Every June, for the past decade, I’d reach out to my retail clients and remind them that the holidays haven’t moved and it was time to start planning their marketing campaigns and initiatives. To be honest, even through the height of the recent pandemic years, my top tips for planning for the holidays really hadn’t changed:

  1. Build your calendar now, not later.
  2. Decide before September if you are adding to your MarTech stack – so we can test the implementation before the critical holiday sends begin.
  3. Knowing that the world is moving to mobile first, talk about how your emails are rendering or if you need to consider SMS or Mobile Push campaigns.

That said, we are now into August 2022 and my conversations are fundamentally changing. There are more unknowns in the retail space than we’ve seen in decades. Consumers are experiencing a pent-up demand for goods, global supply chain issues that appear to vary daily, skyrocketing inflation, and general uncertainty as we are coming out of a global pandemic and heading into a projected recession. That’s enough to make anyone think that pulling together a calendar is an exercise in futility.
However, we, at ListEngage, believe that the single best way to navigate the unknowns out there is to dig deep on preparation for the holidays. It’s been our mantra to lean in on the things we know. We understand we cannot control or even anticipate everything that might come in the months ahead, but by focusing on the things we can control, we will all be better prepared to ride the waves of change.

Over the coming weeks, the ListEngage team will share practical tips and planning considerations to help you prepare for and manage through the holiday chaos. We’ll dive into:

  1. Are you enabled with the right technology and engaging your customers in all of the appropriate channels?
  2. Is your technology set up for personalizing at scale, with automation?
  3. Are you set up to properly report on ROI and other key metrics for this holiday season?
  4. Are you sufficiently staffed to execute on your holiday campaigns? Are you prepared for both known and unplanned resource constraints?

Planning early/now is key. If you’re looking to make changes to your technology, partners, channels, and/or capabilities, you’ll want to begin getting those in place long before the holiday rush begins. We hope this series proves beneficial to your planning efforts!

ListEngage has experts in retail holiday preparation that are already working with other national and global brands to plan and prepare for the holiday season. Please contact us if you’d like to leverage our expertise for a conversation and a free assessment.

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