Preparing Performance Marketers for Holiday Campaigns

By Daniel Avshalom, Head of Ad Operations at Zoomd

There is a lot that performance marketers can to do prepare for their marketing campaigns. The recently concluded Q4 of 2021 might have served up some learnings. Daniel Avshalom, Head of Ad Operations at Zoomd shares more:


Many marketers are concerned with how Apple’s termination of the company’s IDFA app tracking (and email tracking in iOS 15) will impact their future holiday campaigns.

Beyond privacy, marketers aren’t certain how much of their typical holiday season traffic will be offline through future holidays after shoppers migrated to online shopping channels last year. Specifically, though there will be a return to offline, the question is whether it will always be limited to last-minute purchases which shoppers will Buy Online and Pickup In-Store (BOPIS), or whether online/offline tactics like showrooming will play a factor for shopping seasons.

If one thing is certain, based on research ecently conducted at Zoomd surveying nearly 200 global mobile user acquisition and marketing managers, is that success in holiday campaigns will come from going broad.

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Use more channels

First, our research showed that marketers are using more (and different channels) in 2021. Thirty-seven percent of users surveyed were working across 10 or more channels. Though just over one-third of respondents worked with one or two channels, those were dedicated marketers working alongside colleagues dedicated to other channels.

Try new/other channels

Beyond the move to more channels, performance marketers were also focusing on different channels in 2021, going far beyond just Google and Facebook. With the recent privacy-related changes from Apple and soon from Google as well as from global privacy-focused legislation, marketers are increasingly broadening the list of channel partners they’re working with.

Snapchat experienced strong growth in 2021, increasing by 50% versus 2020 according to the marketers we surveyed. We believe that Snapchat benefited by keeping a relatively low communications profile regarding the impact of the end of Apple’s IDFA app tracking. Other strong marketing channels include Apple Search Ads as well as a broad range of social and other media channels. What our research did show is a decrease in the use of Google and Facebook as marketers broaden their channel strategy.

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Use new ad units including playable ads

Playable ads are an ad format that is growing, and not only for games. Playable ads enable the prospective user to experience the app, whether it’s a simulated shopping experience or other relevant user experience which facilitates moving the prospective user through the funnel. This exposure of ‘playing the ad’ made playable ads the top ad format, cited by 41% of the marketers surveyed. Other strong and growing ad units cited that will were important in Q4 holiday campaigns include interstitials, video, banner ads, and Reels by Instagram.

Go beyond the platforms and work with DSPs

Going broad also means looking beyond the leading platforms at other technology solutions which can enable performance marketers to hit their targets this holiday shopping season. One such technology is programmatic media buying with a Demand-Side Platform (DSP) which enables marketers to manage multiple ad exchanges and data exchanges through one management interface. According to our research, 44% of marketers using DSPs do so to A/B test their ad creative, while 30% cited their need to fight ad fraud and for transparency. Fifteen percent of DSP users said they use the technology to integrate first-party data while nine percent cited that they use a DSP to increase their campaign reach.

As marketers prepare for future holiday seasons that will have less Zoom and more in-person meetings with family, friends, and co-workers than last year, performance marketers are still seeking the optimal marketing mix to maximize campaign performance. To optimize performance in consideration of the privacy-driven marketing changes, marketers are encouraged to go broad with their channels, platforms, ad units, and technology to achieve their KPIs.

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