PMG Digital Made for Humans

Top 6 Holiday Programmatic Tips

2 MINUTE READ | December 14, 2015

Top 6 Holiday Programmatic Tips

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Molly Morrison Skinner

Molly Morrison Skinner has written this article. More details coming soon.


This year it seems like everyone talked about “Holiday” more than ever. I kept hearing that people were going to start shopping as early as Halloween, crazy right? With all of the talk, we prepped and prepped, and since we’ve passed the first big push I wanted to put together some of the insights we gathered together on the programmatic side.

  1. Have a pacing plan in place, but be flexible. We prepared daily/weekly spend budgets, pushes, etc. but we didn’t stick 100% to them. Consumers didn’t seem to start spending as early as we thought, so we shifted a lot of budget towards the later days of November.

  2. Mobile matters. Everyone says it, but mobile had a pretty big hand in Cyber Monday, so plan accordingly for the remainder of Q4. According to MarketingDaily, mobile made up 44.7% of all the online traffic, and 27% of all online sales, which is a huge increase from 2014.

  3. Plan for automated guaranteed. If you typically go the PMP route, it’s a great time to transfer your tried and true PMPs as automated guaranteed deals. PMPs tend to have lower scale and higher CPMs (bidding wars) during late Q4, so reserve this inventory!

  4. Look into holiday specific segments. We have quite a few retail clients, so targeting the right audience is important. Look into the “Luxury Shoppers”, “Black Friday Spenders”, and “Value Shoppers” for instance. These did really well for us across the board.

  5. Keep your budgets fluid, and have a diversified plan. It’s better to start with too much, and narrow down your targeting from there based on what is performing. Your tried and true tactics won’t be guaranteed to work, because consumer’s behavior changes during this time of year. People who aren’t normally looking at electronics just might be, and those who typically look for restaurants, might be looking at cooking at home more for the Holidays. It’s good to plan for this ahead of time.

  6. CPMs will increase. However, we didn’t see near the increase that was predicted. We heard from some sources that CPMs would increase 20-30%, but we saw more in the 5-10% range. It’s always a good idea to give the client a heads-up of possible increases though.

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As best practice, plan ahead, but be flexible! You hear all the stats, but you never know 100% what you’re going to see.