Programmatic Advertising Challenges—and Their Technology-Based Solutions

A little more than two decades after it first launched, programmatic advertising has solidified its place in the advertising ecosystem. Projected to account for $81 billion worth of digital display ad dollars by 2021, it’s no longer a question of if programmatic advertising will dominate digital advertising. Owning 85% of the display ad market share, the numbers speak for themselves. 

As advertisers are beginning to invest more heavily in programmatic advertising, we understand that there are some challenges you may face. We’ve outlined 3 of the biggest programmatic advertising challenges advertisers experience and technology-based solutions to combat them. 

What is programmatic marketing?

Programmatic advertising is the automated buying and selling of online advertising between brands and/or agencies and suppliers. The brands or agencies use a demand-side platform, or DSP, to essentially decide which impressions to buy and how much they should pay for each impression. The suppliers use a supply-side platform, or SSP, which is where they sell these impressions to brands and agencies.  

What are the biggest programmatic advertising challenges – and their solutions?

1. Viewability & Impression Fraud

Ad fraud has been a concern amongst advertisers from the very start of display advertising. Not exclusive to programmatic advertising, ad fraud still remains the top concern throughout the digital advertising industry. As the success of digital ads is measured based on impressions and views (or other similar KPIs), advertisers need to be certain that these views, clicks, etc. are coming from humans, and not alternative malicious forms to drive performance. 

Ad fraud can come in a variety of forms such as bots, ad stacking, and ghost sites (you can learn more about the different types of ad fraud here). These tactics work to drive performance numbers but offer no real human interaction with ads. These ad “impressions” are still paid for with the campaign budget, which in turn wastes campaign dollars and drives performance down.

This problem is not lost on digital advertising industry leaders. In an effort to stay one step ahead of these ad fraudsters, companies are investing in smarter, more advanced technology to give advertisers peace of mind that their ad is being seen by a human. Many companies offer solutions to combat ad fraud that include using machine learning or AI to detect patterns that seem to mirror ad fraud. Humans then review this activity and analyze data and patterns to better understand how ad fraud enters the advertising eco-system. This information, both from machine learning and humans is implemented into technologies to prevent new non-human traffic from entering platforms in the first place. Google is one of the industry leaders carving a path toward a fraud-free world, using a system just like the one mentioned above. 

The Solution(s)? 

At Digilant, we have a very strict vetting process to ensure our programmatic partners – DSPs, PMPs, etc. have advanced ad-fraud fighting measures in place. However, in addition to this, we also have a suspicious traffic filter. Digilant’s built-in suspicious traffic filter is a safety precaution that detects and eliminates fraudulent traffic. Even if the traffic cannot be confirmed as fraudulent, but exhibits similar attributes, it is classified as suspicious. Our four different levels of sensitivity – light, moderate, strong, and maximum – allows each brand to choose how heavily they want traffic to be filtered. 

2. Inventory Quality

Programmatic inventory refers to the ad inventory that a publisher makes available to programmatically purchase on the open market. This inventory is then bid on, in real-time, which in turn, places the ad in front of the viewer. Think about when you are browsing online and you open a webpage, most likely display ads load alongside the content you’re viewing. This is going on across everyone’s browser all over the US and world. The amount of inventory up for grabs is not a problem – there is no shortage.

However, the reason advertisers are so keen on programmatic advertising is not for the quantity, it’s the quality. Programmatic advertising allows brands to place their ads in front of relevant, interested consumers – increasing the chances that they interact with the ad. When thinking about programmatic advertising challenges, it’s not a matter of inventory quantity, advertisers are consumed with how to get the best quality. 

The Solution(s)?

The solution to ensure high-quality inventory works similar to the ad fraud solutions mentioned in the section above. However, at Digilant we have additional tactics that advertisers can use to combat inventory woes. 

Digilant Premium

Privileged Access to 1,000+ publishers that are all 100% Ads.txt verified with the ability to layer custom audience targeting.

What is Ads.txt? 

This is a simple, flexible method for publishers and distributors to clearly state which companies are authorized to use their digital inventory. Companies drop a text file on their website that lists the different companies authorized to sell inventory on their site. This will enable buyers to see which programmatic firms have authorization to sell ad space on specific websites, ensuring validity in their purchase. The upkeep for this process is also simple. Someone will have to monitor additions to an ads.txt list to stay up to date with authorized sellers.

Page Index

Our custom “allow-list” solution curates a customized network of sites and pages that both free of ad fraud threats and meaningful to your brand’s overall objectives and messaging. 

Private Marketplace

Digilant’s programmatic partner include strategic private marketplace (PMP) partners across industries such as travel, healthcare, and education. PMPs ensure advertisers know exactly which sites their ads will be shown on so they don’t have to worry about ghost sites or masking URLs. 

3. Brand Safety

Again, brand safety is not a challenge exclusive to programmatic advertising, but rather something advertisers are challenged with throughout display and digital advertising. Brands want to ensure their ad content is not shown next to negative, controversial, violent or otherwise potentially brand-damaging content. 

There have been a few very noteworthy examples of brands fighting against platforms who placed their ads next to questionable or harmful content, however most recently this came to light at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. Brands wanted to ensure their messaging aligned next to factual, trustworthy articles and content  – they were apprehensive that their ads would be placed next to content that was spreading false information to consumers. And for some brands, they wanted to avoid their ads appearing next to COVID-19 related content in general. 

No matter the reasons for why your brand doesn’t want to appear next to certain genres of content, it’s important that those limitations are implemented across all campaigns.

The solution(s)?

The solutions mentioned above all will work in tandem to help fight ad fraud, eliminate inventory concerns and promote ease of mind for brand safety. But, there are a few different tactics our team can implement to ensure your brand image remains strong and ads only appear next to content you approve of. 

Blocklists

Digilan’t page index feature allows you to “allow” certain websites where you want your ads to run, however if you would like to take precautionary measures a step further, blocklisting is a good solution. Digilant continuously updates a universal list of blocklisted sites that we implement into every campaign, but we offer brands to add any custom blocklists to campaigns as well. 

Masked URLs

Although not all masked URLs are harmful to your brand, Digilant can run campaigns on transparent URLs to ensure we are not running on blocklisted sites. 

What is a masked URL?
A masked (or non-transparent) URL does not contain the URL in the bid request. A semi-transparent URL is a generic URLs that gives some indication of inventory source without disclosing the specific site.

4. Creative Forms for Programmatic (variety of sizes/formats)

Many advertisers find one of the biggest programmatic advertising challenges to be the different ad sizes necessary for the variety of ad formats available. Not including programmatic video and audio, there are still mobile, tablet, and desktop display units all in a variety of sizes that advertisers need to be cognizant of for their campaigns. It can be a rather cumbersome process to identify and create these different formats for ads. 

The solution(s)?

Not only do the advertisers have to think about the different sizes required to run a programmatic advertising campaign, but they also have to be visually enticing for consumers. The Digilant team has a variety of creative best practices we suggest for advertisers, learn more about our creative strategy and development tactics here

Social to display 

Many brands already have a strong social media presence which includes quality, engaging creative content. Using a social to display strategy allows advertisers to take these high quality social media images and use them as display ads across a variety of DSPs. This allows the content to be used across a variety of platforms, minimizing creative creation and maximizing consumer engagement.

Dynamic Creative Optimization

If advertisers don’t have the bandwidth to create multiple ad forms for varying products offers or occasions, dynamic creative optimization (DCO) is a great solution. DCO uses technology to place creatively relevant ads based on the viewer data, including where that specific consumer is in the buying cycle. An example of this is reaching cart abandoners with carousel ads showcasing the products they were looking at along with a message such as “Don’t wait, the items in your cart will expire in 30 minutes!” Using a DCO solution lessens creative lift with technology that creatives these ad forms, rather than manually creating all the different potential ad forms. 

Learn more about why you should pay extra-close attention to the importance of DCO during this holiday shopping season here.  

5. Knowledge

DSP, SSP, DMP, CTR, DOOH, CCPA, RTB – and the list goes on and on. Between the new acronyms, terminology, tactics and policies that are constantly evolving in the programmatic industry, many advertisers feel as though they are falling behind is what is most up to date. But, you’re not alone; Bannerflow reports that 50% of people using programmatic advertising, don’t fully understand it. 

With a wide variety of platforms and buying options, it can be difficult to navigate which option is best for your campaign, or brand in general. And as you try to navigate which channel is best to run your ads on, you also have to keep up with the evolving and growing consumer privacy laws. 

The solution(s)? 

Find a programmatic partner that alleviates knowledge-overload stress, along with all of the programmatic advertising challenges mentioned above.

Digilant combines internal programmatic expertise with strategic industry partnerships to ensure that you’re able to reach niche audiences across multiple platforms, all while remaining fraud free and brand safe. Our data-driven, actionable, and effective strategies have remained successful because we continually innovate to help our clients with purpose-built solutions tailored to their needs. Our team of data experts is armed with leading industry knowledge and a passion for data-driven results to ensure your campaigns are optimized for top-quality inventory success. 

We know the challenges that brands and agencies face. More pressure than ever to quantify business impact, greater trouble keeping pace with emerging channels, and an increasing need for digital media platform experts. With Digilant’s managed service offering, we make biddable media buying simple and challenge-free. Interested in learning more about how Digilant’s technology based solutions can solve for all your programmatic marketing challenges? Let’s talk!

Home for the Holidays: An Advertiser’s Guide to Reaching Shoppers this Holiday Season [Part 5]

The 3 Holiday Shoppers of 2020

The traditional holiday shopping profiles are usually categorized by timing (early birds, December shoppers, and last-minute shoppers), income, gender, and/or spending levels. However, if we’ve learned one thing over the past few months, this year is anything but traditional. With the changes in consumer behavior, advertisers need to think beyond these traditional segments. 

This year, it’s important about your audience based on the driving factor of this holiday season: online shopping. 

It’s safe to bet that despite gender, typical spending levels, or when they’re shopping, all of these groups will have one thing in common: they’ll be shopping online more than they ever have in the past. It’s important that you meet these groups with offers and advertisements that fit their needs and their comfort level with online shopping. Digital-savviness usually (but not always) mirrors age groups pretty well, so thinking about audience segments in this way will be helpful this holiday season. We’ve outlined 3 different audiences and how best to reach them with digital advertisements. 

Digital Natives (Zellenials/gen z)

Gen Z and digital natives have almost grown to be synonymous terms. Touted as the generation that grew/is growing up with technology, the internet, and social media at their fingertips – these tech “addicts” are now high school and college-age. Their purchasing power – which is already estimated at $143 billion in the US will only continue to grow as this generation does. 

This group along with younger millennials and tech gurus are more digitally savvy, weary-er of false information, and slightly more skeptical of brands. But it’s not all bad news! They are also more brand loyal, more concerned about a brand’s mission, more likely to listen to peer & influencer reviews, and also more likely to interact with your brand online (when compared to other generations). Building rapport with this group will help your brand in the long term as this group actually has a nearly 10-year customer lifecycle preference. Kickstart a multi-year relationship with them, as their income and spending habits increase.

If your product is geared toward these digital natives, start thinking outside the box. This group toggles between platforms discovering products and brands so having an omnichannel marketing platform is essential. Here are a few ways to reach and target these digital natives: 

1. Shoppable Ads:

Where other groups might be a bit skeptical of buying directly through social media, the overwhelming majority, 69%, of Gen Z is interested in purchasing via social media. Because they’re spending so much time on apps like Instagram, Snapchat, and TikTok, taking them to the point of purchase directly from the post they’re looking at is a game-changer.

2. Youtube Ads

Youtube is the most visited website for those 18-24. This visual-first group is drawn to motion. Video ads in general are a great way to reach this audience as they watch on average 68 videos per day.

3. Influencer marketing

Authentic reviews and opinions are key for this audience. More than half of Gen Zers trust an influencer they follow on social media and just under a quarter of them report having made a purchase as a direct result of an influencer. If you’re interested in leveling up your digital strategy for this group, influencer marketing might be a good way to go. 

Digital Adaptors (Millenials/Gen Y)

This next group of shoppers aren’t digital duds – they have spent the majority of their teenage, young adult and now adult lives on social media and the internet so they know a thing or two. This on-the-go group might have children or a family so making things easy, quick, and seamless is key for this group. Their desire for ease of purchase is clearly indicated by their shopping preference, over half of consumers ages 19-37 have Amazon prime and the group voted Amazon as the #1 app they can’t live without. 

Where can you reach digital adapters?  

1.Pinterest

80% of mothers in the US who use Pinterest. So, the audience is already there and this holiday season parents will be searching more for at-home, kid-friendly DIY projects. Use this discovery-based platform to showcase your products to this audience. 

2. Amazon

Advertising on Amazon is a great investment to reach this audience. But you also can take it a step further. Utilizing Amazon’s contextual, lifestyle, in-market and lookalike targeting across third-party publishers to reach your audience outside of the Amazon bubble

3. CTV

Are there two terms more synonyms than millenials and cord-cutters? Okay, maybe there are. But in all seriousness, this generation really did pave the way for OTT and CTV and these are still their preferred methods for TV viewing. 86% of millennials watch their favorite TV shows via CTV.  Target this audience across Youtube TV, Hulu, Roku and others as they stream their favorite holiday movies. 

Digital Learners (baby boomers)

We’ve all either heard about or been witness to older generations taking over Facebook. 75% of Baby boomers have Facebook and this demographic shares 20% more on the platform than any other age group. So, when thinking of your digital strategy, don’t count this group out. They might not be digital natives, but once they get the hang of things, they’re more than willing to give it a try. 

1. Omnichannel Strategy

Remember those different points of gathering options we discussed in our online shopping blog post? Those are extremely important for this generation. Digital learners aren’t averse to shopping online (92% of baby boomers shop online!), however, they do prefer to still be able to pick up in-store. Two-thirds have tried BOPIS and, of those, 63% said it improved their overall shopping experience. Letting them know that you offer these preferred options will sway this audience in favor of your brand. 

2. Facebook Advertising

Here’s a no brainer – meet your consumer exactly where they are. Facebook is the preferred social media platform for digital learners and not only do they spend time on the social platform, they are more willing to share, engage, and post on the app. Although this generation is less likely to buy directly from social media, this is still a great way to garner brand awareness and interest.  

Interested in learning more about what we can expect from holiday travel this season? Read more in Part 6 of our holiday blog series here.

Download our infographic Home for the Holidays: An Advertisers’ Guide to Reaching Shoppers this Holiday Season.

Home for the Holidays: An Advertiser’s Guide to Reaching Shoppers this Holiday Season [Part 4]

Add to Cart: Online Shopping Will Dominate

For the past few years, online shopping has seen a huge shift upwards in the percentage of sales it brings in throughout the holiday shopping season. In 2019, consumers spent $142.5 billion (of the $1.007 trillion spent during the holiday season) online. Had the world not encountered a global pandemic this year, online shopping still would have been a huge channel for brands to keep in mind throughout the holiday season. However, now it’s more important than ever. 

US adults who plan to do more than half of their holiday shopping digitally

 

Online shopping has skyrocketed since stay at home order started in the spring. Estimates indicate that online merchants have seen a $107 billion increase in sales solely due to the pandemic. A fourth of shoppers are logging online to buy products they normally would buy in-store. And once they make the initial leap to online purchases, 90% say they’ll try it again. Even as stores slowly begin to open, only about one-third of consumers feel safe (from a health-risk angle) doing their shopping in-store. As a result of all this, it’s predicted that online global sales will increase by about 13.9% throughout the holiday shopping season. 

As more shoppers are browsing, shopping, and buying online, what should advertisers do to prepare for the uptick in online shopping? 

Prioritize Mobile 

During the 2019 shopping season, mobile was the number one device driving digital traffic and orders, resulting in over of all e-commerce sales. Mobile is particularly important the week before and week of Cyber Week, as it accounted for over 50% of both order and traffic share in 2019. 

Last year’s numbers alone are pretty convincing to solidify a strong mobile strategy for the upcoming season. But, if they didn’t push you over the edge, this year 37% of adults said they are more interested in in-app shopping than last year. When getting your holiday season digital ads ready, ensure that your creatives are sized and curated for mobile. And, if you’re looking to take your mobile campaigns a step further, think about utilizing mobile-first targeting tactics: 

1. Social Ads

10% of mobile orders this year will be made through social channels. As younger generations gain more purchasing power this year, consider including social campaigns in your digital plan

2. Mobile Shopping List Integration

Digilant’s premium partnership with a mobile shopping list integration allows us to place your brand’s product(s) in front of your consumer at the exact right moment and can track when your product will be added to their shopping lists.

3. App Ownership

Reach verified, deterministic mobile audiences classified along dimensions of life stage, interest and activity, and intent-based on app ownership behaviors. Develop custom data segments, based on mobile app data to target audiences most interested in your brand across all device

Interested in learning more about the different shopper profiles and how best to reach them this holiday season? Check out Part 5 here.

Download our infographic Home for the Holidays: An Advertisers’ Guide to Reaching Shoppers this Holiday Season.

Top Programmatic Marketing Innovations for 2020

Throughout the past year, as consumers have adopted new habits in light of changes brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic, new programmatic marketing innovations and tactics have come to fruition in response to the changes in consumers’ lives. 

There are countless platforms that are accessed through programmatic advertising including desktop, mobile, tablet, audio, video, CTV, audio, and digital-out-of-home. With so many accessible channels, it’s obvious that trends and innovations are constantly changing. However, three programmatic marketing innovations have stood out among the rest during 2020. We’ve outlined them below. 

What is programmatic marketing?

Programmatic advertising is the automated buying and selling of online advertising between brands and/or agencies and suppliers. The brands or agencies use a demand-side platform, or DSP, to essentially decide which impressions to buy and how much they should pay for each impression. The suppliers use a supply-side platform, or SSP, which is where they sell these impressions to brands and agencies.  

What are the biggest programmatic marketing innovations for 2020?

Connected TV Advertising

With more people than ever at home right now, it’s no surprise that Connected TV and Over-the-top TV has been one of the top programmatic marketing innovations of 2020. As COVID-19 spread to the United States, the time spent watching TV on CTV grew exponentially, especially with the loss of live sports. During the height of the countrywide shelter-in-place orders, consumers were streaming over 4 billion hours of CTV per week according to Nielsen. When comparing CTV advertising impressions to the overall number of advertising impressions throughout the month of May, CTV accounted for 39-49% of impressions. This demonstrates how the time viewing video content at home skyrocketed. As states have started to ease up on shelter-in-place orders, CTV usage remains higher than before coronavirus as the number of cord-cutters continues to increase. 

Similar to typical programmatic advertising, CTV has the ability to target audiences based on demographics, however, it also has the ability to target by device type and screen size – for example: large monitors (TVs), PCs, and mobile devices. It also gives brands the ability to garner useful insights in real-time by seeing how responsive viewers are to their ads – this can be measured by the video completion rate (VCR) or tracking ad exposures. 

One of the greatest benefits advertisers have gained by incorporating CTV into their digital advertising plans is the ability to connect with millennials. As one of the youngest and most mobile groups of consumers, most brands will have a growing desire to reach them. Many consumers of this age group have been cord-cutters for years and advertisers now have the opportunity to effectively reach and target this group. 

Digital Audio Advertising

n 2019, digital audio advertising grew by 30% and listener traffic increased to 191.6 million. This drastic growth clearly showcases why brands are now incorporating this screenless ad format into their digital marketing mix in 2020. In today’s environment, digital audio advertising is one of the most cost-effective ways for advertisers to reach their target audience across a multitude of devices. Digital Audio ads work similar to video ads as they are very customizable and can be catered specifically towards your target audience. The main difference between the two is that digital audio can be utilized when visual ads are not possible – for example when people are driving in the car.

Beyond the audience reach benefits, digital audio advertising has been one of the key programmatic marketing innovations as it is very easy to track and verycost-effective. Advertisers can monitor how effective they are both financially and performance-wise. Digital audio uses impression-based ad tagging so advertisers can see how many users are listening to a specific ad in its entirety and track attribution to see results from native ads. Digital audio also offers voice-activated ads and companion banner ads. 

Not only are digital audio advertisements usually more cost-effective to produce (than say video or display ads), but they have been booming in 2020 due to the high customer engagement rate. These ads usually have extremely high listen-through rates so brands are able to get their entire message across. According to Nielsen Media Lab – audio ads have a 25% higher recall rate than display ads; in addition to that, according to the Midroll Media Reports – 60% of podcast listeners made a purchase after listening to a podcast audio ad. 

Digital Out of Home

Digital Out-of-Home (DOOH) is a marketing channel that allows brands to serve ads dynamically and digitally in outdoor public places – this is where the name “Out of home” originated. Some examples of these ads placement are on screens in airports, food courts, and kiosks in major cities. This form of advertising has seen its ad spend double over the last year now totaling $181.6 million and projected to reach $533.8 million by 2022.

Advertisers have seen several major benefits of incorporating DOOH into their marketing mix this year – one is that it allows brands to connect outdoor and online initiatives. In big cities, such as New York, Los Angeles, Atlanta, and Chicago, there are kiosks with ad displays on heavily populated sidewalks. These kiosks work as free public wifi hotspots with the ability to track the number of devices (smartphone, wearable, etc.) connected to each. This allows the brand to gauge overall foot-traffic in the area.

Another benefit of DOOH advertising is that it leverages true rich media, a form of advertisements that consumers are able to interact with rather than just view/see. This form of advertising truly captures the audience’s attention which typically results in “impulse purchasing behavior”. The best example of this is when you are in a food court in a mall and you see an ad for McDonald’s. 

As COVID restrictions continue to loosen, DOOH will most likely see an increase in ad spend in the next several months. 

Implementing these programmatic marketing innovations into your media plan

2020 has pushed advertisers to make adjustments to their advertising campaign as consumer behavior continues to shift and diversity throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. However, with the changing consumer behavior has come great programmatic marketing innovations and opportunities. New and emerging channels such as CTV, digital audio, and DOOH all enhance digital advertising campaigns with greater audience reach, alternative targeting capabilities, and a push for greater metric-driven campaigns. 

As new and emerging technologies continue to appear in the digital advertising space, you may have questions about how best to incorporate these channels into your media plans. As a platform-agnostic partner, the Digilant team has a deep understanding of leading technology platforms and providers. Interested in learning more about how Digialnt can leverage our industry knowledge to help boost your digital advertising campaigns? Let’s talk

What is Omnichannel Marketing?

In the ever-evolving world of digital advertising, new terminology is popping up left and right. As advertisers, it’s our job to stay up to date with these new solutions and how best to implement them into our digital media plans. One of the terms that have been on everyone’s mind in recent years is omnichannel marketing. So, what is omnichannel marketing? Keep reading to learn more. 

The History of Omnichannel Marketing

Before we jump into what is omnichannel marketing, it’s essential to understand how we got to the data-driven marketing approach many marketers have today. Here’s a brief history lesson. 

Traditionally, marketing plans placed the brand at the center of the equation. Campaigns and strategies highlighted aspects of the brand or product that companies thought a wide-variety of consumers would resonate with. Campaigns centered around the brand or product, drawing consumers’ interest to buy, like the product, establish brand loyalty, and continue to purchase from the brand. A perfect circular customer journey cycle: discover, buy, use, engage. 

This was the tried and true method for decades. However, just after the turn of the century and into the mid-2000s, companies started to feel the impact of big-name retailers gaining traction. 

Smaller companies were losing sales to retailers with more resources and higher advertising budgets (such as Walmart and Amazon), and they realized they needed to find a solution, fast. Hence, the birth of customer-centric marketing – or how we refer to it: omnichannel marketing.

Brands realized the traditional advertising methods were no longer working for them. It was time to flip the model on its head.  Rather than having their brand at the center of the advertising campaigns, companies started using strategic methods to place the consumers front and center. Meeting consumers wherever they are in the buying cycle and serving ads and product recommendations based on that information would garner much greater success than playing a guessing game, offering deals and promotions that they thought customers would be interested in seeing. 

As if advertisers needed additional challenges to deal with during this time, consumers started to experiment with online buying channels more frequently, and social media skyrocketed in popularity. Both these changes showed brands that they not only needed to change how they were talking to consumers, but they also needed to change where they were talking to consumers.

The beginning days of this new customer-centric marketing world more closely mirrored what we know of today as multi-channel marketing. Multichannel marketing is an approach to marketing that reaches and engages with consumers through multiple channels like a desktop browser, mobile, retail, social media, podcast, etc. Each channel functions independently, often with different messaging, but with the same goal of reaching target audiences. If you’re interested in learning more about the differences between multichannel and omnichannel marketing, check out our blog here

However, as technology and resources continued to evolve and advertisers recognized its benefits, omnichannel marketing started to take the spotlight. By 2015, 45% of companies reported that omnichannel marketing was a priority. Over the next year, the number of martech providers grew more than ever before. This historic growth of online retail was the driving force for brands to work out any kinks of aligning their offline and online strategies to fully embrace an omnichannel marketing strategy. And since this 2016 push, omnichannel marketing strategies have continued to improve and streamline into the data-driven, extremely targeting advertising we know of in 2020. 

Now, more than 90% of brands say that an omnichannel marketing solution is of top priority for their company. So, back to the original question…

What is omnichannel marketing

In the simplest of terms, omnichannel marketing is an approach to marketing that addresses the customer experience on each channel – desktop browser, mobile, retail, social media, podcast, and any others you might use – and how customers transition between channels they make purchases.

There are four major aspects to omnichannel marketing: data & insights, planning, channels, and reporting and measurement (optimization), as seen in the graphic below.  


Data & Insights

The backbone of omnichannel marketing relies on a data-driven, strategic approach to properly identify, interact with, and engage consumers. Whether that is 1st party data, third party data or a combination of the two – the more you know and understand about your customers, the better targeted and relevant your ad placements and ad creative and messaging will be. 

However, acquiring and collecting data is only the first step. You also need a team of data analysts or experts to help understand the data and know how best to use it. This team can work in tandem with (or within the same role as) the team in charge of the next step. 

Planning

Once you have acquired and analyzed your data, logically it’s time to make a plan. This step includes solidifying your budget and recognizing where best that investment can be placed. 

As mentioned above, this team might work in tandem with or cover both roles as the data team. At Digilant we have a team of designated Planning & Insights Strategists that use their strategic voice to help brands and advertisers to comprehend large data sets, drive performance through informed decisions, and understand consumer behavior.

Channel Selection

An omnichannel marketing solution includes email marketing, social media, search, digital display, digital video, CTV/OTT, out of home, print, mobile, your website, affiliate, social influencer – the list seems like it never ends! Now you might be asking yourself: “does my brand need to be present on each of these channels?” That answer depends. If your consumers are active on these channels, your brand should be too. As mentioned above, the premise of omnichannel marketing is to create a seamless, unified customer journey across all channels your consumer uses. 

Having a presence on each of these channels requires different ad formats and ad messaging – and, you may be targeting different segments of your audience within these channels. 

Reporting & Measurement

When discussing how marketing strategies have evolved over the last 20 years or so, one of the greatest benefits advertisers are now able to tap into is reporting, measurement, and optimization – all in real-time. Advertisers no longer have to wait until an ad campaign has run its course on TV or calculate print ads sales attribution. Advertisers are now able to see the execution of their campaigns, what tactics and channels are performing well (and which aren’t), and shift budget and efforts accordingly, all while the campaigns are still live and running.

These reports allow advertisers to see the full picture of the customer journey – how many touchpoints it takes until a consumer is willing to purchase, which channels they are most likely to buy from, which audience segments are more likely to buy which products, and much more. 

In turn, all of this creates a new cycle. The data is stored, organized, and activated to be put back into the cycle at step 1: data & insights; so campaigns are constantly improving upon one themselves. 

The setup and organization of an omnichannel marketing strategy is not an overnight process. However, the benefits that brands will see when implementing will work as motivation to push you toward the end goal. If you’re interested in learning more about the benefits brands see when implementing an omnichannel marketing strategy, you can read about that here

Many brands don’t have the in-house resources to establish an omnichannel marketing strategy. A solution is to find a is finding a strategic, data-driven partner to manage, run, and optimize your omnichannel campaign. The Digilant team is made up of data analysts, biddable-media platform experts, and ad tech specialists sitting alongside planners and strategists. We understand what a digital media strategy requires – radical transparency and a team of experts who are agile and flexible. Interested in learning more about Digilant’s omnichannel marketing solutions? Let’s talk. 

Home for the Holidays: An Advertiser’s Guide to Reaching Shoppers this Holiday Season [Part 3]

What Consumers expect from brands this holiday season

“The 2020 holiday season will reward omnichannel retailers. Instead of the recurring and seasonal demand cycles retailers are used to, in the wake of COVID-19, brands must contend with consistent high demand for ecommerce year-round.”

Tim Hinckley, Chief Commercial Officer for Radial

As mentioned in part 1 of this series, consumers will experience a holiday season like never before. There are countless questions in regard to what traditions they’ll be able to uphold, if family members will be able to visit, and how they’ll spread holiday cheer in new ways. Brands are facing questions and concerns of their own – inventory concerns, creating safe store layouts for in-person shoppers, and how to spread their campaign across the various channels consumers are now shopping on. 

As your brand works through these questions and begins to brainstorm advertising tactics, keep in mind that 80% of consumers expect, want, and prioritize brands that put them at the forefront of their shopping experience. With emerging technology, consumers want to feel heard, engaged with, and that ads are tailored to them on channels they prefer to use. The solution to meeting these needs? An omnichannel marketing strategy. 

Omnichannel marketing is an approach to marketing that addresses the customer experience on each channel – desktop browser, mobile, retail, social media, podcast, and any others you might use – and how customers transition between each channel as they make purchases.

It’s important for brands to understand where consumers start their search, what drives them to make a purchase (ad-type, incentives, channels), and where they are actually purchasing the product – are they buying in store? Online? Via social media? You need to know what point the consumer is at in their buying journey so you can serve them the most relevant ads – remember that personalization is key to snag those holiday shopping dollars! 

Omnichannel marketing will allow you to track your consumer from the first time they interact with your brand, through all touchpoints (whether in-store or online) through to the point of purchase (again, whether in-store or online). So let’s take a look at the most popular channels and preferences at each of these stages in the customer buying cycle. 

Where are consumers browsing for holiday gifts?

 

Source: Deloitte

What drives consumers to make a purchase?

As “free 2-day shipping” powerhouse, Amazon, continues to dominate the e-commerce world (45% of all e-commerce sales to be precise), it is important to take a note out of their book this holiday season. 

If your brand can afford it, the holiday season is a great time to offer free shipping incentives. There is a strong uptick in “free shipping” searches come mid-December. If that is not in the budget this year, offering discounts for ordering before a certain date also resonates well with consumers (and helps alleviate last minute order on your end). All in all, consumers are looking for the best deal – 42% of consumers indicated they purchase from the website with the lowest cost. In your ads, online, and on social its important that you clearly showcase why your brand or product is the best deal for consumers this holiday season. 

Consumer prefer the following incentives

Where are consumers shopping?

Shoppers are buying online (more on that to come in our next post). However, they aren’t necessarily opting only for delivery. This is where brands need to be nimble in their offerings. Consumers want the option to buy online and pick how they gather their products: delivery, pick-up in-store, curbside pick, and drive-through pick-up. The brands that are able to differentiate their point of gathering will reap the rewards. Salesforce indicates that brands that allow for these options will see a 90% increase in digital sales from the previous holiday season.  

As more consumers diversify where they’re shopping, leaning more on e-commerce, understanding the preferred channels for each stage of the buying journey allows you to better place ads on different digital channels. Placing awareness ads throughout specific site lists, and then re-targeting that consumer via social media with an incentive offer while tracking whether they make a purchase in-store or online will allow you to follow up with suggested products “Enjoying your new jeans? How about a matching top to go with it!” All of this will allow for more personalized shopping experience for each consumer drawing positive sentiment for your brand and in turn, more sales.  

 

Interested in learning more about how e-commerce and online shopping will define this holiday season. Read part 4 of our holiday season blog series here.

Download our infographic Home for the Holidays: An Advertisers’ Guide to Reaching Shoppers this Holiday Season.

5 Ways to Approach Omnichannel Marketing Challenges

Omnichannel marketing has proven itself to be more than just a buzzword of 2020. As brands are faced with more diverse buying patterns and higher expectations from consumers, siloed media plans are no longer a viable option. Advertisers are quickly realizing both the importance and necessity of implementing an omnichannel marketing strategy.

Today, 90% of brands either have or plan to invest in an omnichannel marketing solution. That number is up from 2017 when only 25% of brands reported that they provided a “seamless and consistent customer experience across all sales channels” and only 22% were implementing “marketing strategies geared toward customers converting on any channel.” In less than three years advertisers have had to improve and adapt their digital media plans drastically to stay on track with consumers and competitors who have already made the shift to omnichannel marketing solutions. As with any quick shift in strategy, there’s bound to be a few hiccups along the way. 

Below, we’ve outlined five omnichannel marketing challenges that advertisers face and solutions and tips on how best to approach them. 

But first, what is omnichannel marketing?

Omnichannel marketing is an approach to marketing that addresses the customer experience on each channel – desktop browser, mobile, retail, social media, podcast, and any others you might use – and how customers transition between each channel as they make purchases.

What are some omnichannel marketing challenges?

1. Channel Consolidation 

Consumers generally experience at least 6 touchpoints before making a purchase with a brand. As you can see in the graphic above, these touchpoints range from OTT/CTV to social media to search to email. The purpose of an omnichannel marketing strategy is to create a unified, uninterrupted, and seamless consumer experience across all of these channels. Understandably, this can be rather intimidating and frankly, difficult for brands to achieve. 

The solution? There are a variety of data-driven tools brands can use in order to better track and identify consumers across different channels. 

a. Identity solutions like MediaMath’s ConnectedID and EnrichedID, and Google’s Advertising ID.

Without solutions like these in place, advertisers will only be able to bid on impressions where the targeted action occurred on a specific consumer’s device. Utilizing a solution such as MediaMath’s ConnectedID uses cross-device recognition to bid on any of the targeted user’s devices.

How does it work? A cross-device solution uses deterministic data (such as a cookie or Mobile advertising ID) or individual (such as a customer ID) to link users across browsers and devices and build out a proprietary cross-device graph. Advertisers pass back a deterministic identifier so that associations can be built out for the advertiser’s customer base. A probabilistic model, where 3rd party cookies are not supported, is also used to pull in variables to assign cookieless IDs and identify users in those environments as well.

Not only do these solutions solve for channel segmentation challenges, but they also expand brands’ visibility and improve retargeting strategies, message amplification, and frequency management. 

b. Measurement and attribution solutions like Adverity and Datorama.

These tools use integrated settings and connectors to access all data points, including those stored in walled gardens. After the data is collected, relevant data is presented to advertisers across dashboards that are both easily accessible and digestible. You no longer have to spend hours trying to gather and analyze data. With this data all in one place, advertisers are then able to analyze performance across all campaigns and channels. This helps advertisers: 

  • Analyze cross channel attribution which in turn mitigates channel siloes
  • Identify negative trends before they greatly impact your business
  • Better optimize toward your specific campaign or business KPIs

If you’re interested in learning more about measurement and attribution solutions, schedule a live demo with one of our analytics experts here

c. CRM and marketing automation platforms like Salesforce, Marketo, and HubSpot.  

CRM platforms are extremely resourceful tools for organizations and sales teams to integrate into their workflow. With tools such as Salesforce, HubSpot, and Marketo advertisers are able to see how a lead entered the sales funnel – what ad they clicked on or social media post they saw. CRMs track valuable information about where consumers are in the sales funnel, what products or offers they are most likely to interact with, and conversions/interactions they have with your brand. Using this information allows you to implement tailored outreach campaigns, strategically moving the leads down the funnel. 

However, you can take this CRM data a step further and integrate it into your advertising campaigns to use across different platforms and channels. With Digilant’s Data and Onboarding solutions, our team will utilize your CRM data to create a more tailored, streamlined, and cross-channel ad experience for your consumers. Because this data signifies a user’s intent, creative ads will be more timely and personal to the consumers. This data can also be used to find new consumers whose online behavior mirrors your current consumers with look-alike targeting.

2. Lacking a Data-Driven Mindset

Some companies face a challenge when adapting to an omnichannel solution because the organization is not data-driven. Maybe your company has worked in terminal operations for years (or decades) and there isn’t a strong push to change this. At the end of the day, the idea of an omnichannel marketing strategy is only about 10 years old. So, it’s not surprising that some companies are still working to or having a hard time shifting the mindset to this data-driven marketing world we live in today.

The solution? First and foremost, a data-driven mindset has to come from the top of the organization. It’s difficult to change the mindset of the company when key stakeholders are not on board. Assuming that is not a hurdle you have to overcome at your company, now it’s a matter of making sure everything you do and processes you put in place all work to the overall goal of being a more data-centric company. Below are some steps you can take as an organization to kick-start this data-driven mentality 

Understand that you need data and why you need data 

Data can help to identify best practices within your advertising campaigns while also identifying new opportunities and audiences. Simultaneously, adopting a data-driven mindset will help quickly showcase and eliminate potential problems within your campaigns. Overall, data-driven omnichannel marketing campaigns are more efficient, scalable, and allow for better growth and efficiency. 

Identify a Data Advocate

Whether this is identifying someone within your organization or looking externally to hire a new candidate, designate a person (or team) at your company that will push the data-driven mindset forward. Encourage them to ask questions, dive into research, and bring new and innovative ways to keep the data-driven mindset at the forefront of your company’s operations. 

If you are short on resources internally, look to outsource insights and initiative towards a data-driven mindset. At Digilant, we have an entire team of data analysts that helps brand and advertisers to comprehend large data sets, drive performance through informed decision, and understand consumer behavior.

Find a data solution that works for you

This leads us to our next omnichannel marketing challenge and a solution to help solve it. Keep reading #3.

3. Data Management (and Integration)

The average marketer is now keeping track of customer information from an average of 15 different data sources. With each click, swipe, like, and comment, we are gathering more and more data about consumers. And, when it comes time to implement these data points into campaigns, matching the different formats can lead to more troubles and sometimes, data loss. 

The solution? Although it might require a bit of work upfront, establishing a unified data management workflow will put you ahead of the game in terms of data management and implementation. Rather than waiting until it’s time to implement the data into a campaign – which might require backtracking to gather, audit, and organize data – having a workflow in place from the getgo will set you up for success. To establish a data management workflow for your organization, think about all potential use-cases of data, and establish steps to make the most efficient and effective data management workflow. Taking the time to put a process together now will help mitigate challenges down the line. 

During any data management discussions within your organization or with outside partners, it’s important to remember the importance of consumer privacy and your role in protecting it. Here are a few resources to help you prepare for the changes in consumer privacy.: 

Apple iOS 14: What It Means for Marketers and First-Party Data

A 5-step path to cookieless digital marketing

4. Silos between the Sales & Marketing team

A tale as old as time: the chicken or the egg? Sales or Marketing? Silos amongst different departments are a pain point for many companies – 39% of employees believe teams in their company don’t collaborate enough. However, these team divisions don’t usually stem from a negative place. The sales team members have different areas of expertise and focus than the marketing team. People with these strengths are strategically chosen and hired help to move business along in both a sales and marketing capacity. However, now that consumers are practicing a more omnichannel experience, that means they are entering the sales funnel from a variety – and possibly multiple – channels, but expecting a linear path of communication from the brand. Segmented messaging from the sales and marketing team not only creates a bleak and non-preferential experience for the consumer, but it is also inefficient for the organization. 

The solution? Having a sales and marketing team aligned with a unified, clear strategy is now more essential than ever for a successful omnichannel marketing solution. The first step toward combating company silos is clear communication throughout the entire organization. Although, that’s usually much easier said than done. 

There’s no strategy that will work across the board for how best to engrain the importance of communication and a unified goal among your team. You have to find what works best for your employees and the leadership team. It could be weekly meetings, email newsletters, or employee dashboards. Whatever strategy your organization lands on, repetition and consistency are key. 

Once this communication strategy is put into place, here a few ways to continue to engrain the importance of interdepartmental collaboration to reach the company’s goals: 

  • Visually showcase how each of their roles fits into the overall puzzle, highlighting cross-functional departments and areas for opportunity.
  • Identify cross-departmental liaisons (or whatever term works best for your organization). These people should use an unbiased point of view to work as mediators as any problems or concerns arise. 
  • Conduct cross-functional training amongst your team. Learning a new skill set will help employees understand how different roles fit into the overall picture. 
  • Accept and encourage feedback. Hearing from all levels of the organization will help shape perspective on where siloes may be forming. 

5. Lack of Resources

As brands are starting to implement omnichannel marketing strategies, there are investments they have to consider ahead of time. There are costs related to training, and recruiting the right talent. Even once you have the team built, the investments continue to ensure your team is up to date on new regulations, channels, and consumer trends.

The solution? Look to outside resources and partners, like Digilant,  who can take all or some of the responsibility of managing, executing, and optimizing omnichannel campaigns off your plate. An outside partner will not only serve as an extension of your in-house team but will provide additional knowledge and expertise you may not have access to otherwise. 

Finding an omnichannel marketing partner to complement your team will help alleviate some of the biggest omnichannel marketing challenges advertisers face. At Digilant, we provide three different engagement levels to best meet the needs of advertisers:

  • Full Service: Our full-service solutions are purpose-built to position Digilant as the best possible partner to advertisers. We start with consumer research to define the target audience, which leads to the development of an integrated media strategy and sets the stage for campaign analysis and measurable performance. As a full-service media partner, we can create digital media strategies that span across all media channels.
  • Managed Service: Digilant offers a complete managed service digital advertising solution to agencies and brands. With channels supported across programmatic, search, and social, Digilant makes media buying simple. But, the real power of Digilant comes from our unmatched biddable media knowledge base and bespoke reporting and insights.
  • Self-Service: We recognize that self-service programmatic success requires much more than a login and basic platform training. The most effective way to get your team up and running with direct platform access is to provide personalized training sessions and comprehensive onboarding materials. Digilant is a one-stop-shop for all things related to programmatic in-housing. This includes dedicated client support and onboarding teams, full access to MediaMath’s programmatic media buying platform, and in-depth guidance on how to get the most out of your programmatic media investments.

Ready to combat take on these omnichannel marketing solutions?

As you begin to ramp up your omnichannel marketing solutions and investment, you may run into a variety of challenges. Establishing a data management workflow early on in your omnichannel marketing journey can help diminish challenges down the line. An outside partner like Digilant can make data management all the way through to data activation across channels simple. Wherever you are along your omnichannel marketing journey, Digilant can help.  Are you looking for a partner who can help you develop and execute your omnichannel marketing strategy? Let’s talk!

Digital Marketing Budget Allocation: How to Ensure ROI in 2021

One of the most common mistakes that many marketers fall into is making digital marketing budget decisions based purely on their team’s opinion rather than analyzing past performance data to make better decisions moving forward. Suppose you aren’t measuring the impact of today’s marketing efforts to inform tomorrow’s marketing efforts. In that case, you are likely missing out on ROI opportunities, and wasting spend on channels, strategies, and audiences that aren’t performing well. Why leave your digital marketing campaigns to chance?

Digital marketing analytics can help you maximize marketing efficiency and improve return on investment (ROI). It allows you to objectively measurable performance to make better-informed decisions when it comes to where you invest marketing and advertising dollars. From paid advertising, email marketing, SEO, and beyond, digital marketing analytics can consider all aspects of your marketing.

Why Marketing Analytics Make Digital Marketing Budget Planning Even Better

According to a recent study by Deloitte, marketing budgets comprise ~11% of total company budgets on average. Allocations within digital marketing budgets vary widely from brand to brand and depend on a number of quantifiable and non-quantifiable factors. Quantifiable factors like conversion rates and cost per acquisition by digital marketing program or channel can be calculated and understood with the help of marketing analytics.

Understanding quantifiable factors can help marketers get more value from digital marketing efforts and help marketers lower their marketing costs. Digital marketing analytics enables marketers to view performance data objectively and spot trends that can inform digital marketing budget decisions. Performance trends can help marketing teams shift funds towards the most effective digital marketing channels, identify new target audiences, and help accelerate the path to purchase.

Getting Started With Marketing Analytics

Despite the growth of digital marketing and the widespread adoption of marketing analytics, many marketers still struggle to best leverage it to maximize ROI. With the growing menu of measurement and attribution solutions paired with the shrinking bandwidth of marketing teams, it’s no surprise that some marketing teams are at a standstill when it comes to taking the first step forward. But it doesn’t have to be that way.

When it comes to building a digital marketing budget, there isn’t a perfect answer for every organization. However, I can share a series of questions that you can ask yourself to help you decide the optimal mix of programs, campaigns, and channels.

What is my customer acquisition cost (CAC)?

The first step in building your digital marketing budget is understanding how much you are spending to acquire new customers. This includes looking at all marketing programs, both paid and unpaid, that contribute to acquiring new customers. Knowing your CAC is critical to calculating ROI and for driving growth.

What is the lifetime value (LTV) of my average customer?

Lifetime value is a prediction of the total sales revenue attributed to future relationships with a customer. LTV answers how much revenue you will see from a single customer over time.

How much budget am I spending on digital marketing? On each channel?

To make the most of your digital marketing budget, you want to spend less than your target ROI. Your CAC and LTV are two metrics that can indicate how you are tracking against your target ROI. Whether you handle digital marketing in-house or use an outside agency or solutions provider can impact how difficult or easy it is for you to calculate overall digital marketing spend. You may need to aggregate spend across various platforms and channels into a single view to get a full picture of spend. It may be a big lift, but it’s a non-negotiable if you want to drive marketing ROI.

What does my average customer journey look like?

Once you understand how much you are spending on each channel and how they are directly moving the needle on sales, you can take a closer look at the complete customer journey. Be careful not to mistake the high conversion rate of a single channel as the only channel to continue investing in. For example, if you convert most leads via paid search, it may be tempting to the majority of paid advertising dollars to search. However, if customer search queries are influenced by Facebook ads, sponsored podcast content, or earned news stories, it can be difficult to pinpoint your most effective channels. The bottom line, map out the customer journey, stage by stage, channel by channel. With a detailed customer journey, you can start to understand which individual touchpoints have the most significant impact on whether or not a customer makes a purchase and allocate future budget accordingly.

Answering the questions listed above is easier said than done. For some marketers, the answers to these questions may mean that a renewed look at their digital marketing channel mix is in order. For instance, digital marketers that have previously relied on last-touch attribution data to determine their digital marketing budget may need to rethink the role that top and mid-funnel channels can play in driving ROI.

In other cases, digital marketers may need to create more meaningful content that moves customers along the customer journey more quickly. The good news: omnichannel marketing partners like Digilant can help you answer these questions and assess your digital marketing data to act on it efficiently.

If you and your team want to level up your digital marketing budget know-how to ensure the best possible ROI in 2021, contact us today.

Home for the Holidays: An Advertiser’s Guide to Reaching Shoppers this Holiday Season [Part 2]

Will Holiday Shopping Take a Hit?

So after reading part one of this series, you’ve now learned that experts have varying opinions on what different aspects of the holiday season will look like – especially when it comes to consumer spending. Experts agree that holiday shopping will drive significant revenue for brands; but, there is still uncertainty on how it will compare to the $942 average spending per person in 2019. 

Shoppers will spend more this season

Experts who predict an increase in spending this year are subscribing to the theory that consumers will mitigate discretionary spending leading up to the holidays to allow for a “normal” holiday spending budget. Recent data seems to support this theory. Of the consumers surveyed in Morning Consult’s poll, about 50% report that they plan to spend as much money this holiday season as in 2019.

The good news for brands is that consumers will still be shopping. Whether they spend less, the same, or more than last year, brands still need to be aware of when and where holiday shopping will happen. In a year when it’s more important than ever to snag those holiday dollars, you don’t want to miss out on early opportunities. 

T-85 Days until Christmas

Historically, the peak of holiday shopping occurs between the Black Friday in late November and mid-December, yielding a short, 3-4 week window of shopping.

However, this year the shopping window is expected to look a little different. In July, Amazon opted to delay their highly anticipated Prime Day as many Americans were feeling financial pressure in the midst of the pandemic. Instead, Amazon pushed Prime Day to the fall – now set to take place in October 13 and 14. Prime Day may now signal an unofficial start to the holiday shopping season – almost tripling the number of shopping days for consumers.

What does this mean for advertisers? Now is the time to start planning for the holidays. Media plans and corresponding ad creative, offers and promotions will have to launch sooner to captivate attention and interest of consumers. If you haven’t explored the benefits of dynamic creative optimization, now might be a good time to do so. 

Your head may already be spinning thinking about the different creatives, channels, tactics and data you’ll have to manage with this year’s unprecedented holiday season. While your brand can’t fully prepare for the holiday shopping season overnight, implementing an omnichannel advertising strategy and finding media and technology partners (like Digilant) can help supercharge your team and ensure a strong performance for the season. Throughout the next few blog posts, we’ll highlight key omnichannel marketing tactics and benefits that will help transform your holiday season digital advertising. Learn more about what consumers expect from brands this holiday season in part 3!

Download our infographic Home for the Holidays: An Advertisers’ Guide to Reaching Shoppers this Holiday Season.

Home for the Holidays: An Advertiser’s Guide to Reaching Shoppers this Holiday Season [Part 1]

The summer season has come and gone, which means it’s time to pack up your swimsuit and beach chair and grab your favorite cozy sweater and pumpkin vanilla candle because the holidays are here! The beginning of October might seem a bit early; but, with the Coronavirus pandemic changing up normal holiday traditions, this holiday shopping season will be starting earlier than ever before. 

As with most things this year, the holiday season and, consequently, the holiday shopping season will look a little different. Amazon Prime Day will take place at the beginning of October, kickstarting the holiday shopping season. Many stores have elected to not open their doors on Black Friday and the millions of Americans who have historically traveled for the holidays might be staying put. 

Experts have varying opinions on how this unique and uncertain year will change the holiday season. The Digilant team has looked at various scenarios and has created a game plan outlining how brands can adapt and change as consumer behavior changes. 

Keep reading to learn more about what you can expect from the holiday season and the best ways to keep your brand top of mind as US consumers stay home for the holidays. 

Read about projected spend levels and the timeline of holiday shopping in part 2 of the series here

Download our infographic Home for the Holidays: An Advertisers’ Guide to Reaching Shoppers this Holiday Season.

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