SEM Budget Strategies for the Holidays

Posted by Aaron Hoiles, Account Director

2009 has witnessed the continued growth and evolution of online shopping.  Consumers are not only using online resources to shop more often, they’re also developing more sophisticated online strategies to fill their shopping carts with sale items and deals, online as well as in-store.  As such, marketers are evolving strategies to connect with customers through the awareness, consideration, research and buying phases of the consumer shopping journey. 

With regard to SEM, below are two strategies for pacing budgets that can help marketers realize higher return on their advertising investment:

  • Heavy-up on media spend during the busy “research” days, especially on keywords related to products or research terms.  For the 2009 holiday season, many online sites realized high traffic but low sales conversion during the days leading  up to “Black Friday,” indicating that consumers were researching purchases and looking for great deals. 
  • Coordinate SEM spend and messaging with traditional and other media buys, not just during promotional efforts, but for several days following awareness campaigns in effort to reach consumers who are migrating from “awareness” toward “purchase” intention.   Sales tracked from SEM ads can realize a lift for several days following large online display campaigns, such as homepage takeovers on publisher sites.

Consumers are getting smarter with regard to finding the greatest value for their dollars; developing a strategy for pacing SEM budgets during holidays can help marketers do the same.

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