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'Tis the and every day

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Some of you may have read about or perhaps attended MediaPost’s Search Insider Summit in Palm Springs last week. There were two great takeaways (free registration required) related to online holiday campaigns that we thought were worth a mention. In planning for holiday campaigns, the search executives on the MediaPost panel advised working way in advance to build brand awareness and to test messaging. While this isn’t exactly a new idea, it's a good one to consider these days as we see holiday campaigns appearing earlier and earlier every year. (Who among us isn't already viewing wreaths, colored lights, and Christmas music -- and before Thanksgiving, which used to be the starting point of the holiday shopping season?) No matter the holiday, even before consumers are buying, they are online-- and they’re planning for the upcoming holidays, seasonal events, and of course gift occasions. Make sure you’re there all the time, not just following what brick-and-mortar stores do.

The same panel stressed keeping a part of your campaigns on year-round. We encourage clients to run continuously on brand and key terms to fill in their seasonal, flighted, and offline campaigns. This is not only easy but also cost-effective, and it’s always a good idea to have something there when people are searching on your brand attributes or reading content related to your products. More often than not, someone’s going to show up in that space. If not you, then who?

Bottom line: it's not too late to get something up for the holidays, but you should also be thinking about what happens in January and planning for Valentine's Day. We'll share some ideas and tips on setting up these campaigns in an upcoming post.