Advertising Technology

SpotXchange CEO, Mike Shehan: Tips Brands Should Keep in Mind for the Holiday Sprint

Mike Shehan is the CEO and Founder of SpotXchange, the largest global marketplace of video ad inventory, and Chairman of Booyah, a digital agency. Previously, Mike was the CEO of Ereo,  an image search technology company and also founded LOGEX International, an e-commerce solutions provider for the retail and catalog industries.

With Black Friday and Cyber Monday behind us, there are still many ways for brands to make the most out of their 2012 holiday media buying opportunities. While the holiday season can feel like a two-minute drill in football, brands need to focus on finalizing their plans for the holiday shopping season now. Being strategic about purchasing inventory at this stage of the game will ensure that brands are able to get the placements they desire.

Here are five tips brands and agencies should keep in mind as they develop their holiday media buying strategy:

1. Brands and agencies should focus their buys around the following critical peak shopping days for consumers nationwide:

·Green Monday – Monday, December 10

·Last Day of Free Shipping (for most retailers) – Monday, December 17

·Day After Christmas – Wednesday, December 26

Advertisers had a productive Thanksgiving weekend this year, with search spend and impressions up 29% over last year according to a report from IgnitionOne. Consumers were responsive to these ads, resulting in a 23% increase in revenue. Advertisers also turned to mobile over the holiday weekend. According to Clash Group, mobile ad spend increased 31% compared to last year.

Digital video advertising also saw significant increases in ad spend over Thanksgiving weekend. On Black Friday this year, we saw 53.5% increase and a 140% increase on Cyber Monday as compared to 2011. Also, this year’s Cyber Monday sales are likely to hit record numbers this year, exceeding $1.5 billion. Brands don’t want to miss out on the opportunity to focus their buys around these critical peak shopping days.

2. Strive for high share of voice: Everyone goes guns-a-blazing, so increased awareness and reach enables brands to more effectively counterbalance competitive messaging. Driving this through video increases engagement and recall.

3. Consider exclusivity if possible: It is vital that brands build a strategic media buying plan in order to reach their target consumers in the right place, at the right time, to help influence their decision making process. So, it is critical for brands to secure inventory on sites highly frequented by their core consumer. When buying these ads, brands should consider exclusively buying inventory on a select number of sites frequented by their target audience ultimately decreasing consumers’ awareness of competing products.

4. Diversify types of ads:  With so many options available in display, mobile, search and video, it’s sometimes difficult for brands to know what types of ads will work best. This usually depends on the target audience a brand is trying to reach, but for holiday buys, it’s always best to feature a variety of ad types. Keep in mind that digital video is one of the most effective forms of advertising as it combines the power of sight, sound and motion.

5. Make sure to look ahead to post-holiday buying: Brands might not know that there is a noticeable uptick in ad calls the week after Christmas, so regardless of a brand’s vertical market, there is a tremendous opportunity to reach its captive audience. In particular, available video inventory on exchanges more than doubles after Christmas, and this creates opportunity for the buyer. Coupled with generally weaker advertiser demand, this allows savvy advertisers to seize the opportunity to get a lot more bang for their buck.

These are just a few valuable tips to keep in mind during this critical year-end push. While it’s a sprint, it’s one that comes with some up-front planning and surgical precision. What are some additional tips brands have made for successful holiday media plans?