Wow, Our 2014 Holiday Calendar and Checklist has Everything!

By Nik Rajpal
TOPICSEmail Marketing, Google, Product Ads

We recently did a Holiday Preparedness webinar with Google and turned the resulting knowledge into a really fun eBook that you can download for free here. There were some specific sections that were filled with content — and we wanted to make sure all of that was easily accessible for you.

Key Dates for the 2014 Holiday Season:

  • Black Friday – Fri, 11/28
  • Small Business Saturday – Sat, 11/29
  • Cyber Sunday – Sun 11/30
  • Cyber Monday – Mon, 12/1
  • Cyber Tues and Giving Tues – Tues, 12/2
  • Green Monday – Mon, 12/8
  • Hanukkah Begins – Tues, 12/16
  • Free Shipping Day – Thu, 12/18
  • Super Saturday – Sat, 12/20

In the eBook, we shared some rules and patterns of success extrapolated from last year. For example, have you realized that most of the really strong days in the holiday season are when the weekdays begin? That’s partly because weekend shoppers are able to get into brick-and-mortar stores. If you understand such patterns, you can easily play off of them.

2014 Holiday Housekeeping Tips


✓  Ensure ads get pre-approved for any potential trademark terms.

✓  Upload new ad copy as soon as possible for approvals.

✓  Plan your automation strategy; automated rules can help manage ad creative swaps, bid changes, and budget changes.

✓  Ensure all products are in the Merchant Center feed.

✓  Ensure all tags (remarketing, conversion tracking, Analytics) are properly implemented.

✓  Seed consumer interest with upper-funnel video, display and search campaigns.


✓  Develop a tactical implementation calendar that’s shared with your Google team.

✓  Leverage ad scheduling and sitelink scheduling for key deals/promotions.

✓  Maintain bids and budgets at competitive levels.

✓  Set aggressive budgets to avoid capping.

✓  Leverage Shopping campaigns to highlight sales/discounts with updated product feeds.

✓  Heavy up on mobile bid multipliers tied to key travel days and in-store shopping days.

✓  Focus on new KWs/products and track them in Google Trends to capitalize on momentum.


✓  Save extra budget for campaigns to capture post-holiday shoppers.

✓  Activate on-device and geo-specific opportunities to push products in underperforming markets post-holiday.

✓  Leverage Shopping campaigns (especially Local) to push excess inventory and avoid drastic markdowns.

Best Practices to Reach Consumers in the Moments that Matter…

Consider context and intent to reach consumers:

✓ Own mobile real estate on Use bid adjustments to ensure visibility on all devices — reach for 1-1.5 position on mobile.

✓ Adjust bids by location and time to increase visibility when customers are near your store and at times when users are likely to convert over the shopping timeline.

✓ Own the mobile digital shelf. Make your inventory available to consumers shopping for products and promote deals on Google Shopping.

Embrace the multi-channel shopper:

✓ Capitalize on cross-device shopping behavior to close sales. Use cross-device tracking to follow paths between computers, tablets, and mobile. Consider a “buy later” button on your mobile site.

✓ Compete for shoppers based on proximity. Identify valuable locations for your business and target customers in those areas.

✓ Allow customers to find your business on mobile. Use location extensions and click-to-call capabilities to drive in-store traffic from mobile ads.

✓ Drive in-store traffic. Show local store availability on mobile with Google Shopping, connecting consumers to local storefronts.

Don’t sacrifice the true value of mobile:

✓ Adopt a multi-screen strategy and drive measurable results. “What is the entire path to purchase shoppers are taking?” Measure and assign value to all types of mobile conversions (m-commerce, in-app, in-store, calls, cross-device).

✓ Measure Device to In-Store data by tracking “Store Locator” page visits or providing online coupons and counting redemptions.

✓ Optimize your mobile assets. Build mobile site and app experiences with a responsive design, tailored to mobile users.

✓ Capture phone calls by using Call Conversions and Website Call Conversions.

Remember, there’s much more in the eBook – Are you Prepared for Holiday 2014? Thanks to Google for providing much of this information.