Planning your holiday marketing strategy in the middle of the summer might sound ridiculous, but it is a necessary evil. It is never to early to get a jump start on the planning. A good number of big box retailers begin planning for the next year’s holiday season just as the current holiday rush has barely ended.  And timing is everything!  As the holiday season planning gets earlier and earlier you want to make sure that your customers are ready to buy, that you’re set up to handle the rush, and that you’ve done a sufficient amount of promotion and branding ahead of time.  That’s where online display advertising comes in handy!You probably heard of Amazon Prime Day – according to Nytimes.com, hundreds of thousands of new members signed up for Amazon Prime on prime day and sales supposedly beat their Black Friday numbers from last year.  Everyone was talking about it, their ads and promotional materials were everywhere, and this was done weeks in advance, giving consumers plenty of time to travel through the buyer’s journey.This was a promotion that was done in July, not even during the traditional Q4 holiday season. So what do we learn from what they did?Customers are researching and purchasing online and via mobile devices now more than ever, partially because the ad they see that triggers them to buy is served in one of their favorite apps or on their favorite social media platform.  Planning, branding, and generating buzz for you and your promotions well ahead of time and on the channels where your customers are of time is absolutely key. This will require some research and maybe even a display campaign or two ahead of time to find out what resonates that best with your customers.  Are they on social media primarily?  Do they respond to videos?  Are they researching on mobile but transacting on their desktop?  Would a cross-channel giveaway generate buzz and brand awareness?Once you can establish who your buyers are and where they are purchasing and interacting, you can then make sure you create offers and promotions that will speak to them directly.  Have you tried a retargeting campaign?  With this you can retarget customers who have visited your site or have looked at specific products to get them to come back and purchase, or keep you top of mind for when they are ready to.The last advance step you need to take is making sure you’re website is mobile friendly! According to Magnetic’s CEO James Green: “Both IBM and Custora claimed that mobile commerce accounts for roughly 22-24% of total eCommerce holiday sales. Additionally, IBM also cited that 45% of online traffic during the holiday season came from mobile.  Magnetic’s showed that ad spend on mobile devices grew 62% from Q3 to Q4 2014. These stats further cement the fact that retailers should not be ignoring mobile devices.” If you need to redesign your website to turn it mobile friendly, the farther in advance of the holidays you do this the better!When all of this advanced planning and testing comes together, it can result in increased sales and happy customers.  Make sure you are doing all that you can do plan ahead for your online display campaigns! Do you need help coming up with a strategy, or choosing which digital media methods to use this holiday season? Contact Wakefly today, we would be happy to help!