Consumers spend lots of time online during the holiday season but still do most of their buying in stores. Here are three ways to optimize your digital marketing to boost sales through all channels.

Stacy Bohrer, Midwest regional vice president of business development, The Trade Desk

Stacy Bohrer, Midwest regional vice president of business development, The Trade Desk

We’re in the midst of retail’s busiest time of year—and its most beautiful one, as retailers spend copious amounts to adorn their store windows with festive scenery. And some might question why the holiday window tradition continues despite the ever-accelerating growth of all things digital. But the fact remains that Macy’s holiday window display in New York City’s Herald Square attracts 10,000 people per hour during peak time periods.  Not to mention, more than 90% of all retail sales in the U.S. still occur in brick-and-mortar stores.

But with digital media consumption at an all-time high, what better way to engage holiday shoppers than by meeting them exactly where they’re spending their waking hours. So, to remain competitive this season, savvy advertisers will reach their customers with relevant, impactful messaging across every channel—both online and offline.  Whether you’re focused on driving sales via bricks or clicks, these three key strategies will ensure you end the quarter strong for a solid start to the new year.

You can and should make campaign optimizations in real-time as the data flows into your digital analytics.

1. Take a full-funnel approach

With connected TV devices now in 74% of U.S. homes, advertisers have access to the entire customer journey across every major internet-connected device. And at the time of year when people are on the hunt for presents galore, there is no better strategy than a full-funnel one, educating and motivating customers over the course of their path to purchase.


So, whether you’re looking to build brand awareness through a high-engagement television campaign, advertise a major upcoming sale, or convince a shopper to take action on an abandoned cart, building cohesive messaging across every device is a sure-fire way to guarantee your story doesn’t get lost in the holiday noise.

2. Measure impact better

At the end of the season, every CMO is looking to understand the overarching business impact of their campaigns. And proxy metrics like click-through rates for a particular email campaign or video-completion rate for a specific awareness ad aren’t going to cut it. Instead, advertisers need to be able to answer questions like: What kind of sales lift did the campaign drive? Did that email about a sale increase in-store foot traffic?

Working with a digital advertising partner that integrates with offline data companies will allow you to answer those questions on the fly. You’ll understand exactly how your digital strategies affect real business KPIs by focusing on metrics like brand lift, in-store sales or foot traffic. For example, one major retailer tracked the full-funnel impact of a connected TV campaign on in-store foot traffic, ultimately driving a 43% lower cost-per-acquisition (CPA).  Specifically, this retailer looked at insights from previous purchasers to uncover new audiences that resemble their best customers and engage them successfully based on the data they had.

3. Optimize Accordingly


Now that you’ve created an omnichannel digital strategy that can be measured against real-world KPIs, it’s time to optimize. With digital advertising, you’ll receive performance data in real time, so, you don’t have to save all of your learnings for next year’s holiday strategy. Rather, you can and should make campaign optimizations in real-time as the data flows into your digital analytics.

Ultimately, the success of your holiday campaigns boils down to reaching your consumers wherever they are with relevant and positive advertising experiences. And in today’s world, particularly as digital becomes increasingly ingrained into consumers’ everyday lives, the key to success lies with those advertisers who combine the best of both worlds: the connected nature and data of digital with the impact offered by real-world experiences.

The Trade Desk provides technology designed to help advertisers and agencies manage display, social, mobile and video advertising campaigns.