Blog Post

Reaching Holiday Shoppers with Programmatic Digital Advertising

10/12/2021 - Sierra Ducey

The news continues to buzz about the holiday shopping season ahead. As indications continue to point toward shortages and shipping delays, consumers are already taking to the store and their web browser to ensure their holiday wish lists are checked. 

Though we’ve yet to reach the mid-October mark, advertisers need to put strategy and timeliness at the top of their to-do list. Brands that can target critical holidays shoppers with timely, relevant, and targeted ads will reap the rewards in the coming months. 

But you may be asking yourself: who are these critical holiday shoppers we need to engage with in the coming season?

The Digilant team is here to help. We’ve identified four key holiday shopping groups: social media buyers, last-minute shoppers, charitable givers, and bargain hunters. Using insights from our Data Intelligence Platform, our 2021 Holiday Guide for Advertisers: Understanding Key Holiday Shoppers dives deep into all four audiences – who they are, their media habits, and purchasing behavior. 

Download the complete guide here: Guide for Advertisers: Understanding Key Holiday Shoppers in 2021.

Once you understand these key holiday shoppers and how they fit into your target audience, you may start to think about tactics, solutions, and channels you can use to reach them. Our team of planning and insights strategists has outlined key solutions you should consider implementing in the coming months. So, let’s kick things off with programmatic digital advertising with five key solutions we advise advertisers use to reach key holiday shoppers. 

What is programmatic Digital Advertising?

Before we dive in, for those new to or unfamiliar with programmatic digital advertising, it’s a method of marketing that utilizes technology to buy and sell online advertising space. It’s helpful to target segmented audiences using real-time data in ways that humans simply can’t accomplish, which yields advertisements delivered to the right people at the optimal times.

Learn more about programmatic advertising in our blog post: What is Programmatic Digital Advertising?

5 Programmatic Digital Advertising Solutions for Reaching Holiday Shoppers

1. App Ownership

Utilizing app ownership targeting tactics allows brands to reach verified, deterministic mobile audiences. These groups are classified along dimensions of life stage, interest and activity, and intent-based app ownership behaviors. Advertisers can also develop custom data segments based on mobile app data to target audiences most relevant to your consumers. 

How can advertisers use this solution to target the four key holiday shopper groups this year? 
  • Last-Minute Shoppers: Convenience and quick-delivery are essential purchasing habits for this group. Engage with shoppers who use quick delivery apps such as Target, Walmart, Instacart, and Amazon.
  • Social Media Shoppers: This will come as no surprise, but to engage with social media shoppers, it’s best to target consumers with social media apps: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, TikTok, Snapchat. You can narrow down your targeting by understanding the different uses and audiences that use specific social media platforms – learn more in our blog series: The Impact of Coronavirus on Social Media, starting with Part 1.
  • Bargain Shoppers: These shoppers are on the hunt for the best deal possible, so they are likely to use coupon and discount apps such as Rakuten, Honey, and Ibotta.
  • Charitable Buyers: If you are working to engage with shoppers who value charitable giving, target consumers who use apps such as GoFundMe

2. Custom Inclusion Lists

Digilant’s custom inclusion list solution curates a made-to-order network of sites and pages meaningful to your brand and overall objectives. 

How can advertisers use this solution to target the four key holiday shopper groups this year? 
  • Last-Minute Shoppers: Because this shopping group includes many parents of young children, consider reaching them on family-friendly sites, like
  • Social Shoppers: Social media shoppers’ desire to stay in the know doesn’t end when they leave their networking apps. They want to stay in the know, which results in time spent on pop culture sites, like People Magazine.
  • Bargain Shoppers: These shoppers are always on the hunt for a discount, consider coupon sites like GroupMe
  • Charitable Givers: These shoppers value staying informed on current events, target them on news sites like USA Today, New York Times, and The Washington Post

3. Credit Card Data

Advertisers have the ability to reach customers and prospects based on actual retail spending patterns with access to credit card data. You are able to choose from pre-built audiences or build custom audiences from criteria such as: 

  • merchant category
  • frequency of spend
  • spend amount
  • time period
  • offline vs. online spend. 

This tactic becomes even more powerful around the holidays as you can combine powerful behavioral-based segments derived from actual anonymized transaction data with seasonal insights. This gives you the ability to specifically understand how and where these key shoppers purchase during the holiday season. 

How can advertisers use this solution to target the four key holiday shopper groups this year? 
  • Last-Minute Shoppers: Understand the exact time frame in which these consumers actually hit buy so that you can target them with timely ads before this essential window has passed
  • Charitable Givers: understand which organizations or charities these groups frequently donate to better align with consumers who resonate with your brand’s mission or values

Take advantage of Digilant’s Premium Partnership with MasterCard and Amex.

4. Look-a-Like Audiences (using CRM Data)

As this season shapes up to be one of the most competitive holiday shopping seasons in history, it’s essential to reach valued consumers. And as consumer behavior and shopping habits seem to change on a daily basis, brands may be missing potential customers. Using CRM data, we are able to find and target consumers who look and behave similarly to your most valued current customers. 

5. Geofencing

As the holidays inch closers, people usually turn to in-store shopping. Whether it’s simply for the enjoyment of holiday window shopping, they’re in a time crunch, or to avoid expected shipping delays, advertisers can take advantage of geofencing solutions to reach consumers as they enter a radius close to their physical store. 

Geofencing uses an address, such as a retail location. It is then entered into our system, which checks Google’s API to get latitude/longitude for said address location. We can create custom geofences by setting a specific radius around the area to attract potential customers. We can then target consumers within the radius on display and mobile devices.

How can advertisers use this solution to target the four key holiday shopper groups this year? 

As mentioned, this is an incredibly beneficial tactic as the holidays get closer. As people realize things were missed on their list, whether they started the shopper season as a social media shopper, bargain hunter, or charitable giver, everyone showcases those last-minute shopper tendencies.

Preparing your Digital Advertising Strategy for the Season Ahead

Creating a custom campaign that successfully targets your consumer as they browse and buy during the holiday season is essential in this highly competitive market. These are just some of the many tactics we’ll implement into our client’s campaigns to set them up for success in the months to come.

We know that programmatic pairs perfectly with paid social, paid search, and many emerging channels like digital audio and Connected TV to establish an omnichannel marketing solution successfully. Stay tuned for more to come on our blog as we offer vital tactics to use across those channels in the coming weeks. 

If you’re interested in learning more about how the Digilant team can help achieve your digital advertising goals as the year comes to a close or into the new year, we’re eager to discuss. Contact us today! 

Download our Guide for Advertisers: Understanding Key Holiday Shoppers in 2021.

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