By Andrew Waber
E-commerce-focused advertisers can be segmented into two categories based on their strategic goal — whether they’re focused on maximizing returns during specific periods (e.g., a chocolatier during Valentine’s Day, Easter or Mother’s Day) or looking to drive purchases at a more consistent rate throughout the year (e.g., an online furniture retailer).
Of course, even when operating in one of these larger strategic buckets, all e-commerce advertisers practice some version of a hybrid model. Very event-focused advertisers still will spend modest amounts to attract customers during the “down times,” while advertisers spending more consistently will still likely boost their activity at some point during the holiday shopping season.
But what truly separates these two types of advertisers are the tactical considerations that go into executing each respective strategy.
A nationwide provider of floral delivery services structures its campaigns around three major holidays: Mother’s Day, Valentine’s Day, and to a lesser extent, Christmas. As this schedule repeats itself each year, the company has a great method for getting the most bang for their buck.
During the months where there is no major holiday, budgets are allocated to more exploratory audience segments, such as users who spend the most time on the site or lookalike audiences based on customers who have the most active accounts.
Subsequent activity from these prospected users feeds into likely “high future value” segments based on historical learnings at the advertiser (e.g., users who bought “birthday-themed” flowers are likely to buy flowers again during Valentine’s Day).
Leading up to a holiday, the company understandably raises their average daily budgets by significant amounts, as seen below. They also modify their audience mix, targeting users who have visited the site recently or purchased bouquets one year prior, but also committing sizable budget to user groups they have designated as high-value throughout the year