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3 Challenges Marketers Will Face This Holiday Season (and How To Solve Them)

Nehal Patel
Nov 16, 2021

The holiday season is a key moment, or more accurately, a series of moments, for many brands. This is especially true for major retail companies where holiday buying can generate 30% of annual sales

The final months of the year are the last opportunity to get the books into the black, so it’s no wonder marketers tend to limit new creative efforts to focus on execution. Despite the apprehension to try anything new during the holiday season, it’s the most critical time for marketers to experiment and better understand their audiences, what resonates with them, and what will ultimately move the needle. 

So how can marketers balance execution and effectiveness this holiday season? Enter dynamic creative technology. With a dynamic creative strategy, brands can move past rerunning the ads that worked best last year in the interest of time and start testing everything, from headlines to calls-to-action. And with the right technology, there’s still time to get holiday campaigns up, running, and optimized this year.

Let’s break down how dynamic creative helps solve the three key obstacles marketers face during the holidays: 

  1. Constrained creative production capabilities
  2. Misaligned teams make testing difficult
  3. Competing goals of relevance and agility

Challenge #1: Constrained Creative Production Capabilities

Q4 holidays happen back to back, clogging up your creative pipeline. There is no time to ramp up creative production to launch tests or add in new products, much less make updates to live ads and retraffick them once you generate mid-campaign learnings. Ever try running a cross-channel, cross-market campaign for a product only while supplies last? Not easy. 

Dynamic creative enables teams to focus on strategy rather than logistics. Leveraging an integrated, next-generation creative management platform to dynamically develop ads automates most manual tasks including creative production and trafficking, allowing you to respond to marketing opportunities in the busiest, and arguably most important, time of the year. The decision to pursue marketing opportunities should be driven by your creative, media and sales successes rather than limited by ad trafficking SLAs. With technology to pre-traffic ads and the pipes already connected to your buying platforms, your team can do just that. 

Challenge #2: Misaligned Teams Make Testing Difficult

The holidays are a tough time to break through the noise, so test and learn programs are a must to identify what content resonates best with audiences in that unique moment. But how do you go from production to trafficking to insight and back again before performance drops? Mobilizing a group to answer that question is tough when the media team is in New York, the creative team is in San Francisco, and the brand is headquartered in London.

Stressful holiday seasons exacerbate challenges created by organizational silos that exist year round, but you're leaving money on the table not knowing what creative performs best, for who, and why. You need to get data about your live campaigns on time and in the right format to take action. Test and learn programs activated with dynamic creative technology are the best way to generate and activate on learnings. By empowering your media team with dynamic creative templates built ahead of time in collaboration with creative folks, you can get ads live fast that are both beautiful and timely to launch tests without missing a beat.  

Challenge #3: Competing Goals of Relevance and Agility

Perhaps you're still running ads for a product that went out of stock a week ago? Or maybe you're still directing customers to physical locations even though COVID fundamentally changed some of their buying behaviors? Is YouTube suddenly your best performing channel but you don’t have the means to scale production?

Relevant ads featuring just the right product or call-to-action in the right medium are essential for a successful advertising campaign. But with so much else going on in marketing departments during the holiday season, it’s easy to pass over opportunities that will boost the relevance of advertising when a team doesn’t have agile processes in place. A dynamic creative strategy enables teams to be nimble and respond to marketing opportunities, even under the pressure of the holidays. 

Getting Started with Dynamic Creative This Holiday Season

Solving these fundamental holiday challenges may feel quite difficult, however, with a dynamic creative strategy and an integrated creative platform to execute, you’re in the driver’s seat this holiday season. Estée Lauder leveraged our next-generation creative management platform to refresh creative nine times in four weeks last holiday season and saw +69% higher conversion. 

So what do effective holiday ads, powered by dynamic creative, look like? With dynamic creative, brands can test any of the following elements (and more) in their campaigns:

  1. Countdown calendars 
  2. Coupon codes 
  3. Exclusive offers with sign up only 
  4. Early access messaging 
  5. Various ‘reasons to buy’ 

There's still time to tackle any one of these problems with the right technology platform. Ready to get started? Let us show you how. 

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