holiday marketing campaigns

Last year, Ulta Beauty boosted foot traffic at four Philadelphia stores during a holiday marketing campaign. Dominating the areas around each store, a mobile billboard reached a wide number of local shoppers. Paired with a mobile display ad, the integrated campaign also delivered a mobile coupon to beauty enthusiasts. This combination amplified reach and added multi-channel frequency to Ulta Beauty’s local messaging. It also provided an online conversion point for the out-of-home viewers. Something that ultimately drove foot traffic into local stores during the holiday shopping season.

Nationwide retailers, such as Ulta Beauty, find location-based messaging beneficial during holiday marketing campaigns. Campaigns launched at scale with customized creative or placement in each market can achieve widespread success. Even when ecommerce channels carry the load this season, you realize the importance of foot traffic into your owned locations. These door turns will churn greater long-term results.

In 2017, Thanksgiving weekend saw 51.6 million Americans shopping in-store, and 64.6 million Americans shopping both in-store and online. Over the five day shopping weekend, 96% of those shoppers made a purchase. The average shopper spent a total of $335 on gifts and other items. For many, shopping with family is as ingrained into the traditions as turkey and pumpkin pie.

Advertisers who solely focus on digital efforts during this time will lose the impact of physical media. While there is no denying the importance of a digital marketing agency and their contribution to the growth of a brand, physical marketing campaigns prove far more effective, in cases such as this. Search, social and Google shopping ads certainly have their place in the retailer or product marketing mix, but they fall short on driving foot traffic in-store. Instead, pair the two channels and use both out-of-home and your mobile display ads to drive in-store traffic. Further, engage by delivering relevant mobile display ads to people who shopped inside your physical stores during the holiday season. Sureshot for Adobe Experience Manager can also be a helpful digital tool, helping to target specific customers who might not necessarily be pulled by other marketing techniques. Working together, your integrated campaign media formats reinforce your message in both a memorable and actionable way. (Physical-digital-physical-digital: phygital.)

Advertisers we’ve worked with in the past find it beneficial that we can plan both media channels in one local campaign. Not only will we dominate their key markets with out-of-home media formats during their holiday marketing campaigns, but we also laser-focus mobile display advertising at the location level. Whether it’s their biggest markets or their under-performing stores, the integrated approach supports the brand’s location-based messaging and reaches the right local audience. We operate with low minimum spends per market, which allows their digital partner to concentrate on the larger buckets for national plays.



Here are a few holiday marketing tactics we recommend:

Create an in-store value proposition
It’s the age of Amazon, so purchasing gifts from one’s couch has become the norm. To motivate a walk-in, offer an incentive. Perhaps exclusive in-store products, gift-wrapping (or shipping) services, on-site consulting or a free yoga class. Influence someone to want to come into your location this holiday season. Also consider the displays in your store, as this is certainly a major factor in attracting customers to come in during the holidays. You could hop onto this website and take a look at some ways you can add different displays to your store.

This doesn’t just apply to retailers. CPG brands can enhance shopper marketing programs. Clothing brands can partner with retail channels to offer in-store styling or fashion shows. Salons can offer makeup clinics or free massages. Restaurants could offer limited time menu items to capture shoppers out-and-about who are working up an appetite. Don’t forget to let people know about your in-store promotions through social media, influencers or ads.

holiday marketing campaigns



Drive messaging with out-of-home media
Out-of-home media provides a large creative opportunity in the physical world. Raise brand awareness or remind shoppers you’re nearby. Mobile billboards, specifically, can drive your message during the busiest shopping hours in close proximity to your physical locations or other points of interest.

Keep in mind best practices for out-of-home media design. Use locally relevant messaging in each market. Creative that is powerful will make those head-turns more meaningful.

Start your holiday marketing campaign on Black Friday, and run five weeks through Christmas Eve. Whether you have one store in one market or have multiple stores across the U.S., scale the campaign as needed. Our national fleet of mobile billboards can support 100 store locations at a time!

holiday marketing campaign



Deploy a field marketing campaign to personalize and engage
A guerrilla marketing campaign can achieve many objectives. Want to ensure your holiday discount offer sees a high redemption rate to boost overall return on ad spend? Brand ambassadors can distribute coupons in an engaging way that increases redemption and our ROAS. Want to promote a new product? Sampling and product demos can educate your audience. Want to encourage user-generated social media content? A well-orchestrated field marketing stunt can produce a lot of smiles…and hashtag uses.

Activate field marketing during the busy weekends or create a tour, moving from one market to another each week. Local brand ambassadors are hired to provide coverage in each market, but they are led by a dedicated national field marketing manager.

holiday marketing campaign



Deliver proximity-based messaging digitally
Data helps us deliver mobile display ads to the right audience in the right location. We call it matchmaking. We’re matching your precise audience with a locally relevant holiday offer that will resonate with them. For our location-based out-of-home plays, we’re optimizing the digital spend at very specific dots on the map to correspond with the out-of-home media placement or routing.

Some ways to target devices include:

  • Geofence a close proximity around your physical location, such as a 3-mile radius to find shoppers who are already close-by
  • Geofence a wider radius or market-wide, adding in key audience attributes, such as a health and beauty segment or people who likes sports
  • Layer in demographic targets, such as women aged 25-40 with a household income above $100K, as needed
  • Geofarm competitor locations, identifying devices that had entered a competitor location within the past
  • Geofarm your own locations to reach shoppers who have been within your store(s) in the past
  • Geofarm other points of interest or events to reach people who have physically been in related spaces; for example, deliver ads to devices of people who attended a fall fashion show or who went to a specific museum in the last 60 days
  • Create look-alike audiences based on your app users, a competitor’s app users, geofarmed audiences or pre-existing segments to expand reach as needed

Reaching people on their mobile devices when they are already shopping can boost your success in driving door turns.

holiday marketing campaigns



Remarket to the physical audiences on their mobile devices
Our beacon-enabled media formats can collect the device ID of those who are in close proximity to the out-of-home ad. Then a brand can retarget the out-of-home viewers later on user’s mobile devices. This tightens up the relationship between the physical media and the digital messaging. By geofarming your own store locations during the holiday shopping season, you can serve ads to an audience who has been in your store once – and invite them back for another discount or special offer.

Remarketing in these ways blends the physical world and the digital world of your audience. As they see your messaging physically and digitally, familiarity grows. They’re more likely to take notice and to take action.

In fact, NeuroInsights and Ocean found that 48% of us are more likely to click a digital ad after seeing the same out-of-home media ad.

Layer in standard mobile retargeting by impressions or clicks to re-engage people who saw your mobile display ad at least once to increase campaign frequency.

mobile remarketing campaign

Measure your holiday marketing campaigns by location
Of course you can measure coupon redemption. But if your coupons have a lot of exclusions or are for specific items, you might be missing a large audience who saw your ads and then entered the store. They may have made a purchase, but that purchase might not be trackable due to coupon ineligibility.

With verified walk-in data from your integrated campaign, you’re able to actually measure the foot traffic your ad investment generated. Our attribution campaigns tell a full story. Someone sees the out-of-home advertisement, they’re served a mobile display ad and then later, they walk into the store. We’re not just counting impressions and clicks; we’re able to count physical walk-ins to the store from your holiday marketing campaigns. We can measure verified walk-ins by a brand’s individual locations.

verified walk-ins



Good news! There is still time to plan your holiday marketing campaign. Just let us know which locations you’d like to drive traffic to, and we’ll customize a plan for you.