Welcome to the Holiday Marketeer blog series in which Boost Media serves up hearty portions of 2015 holiday digital marketing strategy ideas. In this installment, we cover holiday media budget and KPI planning considerations.


Nothing says “holiday cheer” like planning your holiday media budget and KPIs. Holiday revenue opportunity is the size Saint Nick’s jolly round belly, but rising competition and CPCs pose the threat of delivering cost metrics to your boss akin to lumps of coal. Boost Media is here to help you plan your holiday media budget with care.


Metrics that matter

Before planning your holiday media budget, it’s helpful to show up to the digital holiday party armed with a few conversation-starting metrics:

  • CPCs and CPMs go crazy during the holidays. Research indicates you should expect to pay at least 2.5X your normal CPC or CPM to show Facebook ads on Black Friday. The story is similar across other ad networks. To add to the mix, Black “Friday” is stretching out to last a month, according to Google.
  • The revenue potential is substantial. We all know that the holidays are a big shopping time of year. But just how big is the opportunity? Are these increased CPCs worth it? Yes. Last year, many Kenshoo advertisers saw a 5X improvement year-over-year in Facebook Cyber Monday ROI, compared with the previous year.


Rethinking holiday KPIs

You might have been able to hit your 3-to-1 ROAS goal in July when CPMs were $5. However, come November, this may be unrealistic—CPMs increase by 2 or 3X.

Proactively adjust efficiency expectations to avoid missing out on the increased order volume opportunity. Instead of aiming for a strict efficiency goal, consider optimizing to a volume target, perhaps with a cap on minimum ROAS, or cost-per-engagement you are willing to accept for any given segment of your program.


Holiday media budget framework

There are a lot of details that go into budget management, particularly around the holidays. Here are three key points to keep in mind for the 2015 holiday season:

  • End even pacing. Most of the year, digital media budget pacing can be fairly consistent. However, during the holidays there are major shopping days, promotional events, and changes to customer behavior. The goal for holiday budget pacing should be to optimize spend for the highest revenue-per-impression (RPI) days, rather than to spend the budget evenly from day-to-day. In the next Holiday Marketeer, we will discuss analyzing historical data to uncover actionable insights on RPI.
  • Fluidity is fabulous. The fewer constraints placed on how a budget is allocated, the better performance will be. Rather than enforcing strict budgets between ad networks, regions, brands, or products, set targets and enable your team to make investment decisions based on performance in real time.
  • Mobile means money. When reviewing performance in years past, you may find that mobile CPCs were significantly lower than on desktop. As consumers shift evermore into using mobile phones as personal shopping companions, the competition is increasing, which means you will need to allocate more to mobile just to maintain equivalent performance compared with last year.


Holiday shopping behavior is unlike any other time of the year. Managing your holiday media budget with care is key to maximizing performance during the annual shopping frenzy. Without the right approach, you risk over-investing in an under-performing segment of your program, while leaving opportunity on the table in another area. A few well-thought-out rules can provide a budget planning framework you can confidently hang your stocking on.



About Boost Media

Boost Media increases advertiser profitability by using a combination of humans and a proprietary software platform to drive increased ad relevance at scale.

The Boost marketplace comprises over 1,000 expert copywriters and image optimizers who compete to provide a diverse array of perspectives. Boost’s proprietary software identifies opportunities for creative optimization and drives performance using a combination of workflow tools and algorithms. Headquartered in San Francisco, the Boost Media optimization platform provides fresh, performance-driven creative in 12 localized languages worldwide.