends. “Focus on ways to limit risk and maximize conversion rates," they advise. With the knowledge that rates during this period will be higher than usual, “bid aggressively" where you know you will see the best return.
In terms of what time of day to run campaigns, an older report tells us normal work hour peaks are replaced by evening peaks during the holidays, so consider capitalizing on lower competition during the day. Finally, consider closed auction, or "private marketplace" buying for your most premium, or important, campaigns.