5 Steps to Lay the Foundation for Holiday Marketing Success

Team Braze By Team Braze Jul 20, 2022

July might not be the first month that comes to mind when thinking of the holiday season, but it’s the best time to get ready for the busiest seasons of the year. The work you'll do over the next few months will help shape your brand's success, especially during a time when it’s hard to grab a customer’s attention and hold it past a one-time order. It's no easy feat, but you don't have to go it alone.

To understand those challenges and to get a better picture of how customer engagement plays out in connection with the winter holiday season, Braze pulled data on how users engaged with nearly 200 retail and eCommerce brands before, during, and after the holidays. Using those insights, we’ve put together a series of articles that will help you:

Let's dive into the first in our four-part 2022 Holiday Marketing Success Series.

Step 1: Start Strong by Leveraging Data and Insights to Deliver Results

First things first, start with a review of previous holiday campaigns to uncover trends. Take a look at the work you've done over the years. What can you learn about what worked and didn't work with the following from prior holiday marketing efforts?

  • Campaign copy

  • Design/creative

  • Marketing channels used

  • Offers/promotions

Next, consider any potential changes for this year:

  • Which channels do you now have access to?

  • Which channels make sense to use, based on the urgency or content-richness of each message?

Lastly, don't forget to look into:

  • What the competition has been up to in terms of previous holiday campaigns and identify any potential opportunities or areas for improvement

  • Potential localized marketing efforts to consider attempting, based on different audience expectations in different regions

Step 2: Set the Right Goals

Take the time to define your key goals and objectives for this year's holiday marketing. Plus, get clear about your budget and other resources, including identifying the team members that will be bringing your strategy to life.

  • Define your KPIs
    • What does success look like for your campaigns?

    • What are your most important KPIs? Are you looking to drive awareness-related metrics or sales-related metrics, such as conversions?

  • What will you be showcasing this year?
    • What's changed? Do you have new offerings? Better services?

  • What are your star deals for 2022?
    • You may have many special offers in mind, but not every discount or promotion is created equally

    • Which promotions will you feature prominently in your targeted outreach, PR, and customer engagement campaigns?

Step 3: Get Your Teams & Tech Ready

With the right people and processes in place, you'll be set up for success. Here's what you need to do.

  • Assemble a core, cross-functional team that can support your holiday campaign from ideation through post-event follow-up and analysis

  • Assign a dedicated team lead to own the activation end-to-end, unite multiple internal functions, build bridges and settle differences efficiently when they arise, and maintain clear accountability for a consistent vision throughout the lifecycle of the even to ensure success

  • Create a comprehensive marketing plan, including
    • A compelling and unique value proposition

    • An overarching engagement strategy

    • A tactical marketing plan

    • An optimization approach to allow your organization to evolve your communications in real time and hold the entire cross-functional team accountable to specific KPIs and experience goals

  • Prep for scale: If you're successful, your digital ecosystem is likely to get a lot more action compared with other times of the year. Get ready by making sure:
    • Your servers are capable of handling an influx of traffic to your website and app

    • You have the workflows in place to collect actionable data at every step in the customer journey

    • Your IP warming efforts have begun with enough time to send emails at the volume you expect to for your campaigns

  • Test and test again: Pilot your marketing strategy at a smaller scale ahead of the holidays to pressure test your approach without betting the farm

Step 4: Get Your External Partners in Order

Beyond your owned channels, efforts, and technologies, it's important to consider the impact of and prep work needed for your external partners as well.

  • Line up your co-marketing opportunities well in advance of the holidays, so they're built into your event roadmap

  • Test and test again, again—this time with your external platforms, such as Shopify or other eCommerce platforms, CDNs, payments providers, and whatever other technologies you’ll depend on come the busy shopping season

  • Review all of the key touchpoints throughout the customer journey and the internal and external channels and platforms at each step: Make sure you haven’t missed reviewing, testing, and preparing any technologies or resources involved in these crucial funnel stages from acquisition to retention

Step 5: Learn How to Forge Deeper Customer Loyalty

Get your copy of our 2022 Retail Customer Engagement Review and learn how to overcome the biggest customer engagement challenges for retail and eCommerce brands and better reach your shoppers to boost your profitability.


All data presented is drawn from the Braze customer base of 171 Retail & eCommerce brands (for this purpose an individual customer may represent multiple brands, as certain customers may have parent and sub-brands) and has been anonymized and aggregated. The data was analyzed for the period of January 1, 2021 - January 1, 2022, with the holiday period defined as Thanksgiving 2021 to New Year's Day 2022.

Team Braze

Team Braze