How to Successfully Target Holiday Shoppers in Your Marketing Campaigns


For some, the holiday season begins not a moment before the day after Thanksgiving—for more zealous holiday goers, the festivities begin even sooner. Regardless of what your business offers, consumers are in the spirit of giving and spending more than usual. The following are considerations for anyone launching a marketing campaign with an eye towards catching the interest of holiday shoppers:

For some, the holiday season begins not a moment before the day after Thanksgiving—for more zealous holiday goers, the festivities begin even sooner. Regardless of what your business offers, consumers are in the spirit of giving and spending more than usual. The following are considerations for anyone launching a marketing campaign with an eye towards catching the interest of holiday shoppers:

1. Understand the different types of holiday shoppers

First, consider the holiday shoppers who are year-round shoppers; these customers aren’t interested in scoring last-minute deals and they maintain an online presence throughout the season. For these customers, your company’s SEO (search engine optimization) is of higher importance: their ability to access your website through matching descriptions of your specific products or services and the categories which they fall is crucial.1 For “early bird shoppers,” the most important thing a business can offer is efficiency in the browsing and purchase experience—which means streamlining the presentation of products on your website, in advertisements, and on any page that requires filling out information (i.e., a checkout page). For shoppers who sit back and target the best deals possible, your best bet is to clearly communicate any sales or promotions as clearly as possible—as a big sticker, banner, or photo on the main page of your site, for example.

2. Keep your marketing messaging simple 

Holiday shopping is as much about the enjoyable experience of selecting thoughtful gifts for loved ones as it is the more straightforward task of encountering an ad and making a decision to buy something. During the holidays, this rings true for both online and in brick-and-mortar stores, as last year one study suggested almost 9 out of 10 surveyed intended on travelling to physical stores.2 Launching an entirely new brand persona is a tough sell on some customers who, come the end of the year, will be making decisions based on which products feel reputable and familiar. For new customers, “content-first” marketing approaches have seen success with online shoppers who, at this stage of the lifetime of online marketplaces, are used to the rhythm of sales tactics. “Content-first” marketing centers on “more personalized shopping experiences,” including but not limited to “holiday gift guides [and online] shopping assistants.” Simplified holiday campaigns both streamline consumer experience and focus on a single, emotion-driven message that resonates with the holiday cheer.

3. Consolidate your existing audience with your new one

The above points encourage improving the SEO for your individual company website. If it applies to your end-of-year budget, consider also the benefits of “broad audience targeting” on social media, which engages people who have a higher chance of either being interested in your product, making purchases through advertisements found on social media, or both.3 One major advantage of advertising towards potential customers similar in taste and browsing history to existing customers: you’re heading into a holiday marketing campaign with tried-and-true methods that have already yielded results on an entire population of previous customers. With the onset of post-Thanksgiving shopping “holidays” Black Friday & Cyber Monday, target customers have grown accustomed to a barrage of special deals at the same time every year4 What makes the difference? Creating a streamlined, personalized experience for people who are willing to spend their hard-earned money in the spirit of the holiday season. 

  1. Kardon, Lizzie. “Targeting the 4 Types of Holiday Shoppers So They Don’t Slip Through Your Funnel.” Pagely. <https://pagely.com/blog/targeting-holiday-shoppers/>
  2. Watson, Corinne. “16 Holiday Marketing Campaign Strategies to Delight Your Customers.” <https://www.bigcommerce.com/blog/holiday-marketing-campaigns/#undefined>.
  3. Whatron, Stephanie. “Facebook Holiday Marketing: How to Reach Shoppers Searching for Gifts.” Best Practices: Stitcher Ads. <https://stitcherads.com/blog/facebook-holiday-marketing-reach-shoppers/>.
  4. Brown, Eileen. “How to Target Millennial Holiday Shoppers.” ZDNet. <https://www.zdnet.com/article/how-to-target-millennial-holiday-shoppers/>.