When it comes to holiday shopping, rarely do customers save all of their shopping for the last minute. In fact, 29% of consumers began shopping before Halloween in 2014. So, as you plan out your holiday campaigns, remember this: the earlier, the more widespread, the better.

To compete with big box brands this year, fostering a consistent brand experience for your customers across all channels is key. Step back and plan before you begin writing blog posts or crafting email nurture streams. Evaluate your wins and losses from last year’s strategy and determine your holiday ecommerce season goals. The more big picture planning you do early on, the less you will have to worry about whether a promotion aligns with your overall strategy when time is tight.

Creating Your Holiday Marketing Campaign Calendar

The first step to preparing your business for the holiday season and establishing consistency is to create a holiday campaign calendar. This will display the relevant events of the holiday season alongside the promotions you are planning. You should consider crucial dates such as:

  • When you will launch advertising campaigns for promotions (and where)
  • When you will send initial and follow-up email promotions
  • When you will post blogs and what the topic will be
  • If you have a brick-and-mortar, when you will change in-store merchandising
  • When you will launch pop-up shops

Campaign calendars take time to develop, but prove their own worth once the holiday season reaches its peak and you need to reference your planning efficiently. Help your customers through the stress of the holidays with well-timed promotions and a logical progression of content. Your campaign calendar is your chance to decide how the pieces of your holiday marking fit together and form a cohesive strategy. Then, of course, be sure to assign each task to specific people to stay organized.

Here’s a calendar to get you started:

holiday-campaign-calendar-no-codeOnce the calendar is complete, don’t wait to write blog posts and create digital assets. Set a goal to prepare as much as you can before October, and then automate to save time later.

Remember, the more campaign preparation you do now, the more you can focus on serving your customers during the height of the shopping season. To begin your own campaign calendar, use this framework to plan your strategy around major retail industry dates.