Something that makes me anxious is when I’m going into the drug store to run an errand at the end of summertime and there is Halloween candy already on display (why yes, thank you, I will stock up on candy corn). Or when it’s fall and already they have Christmas decorations on display. As if life with digital didn’t move quickly enough, now we’re being fast-forwarded as consumers months at a time. And as consumers, we’ve grown pretty used to it. But what about with our clients?
Whether you’re in design, copy, strategy, or development, being aware of what is ahead is crucial. The world of advertising is like a game of chess in that you should always be thinking a few moves ahead if you want to be ahead of the competition. Entrepreneur magazine published an article this past August stating the obvious—that companies that don’t maximize the holiday shopping season are missing out on opportunities that could bring in the big bucks. Ad impressions alone during this season get a 50% boost, so you can imagine the impact that would have on consumers. But what does this mean to you as a creative?
Don’t be afraid to bring up the holidays. Not in a I-don’t-know-what-to-get-my-boss way, but in a way that gets people engaged in brainstorming how your team will be approaching the holiday season. What did the company do last year and the year before? Look at numbers and see what was working and what wasn’t. Begin to ask yourself why that is and come up with some ideas that could benefit this year based on the brand’s recent activity and engagement. How can you help? Maybe this means changing copy tone, finally bringing back an older typeface, or using a new heat mapping software in A/B testing. Either way—it’s never too early to start the conversation.
Know What’s New
This is something you should always be doing. Set up Google Alerts for brands you like or that are similar to ones you work with to stay on top of what types of best practices and technologies are out there. For example, web optimization has always been a popular tool when it comes to holiday campaigns, but how is responsive mobile design, social media, and technology like geolocation coming into play? It’s always helpful to know.
Know Thy Enemy
Okay, maybe “enemy” is a bit harsh. But know who the competition is. If you don’t know what your competitors did last holiday season, you should be finding out and looking into what their efforts did for your shared customer base. Will you be able to set your client’s work apart in helping them be unique? Always be on the lookout to see what else is being done.
Remember it’s not JUST the Holidays
Yes, the holidays is an important time to be on top of your game, and you should be doing your homework months before December 1st hits the calendar, but this type of awareness is a good practice to maintain year-round. It’s important to remain the best asset possible for your client or team and this means always keeping your eye out for news trending in your industry, what technologies are having an impact, and how you can use your craft to drive forth business. Hopefully this will lead to winning pitches and/or high ROIs but it will definitely lead to long-lasting relationships with clients who understand you have a solid knowledge of your craft and industry and who value your input.
Allison is a former Creative Circle Account Executive, with a background in creative writing, content writing/strategy, publishing, and business development. Her world revolves around words and the relationships and interactions they inspire. Allison is now the Content Specialist at Raizlabs, a design and development firm in Boston and San Francisco.