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The Holidays Are Almost Here, Are You Ready?


Now is the time to jump on your Black Friday preparation

It is not even September and I already spotted some Halloween costumes out at Costco last weekend.   Before you know it, Pumpkin Spice latte’s will be here and my internal battle not to order one until October 1st will begin.

 

While my daughter’ are pouring over the latest back-to-school fashions, I am already requesting Q4 media kits from some of our biggest partners.  Yesterday I provided one of our clients with a recap and insights of their Q4 2016 ad campaigns to help drive their strategy as they plan out their ad campaigns and promotions for this year.   The fast pace and thrill of this time of year can be daunting, but with a well-thought out approach you can prepare for your best Q4 yet!

 

Here are 5 AIM best practices we would like to share with you to help you prepare for success in Q4:

 

Request Q4 media kits from your top partners and coupon/shopping sites, depending on the type of brand you are promoting. Historically, some of our biggest spend is in Q4 and these placements go fast.  If you are working with a retail client, your recruiting/activation focus may be on shopping comparison sites. Keep in mind most sites have a “code freeze”, typically in December, where they are not able to add new advertisers.  If you have any recruiting targets on your list, now is the time to kick your efforts up a notch.

 

Ask your client(s) for their promotional/content calendar through the end of the year. Use these calendars to guide your communication strategy with your partners.  They most likely have these calendars completed or they are adding their final touches in the next couple of weeks.  Be flexible as dates may change for new product launches.  Your client(s) will also appreciate your pro-active approach.

 

 

Create a communication plan / newsletter campaign, by partner vertical, through the end of the year. If you categorize your partners by vertical, you should if you aren’t already, then the messaging will be different for coupon partners compared to content partners and influencers.   A well thought-out promotional calendar for your partners, making sure to align with your brand’s promotional calendar will keep your partners aware of new and upcoming offers.  Be sure to highlight Last Shipping Dates for delivery by Christmas in your December newsletters.   Your partners will thank you for this very important information.  Add last ship dates to your creatives to create a sense of urgency with holiday shoppers.

 

Black Friday/Cyber Monday – the two biggest shopping days of the year for most brands should be dealt with the utmost attention to detail and preparation to maximize your return. Request special offers, deeply discounted products and creative for your partners to highlight these sales.  There are sites dedicated to Black Friday and Cyber Monday, reach out to these partners now to find out what opportunities might align with your advertisers.  If you have several retail advertisers, try to include all of that apply within the same email to be more efficient to these partners.

 

A creative audit, a good idea every month/quarter, is essential prior to Q4. Nothing kills the momentum of the holiday season quicker than banners sending customers to dead landing pages.  I compare this with braving snow and holiday traffic to get to the one store in the mall on your list, to find out it has closed.

 

A well thought-out, strategic approach to Q4 can help yourself, your client(s) and your partners have a successful and prosperous holiday season.  I hope you have found some useful tips in here.  What are some of our best tips for holiday planning?

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