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The holiday season is nearly upon us, and for many, that means taking time off work to indulge in rewarding activities, one of them being shopping. Although consumers love to spend money, we are entering a difficult period for marketers. The season of giving is chaotic, and competition is fierce. Here are a few tips on how to best market to people on vacation:

Personalize your ads

Search patterns change a lot during the gift-giving season. Formerly shoe obsessed millennials will find themselves searching for various tools and sports tickets to find gifts for loved ones, which means fewer than normal will be interested in buying your products for themselves, and your ad message should reflect that.

Personalization is nothing new in terms of marketing, but most brands are still miles behind, pushing generic ads to an unsegmented audience. A study conducted by Adlucent found that 75 percent of the participants preferred fewer, but more personalized ads. Creating tailor made content to a segmented audience will affect both the consumers and your conversion rates positively.

Be present in the idea phase and up your retargeting game

Consumers rarely buy the first thing they see when shopping for gifts. They often spend a lot of time exploring different options in different price ranges. Think about it, you usually know within a few seconds whether or not you like something, but if you are shopping for someone else you need to do some more research before deciding.

That’s why it’s crucial that your brand is present in the idea phase, and better yet, provides help and recommendations for the gift giver before they make a purchase. You could, for example, make it possible for consumers to send their loved ones a wish list from your site. 

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Additionally, you should invest in retargeting campaigns to remind gift givers of the products they have viewed and the sites they have visited. Suggesting similar products could also be a good idea.

Take advantage of automated workflows

Did you think that consumers only bought gifts during the holidays? Think again! Many executive managers spend this business down time preparing for the New Year, reading up on software solutions, researching insurances and reviewing current internal processes, which means it’s a bad idea to close the shop completely. A marketing automation tool can keep your leads warm while your team is on holiday.

ALWAYS be online

Most purchasing decisions are made before the consumer has ever entered a store or business, which means you need to broadcast every single product or service with the correct price on your web page. This is a fact most days of the year, but it is especially true during the holidays because people want to avoid over crowded shopping malls at all cost.

Now, I realize that a lot of prices will depend on various factors on the consumer’s end, but at least give a ball-park figure. People don’t want to spend their holiday calling multiple vendors (who are probably all out of office anyway).

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Offer something to the procrastinators

We start preparing and marketing for the holidays earlier each year, but that doesn’t change the fact that most consumers are procrastinators and buy gifts at the very last second. According to NBC News, these consumers spend significantly more money on gifts than those who finish shopping in a timely fashion.

They reported, “the late spenders averaged $1,362 per person, which was almost a full $100 more than the early birds, who spent only $1,269 each.”

That means you are missing out on a lot of business if you can’t provide the goods quickly. Offer something to the procrastinators, like a fancy gift card, or make use of express delivery.  

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