2013 holiday marketing survey reveals plans by industry

69% of marketers will have already begun planning their holiday marketing campaigns by the end of this month, a fact we discovered in a recent study by Experian Marketing Services. The study asked more than 200 marketers to share their marketing plans for the holiday season. The overall results show a focus on cross-channel engagement, especially through online display, email and print advertisements.

We dug deeper into the data to see if these results were consistent across industries. While we found a number of consistencies, such as the use of email and online display ads in cross-channel campaigns, we also discovered a number of interesting differentiators between industries and their plans for the upcoming holiday season.

Some key takeaways:

  • On top of their game. Agencies tend to begin planning and launching their holiday campaigns earlier than marketers in other industries.
  • Truly cross-channel. Retailers, more so than marketers in any other industry, plan to coordinate campaigns across multiple channels. 55% of retailers said they planned to use 4 or more channels to connect with their customers.
  • Traditional media is not dead… All industries named ‘print’ as a preferred channel, except for financial services and retail. Agencies still name ‘television’ as their second-most preferred channel.
  • …But digital is king. The digital space, comprised of online display advertising, email, social media and search (among others), is part of every industry’s holiday marketing plan. Social media is particularly important to marketers in the media/entertainment industry, while search is particularly important to retailers.
  • Promotional tactics vary. eCoupons are used most often by agencies and retailers, while free shipping is used most by retail and consumer goods. 28% of CPG marketers plan to offer free shipping, compared with only 8% in the media/entertainment world.
  • Mobile optimization: email or web? Creating mobile-optimized emails is slightly more popular than creating mobile-optimized websites. Surprisingly, focus on each of the two initiatives did not seem to be correlated.

 See the chart below for more industry-specific findings. To learn more insights and prepare for the upcoming season, register for Experian Marketing Services’ holiday webinar on October 24th.