Holiday Marketing 6-Step Guide for Optimal Results

Discover the key strategies to enhance your holiday marketing campaigns and achieve success in the festive season with these 6 simple steps.

Reading Time: 16 minutes

November 27, 2023
Gregory Cypes – Chief Product and Technology Officer

Running optimized holiday marketing campaigns is crucial for capturing the business opportunity of the holiday season. With this in mind, this Collage Group guide demonstrates how you can optimize your brand’s marketing campaigns this holiday season using six simple steps.

These steps will lead you through the consumer research process, demonstrating how you can leverage consumer insight data to:

    1. Identify the target audience with the most business potential.
    2. Understand the brand sentiment of this target audience today, including brand awareness, momentum, favorability, and purchase intent.
    3. Utilize consumer research data and insights to design an optimized holiday marketing campaign.

Consumers Are Spending More During the Holiday Season

During the 2022 holiday shopping season, consumers across America collectively spent a staggering $936.3 billion on gifts, decorations, and other festive items, as reported by the National Retail Federation. This data underscores the substantial economic impact of the holiday season, as people embrace the spirit of giving.

It’s important to note that data collection was concentrated within the months of November and December. However, despite this limited time frame, it is evident that consumer spending during the holidays is on the rise. For instance, in 2002, holiday spending stood at $416.4 billion.

To capitalize on this opportunity, brands invest a significant amount of money in their holiday advertising efforts. For example, in 2022, $57 billion was allocated to digital ads, and $2.53 billion was earmarked for digital retail in the same year.

The Extended Holiday Season Provides Marketers With a Unique Opportunity

Four out of ten shoppers initiated their holiday purchases before the end of October, signaling a clear desire to get a head start on the festivities.

In comparison, only one out of ten shoppers planned to commence their holiday shopping in December. This further underscores the fact that people are increasingly seeking to avoid last-minute rushes and plan their purchases in advance.

This extended shopping period offers marketers a unique opportunity. Marketers can fine-tune their advertising strategies, to optimize them continuously and incrementally, and enhance the return on investment throughout the entire holiday season.

Address the Challenge: How to Craft Successful Holiday Marketing Campaigns

The high-stakes nature of holiday campaigns can place enormous stress and pressure on you as a marketer. The holiday season is often regarded as a marketer’s Super Bowl, and to pursue success,  you must identify and address the root causes of the challenges that impede your efforts.

You must work diligently to overcome these challenges and ensure your holiday campaigns attain the desired results. In an ever-evolving landscape of holiday spending and advertising, adaptability, and innovative strategies are crucial for success.

The 6-step guide included in this article is designed to help you maintain this adaptability, utilizing consumer research data to innovate, experiment with, and test new marketing ideas and campaigns. Before delving into the guide, let’s review the challenges that marketing during the holiday season presents. With this understanding, you can tailor your marketing efforts to overcome these challenges.

Challenge #1: Marketing Strategies Are Growing Increasingly Complex

One of the primary challenges you’ll encounter during the holiday season is the necessity to employ more complex, high-effort engagement tactics to maintain relevance. However, you may feel uncertain about the effectiveness of the engagement methods you use.

As marketing becomes more intricate, there’s a risk that these efforts backfire, potentially leading to a loss of consumer interest and the inadvertent erosion of consumer brand trust.

Challenge #2: Consumer Behavior Is Constantly Changing, a Trend That’s Amplified During the Holiday Season

Consumer behaviors are continually changing, which further complicates the task of devising the right marketing strategy. This challenge is amplified during the holiday season due to the myriad of factors influencing consumer purchasing decisions. Examples include emotional triggers, gift-giving trends, and product availability. As consumers’ preferences continue to evolve, staying ahead of the curve becomes a formidable endeavor.

Challenge #3: Data and Information Overload

Adding to the complexity is the data landscape itself. As a marketer, you may feel overwhelmed by a deluge of data from various sources. In some cases, the data may even conflict, creating a labyrinth of information that hinders the development of an effective marketing strategy.

How Can Brands Ensure They Remain Relevant During the Holiday Season?

To maintain relevance during the holiday season, brands must create exceptional experiences for their audience. Relevance is the key, and it involves understanding the right audiences and channels and crafting messages that resonate with them. Failure to do so not only risks eroding trust but can also result in the loss of consumer attention and interest. Additionally, misguided marketing efforts deplete resources and prompt consumers to seek alternatives for products and services.

As a marketer, you must gain an intimate understanding of consumer behavior and market dynamics, necessitating a deep reliance on data. Understanding what influences consumer decisions and how to navigate the ever-changing market landscape is only possible through the insights derived from this data. It’s also important to obtain this data from a designated single source of truth.

Collage Group’s innovative, AI-powered application is tailored specifically to address these challenges. This powerful tool surfaces brand-specific insights, with the aim of enhancing relevance by providing comprehensive consumer data across diverse consumer segments, including psychographics, values, beliefs, habits, and brand attitudes. Collage Group continually updates the data in and links it to a vast repository of up-to-the-minute research and insights. These insights are available in Collage Group’s expanding research library, as part of the cultural intelligence platform, Insights Hub. Think of as your one-stop application for in-depth insights and cohesive brand-specific research. This is a unified resource that helps you understand your consumers.

Collage Group’s application empowers you to effectively tackle the challenge of optimizing holiday marketing campaigns, meeting the unique consumer demands presented by the season.

Case Study: Nespresso’s Current Holiday Branding and Marketing Efforts

Nespresso is a provider of coffee machines, capsules, and accessories. The brand leads the market in this industry, with a forecast value of $27420.0 million by 2031.

Imagine a scenario where you’re part of the Nespresso brand’s team. You’re responsible for optimizing the brand’s holiday campaigns using consumer insight data. Your objective is to promptly create a media plan and suggest enhancements that the team can implement in the upcoming weeks.

Enhance Nespresso’s Campaigns Through Consumer Insights

The Nespresso brand positions its products as premium, luxury items, placing a strong emphasis on encouraging repeat purchases. Marketing campaigns highlight benefits such as discounts, free delivery, easy recycling, and flexible subscription plans. Additionally, the brand utilizes celebrity endorsements to enhance their brand image. Notably, Nespresso’s products have limited availability in physical stores outside of Nespresso boutiques, creating an aura of exclusivity.

Examine the below examples of Nespresso’s current marketing campaigns, and you’ll observe a consistency with the themes mentioned above.

Optimizing holiday marketing campaigns - Nespresso current marketing campaign example

As you can see, while Nespresso’s advertisements effectively convey the theme of indulgence. Nespresso tantalizes viewers with a presentation of coffee and dessert that is both tasteful and appetizing.

The infusion of luxury is evident in the use of gold and silverware, along with an elegant palette of subtle fall colors and decorative elements.

For another example, take a look at Nespresso’s recent video advertisement from May 2023, titled ‘The Bet’. This advertisement features A-list actors George Clooney, Julia Garner, and Simone Ashley. In this ad, Clooney loses a bet to Julia, resulting in a comical situation where he swaps his car for a moped. This ad remains in perfect alignment with the Nespresso brand as it encapsulates the essence of luxury, introduces viewers to the brand’s diverse coffee offerings, and even touches upon the eco-friendly aspect of recycling coffee capsules. These thematic elements will be essential to consider as you analyze Nespresso’s performance through the app.

Understand How Cultural Fluency Is Assessed Using Collage Group’s B-CFQ Measure

Collage Group leverages over a decade of research on Multicultural America to create a robust methodology for assessing brands’ ability to appeal to Multicultural America. The initial evaluation tool, the Brand Cultural Fluency Quotient (B-CFQ), examines brands across six key dimensions, each of which is elaborated on below:

    1. Fit: Fit revolves around how well a brand’s product or service aligns with the needs and desires of the consumer. It’s essential to consider whether your brand effectively fulfills a specific cultural need within the consumer’s life.

    2. Relevance: Relevance measures a brand’s capacity to deeply resonate with a particular group’s identity. It’s crucial to determine if your brand connects with the unique cultural traits and passions of the consumer group.

    3. Memories: Memories gauge whether a brand creates a significant and lasting impression, leaving consumers with a memorable experience.

    4. Values: Values focus on a brand’s dedication to supporting and upholding the core beliefs and principles of the communities it serves. It’s vital to assess whether your brand acts as an ally in addressing the key social issues that affect your consumers’ lives.

    5. Trust: Trust evaluates a brand’s reputation and reliability. It’s important to consider whether your brand has earned the credibility necessary to secure consumer loyalty.

    6. Advocacy: Advocacy measures a brand’s ability to generate positive word-of-mouth endorsements. It’s crucial to determine if consumers are willing to recommend your brand to their peers and community.

This B-CFQ measure is essential for optimizing Nespresso’s holiday marketing campaign, and scores for this brand are available in Collage Group’s platform.

Apply Collage Group’s Application to Optimize Holiday Marketing Campaigns: A 6-Step Guide

To assess Nespresso’s brand performance and develop an optimization strategy, you’ll need to conduct a comprehensive review of brand awareness across Multicultural segments. Commence your analysis of Nespresso with this critical step to gain valuable insights into the brand’s reach and recognition among various audiences.

Next, you should perform a detailed examination of the B-CFQ (Brand-Cultural Fluency Quotient) measure to decode consumer sentiment toward the brand, and identify potential optimization opportunities. Utilize this step, in combination with the previous one, to select a target consumer segment for your marketing campaigns.

Afterward, you’ll need to examine additional data points, including past purchase behavior, brand momentum, brand favorability, and purchase intent. This step validates your chosen target segment.

Subsequently, you’ll align the components of the B-CFQ measure, the identified target segment, and optimization goals with content that delves deep into cultural research. The insights derived from this in-depth research will serve as the foundation for your marketing recommendations.

Below, each of the above steps is explained in more detail.

Step #1: Assess Brand Awareness Across Key Consumer Segments

The first step in your analysis using is to obtain a comprehensive review of the survey sample metrics. These are presented in in a table that breaks down the survey data by the following segments.

  • Total: The “Total” column provides an overview of the total number of respondents who participated in the research.

  • Aware: The “Aware” column represents the percentage of respondents who were aware of the brand under examination, which in this case is Nespresso.

Optimizing holiday marketing campaigns - Inside application to assess brand awareness

Shift your attention to the awareness chart. It’s evident that for the Asian consumer segment, the Nespresso brand is performing on par with the category average, while other multicultural segments are lagging behind. You can observe this by noting the lighter gray bars in the chart show above. These bars represent the category average. For Asian consumers, the category’s average brand awareness stands at 73%, and Nespresso matches that with a 74% awareness rate.

Why is Nespresso’s brand awareness below the category average for other consumer segments, notably Black, White, and Hispanic consumers?

Nespresso’s marketing strategy is focused on driving repeat customers meaning new business opportunities aren’t explored. That is, marketing campaigns aren’t designed to drive brand awareness beyond the Asian community, and so awareness remains relatively low in other ethnic groups. This is something your holiday marketing campaign for Nespresso can seek to address.

It is, however, important to note that consumers who are aware of Nespresso tend to hold a favorable view of the brand, highlighting the effectiveness of their loyalty-centered approach.

Step #2: Understand How Nespresso Connects With Diverse Consumer Sentiments

Next, utilize the B-CFQ metric to evaluate Nespresso’s ability to efficiently and effectively connect with diverse consumer segments through culture. When you assess Nespresso using the components of the B-CFQ metric, you can pinpoint areas where the brand may be underperforming. The application provides a B-CFQ score using a color-coded heat map. Below, you evaluate the heat map provided for the Nespresso brand.

Optimizing holiday marketing campaigns by understanding brand connections with diverse consumers

You can observe that the Unacculturated Hispanic segment – Hispanics who have not adapted to American culture – shows notably high levels of engagement with the Nespresso brand. However, for the B-CFQ component “memories,” this segment’s results are on par with the average brand results.

Surprisingly, it’s the Bicultural Hispanic segment – Hispanics who identify with both American and Hispanic culture – that stands out in the “memories” category. This indicates that these consumers associate positive and lasting memories with Nespresso. This insight will be particularly valuable as you consider your campaign creatives to emphasize and build on this positive association.

On the flip side, the B-CFQ score indicates a few areas where Nespresso is underperforming, particularly among Black and White segments. This is indicated by the prevalence of red in these areas. Given your objective to swiftly optimize Nespresso’s holiday campaigns, you decide to focus your efforts on the segments where meaningful progress can be achieved without requiring substantial adjustments to your campaigns. 

Notably, the Acculturated Hispanic segment – Hispanics who have completely assimilated into American culture – presents a promising opportunity here. Considering that you’re in the process of optimizing Nespresso’s holiday campaigns, it might be prudent to concentrate on enhancing “memory” and “relevance” activations in this segment. To support you in this goal, Collage Group possesses the research and insights to ensure you have the confidence and knowledge to make informed and strategic marketing decisions with this in mind. It’s essential to ensure every tweak you make aligns seamlessly with the preferences and sentiments of Nespresso’s diverse consumer base.

Step #3: Measure Brand Awareness, Momentum, Favorability, and Purchase Intent

In your aim to gain further consumer insights regarding the Nespresso brand, you turn your attention to past purchase behavior, brand momentum, brand favorability, and purchase intent. 

Your focal point is the Acculturated Hispanic segment (as determined in Step 2). 

Within this segment – using data from – you find a significant portion of consumers (35%) have not yet purchased from Nespresso. Yet, 20% of this segment frequently engage with the brand, and 10% are steadfast and loyal consumers.

You can leverage this past purchase data to re-engage those who’ve interacted with Nespresso before. For instance, you could present dedicated messages that highlight new or returning seasonal flavors. It’s worth noting that this is a strategy that’s already been observed in Nespresso ads.

Optimizing holiday marketing campaigns - Understanding purhcase intent

Next, looking at the brand momentum, Nespresso’s perceived momentum is on a favorable trajectory. While the category average for brands on the rise stands at 29%, Nespresso exceeds this with a commendable 41% for Acculturated Hispanic consumers. This positive momentum presents an opportunity to entice those who have yet to make a purchase and reinforces Nepresso’s standing among the Acculturated Hispanic segment.

Optimizing holiday marketing campaigns - Measuring brand momentum

Turning your attention to brand favorability among Acculturated Hispanics, you find that 27% have a strong affinity for the brand, a figure that aligns closely with the brand’s average favorability across the entire population (26%). However, 36% of Acculturated Hispanics maintain a neutral stance toward the brand. 

In this data there lies an opportunity. That is, you decide to engage with Acculturated Hispanics, and to work towards converting them into loyal brand enthusiasts.

Optimizing holiday marketing campaigns - Understanding brand favorability


Finally, you look at purchase intent. Within the Acculturated Hispanic segment, a substantial 27% of consumers express an interest in purchasing from the brand. Considering that 35% of Acculturated Hispanics haven’t yet made a brand purchase, this purchase intent data suggests a significant portion of non-consumers are receptive to brand engagement. You also know that the majority of consumers don’t hold negative sentiment toward the brand, and view the brand to be on a favorable trajectory. Again, this data suggests a promising opportunity to effectively engage the Acculturated Hispanic segment with the Nespresso brand.

Optimizing holiday marketing campaigns - Understanding purchase intent

Step #4: Refer to Collage Group’s Consumer Insights Hub to Establish an Effective Marketing Plan

To optimize Nespresso’s holiday campaigns, you can leverage the data alongside Collage Group’s subject-specific content and qualitative consumer insights information. Content that can help includes:

    1. Collage Group’s holidays and occasions content, as your goal is to optimize Nespresso’s holiday campaigns. 
    2. Collage Group’s cultural traits research on connecting with Hispanic consumers, as your aim is to engage Acculturated Hispanics. 
    3. Collage Group’s passion points research to guide your marketing campaign to promote positive sentiment, relevance, and memories. 
    4. Collage Group’s multicultural category-level insights on non-alcoholic beverages as Nespresso fits this product category.

These insights are available in Collage Group’s Insights Hub.

Step #5: Review Consumer Insight Data to Identify Key Takeaways

After reviewing the gathered insight reports, you’ve extracted the following information to inform your marketing optimization efforts, with an emphasis on two to three key points from the content obtained from Collage Group’s Insights Hub.

Learning From Holiday and Occasions Content

By exploring content related to holidays and occasions, you’ve gained an understanding of the unique traits of the Hispanic community and how these traits influence their celebration patterns. 

Firstly, this segment is characterized by positivity and trailblazing tendencies. 

Plus, you’ve identified that Acculturated Hispanic attitudes toward family heritage traditions are more aligned with non-Hispanics than with Bicultural and Unacculturated Hispanics.

Next, after analyzing Thanksgiving and Christmas reports, you’ve learned that Hispanic consumers tend to experience less stress when preparing for holidays and spending time with their families compared to the general population.

Finally, Acculturated Hispanics are less inclined to celebrate Christmas-related customs like La Misa Del Gallo (midnight mass) and Dia de los Reyes Magos compared to Bicultural and Unacculturated Hispanics.

Learning From Passion Points Content

The passion points research has revealed that the Acculturated Hispanic segment, along with the broader Hispanic community, holds a strong appreciation for food, including cooking, baking, and dining out. 

Plus these consumers are characterized by their emotive and warm nature and prioritize hospitality.

Learning From Non-alcoholic Beverage Content

Finally, delving into category-specific insights from Collage Group’s non-alcoholic beverage content, you’ve learned that Hispanic consumers are environmentally conscious and prefer beverages with natural ingredients. 

Plus, a remarkable 68% of Hispanics have purchased or consumed coffee in the past three months.

Step #6: Combine Consumer Research Insights With Data to Optimize Holiday Marketing Campaigns

The above consumer research insights, when combined with data, provide a solid foundation to build a holiday marketing campaign that better connects with the right target audience. 

Using this information, you create the following optimization plan for Nespresso’s holiday campaign.

    • Campaign goal:  To tweak Nespresso’s holiday campaigns for increased appeal and to engage with Acculturated Hispanic consumers. 

    • Target audience: Acculturated Hispanic consumers.

    • Audience insights: Acculturated Hispanics:

      1. Have a great appreciation for food, cooking, baking, and eating out.

      2. Are less likely to feel stressed when preparing for holidays and seeing their families. Getting together with friends, whom they consider their family, is important to them.

      3. Are environmentally conscious and prefer beverages with natural ingredients.

      4. Have purchased or consumed coffee in the past 3 months. Plus coffee is their preferred energy-boosting beverage (68% are in agreement with this statement).

      5. Have similar attitudes to non-Hispanics compared to Bicultural or Unaccultruated Hispanics when it comes to taking part in family traditions.

    • Tone and voice: Warm, friendly, family-centric, and positive.

    • Key visuals:

      • Option #1: Launch advertising campaigns featuring individuals spending time with family and friends, savoring seasonal cuisine amid tasteful and stylish decor, all within a relaxed and inviting atmosphere. This option is already present in Nespresso’s campaigns

      • Option #2: Launch an advertising campaign that features the act of recycling, and a care for the environment. This option presents a new strategy to capture the attention of Acculturated Hispanics.

With the above analysis in mind, you choose option two. You opt to take a different strategic approach and assess its effectiveness in capturing the attention of Acculturated Hispanic consumers.

By adhering to this strategy, the following provides an example of the imagery and messaging that would characterize an optimized marketing campaign aligned with this focused approach.

Optimizing holiday marketing campaigns - Proposed optimized content

Using tasteful decorations, along with Nespresso’s eco-conscious pods, you showcase the brand’s commitment to nature and sustainable business practices.

Optimize Your Holiday Marketing Campaigns and Beyond

The holiday season offers a substantial opportunity for brands to capitalize on the uptick in consumer spending. However, navigating the complexities of holiday marketing campaigns demands a strategic and data-driven approach. This 6-step guide by Collage Group provides a comprehensive framework for optimizing holiday marketing efforts, emphasizing the importance of understanding diverse consumer sentiments, staying adaptable in the face of evolving challenges, and leveraging innovative strategies to ensure brand relevance throughout the extended holiday period.

Look Ahead With by Collage Group will assist you in achieving your marketing objectives, giving immediate access to essential data required for well-informed strategic marketing decisions. This application offers a central hub for seamless data analysis and interpretation, simplifying the process of connecting statistics with precise consumer insights.

The team at Collage Group is working to roll out additional features in the application, which include:

    1. Brand Head-to-Head Dashboard: This enables a comprehensive analysis of brand perception across Multicultural segments. Compare your brand against competitors or admired brands within a single view, with insights that are connected to key takeaways and summaries.

    2. In-App Takeaways: provides swift access to concise summaries and prompts, seamlessly connecting Collage Group’s extensive syndicated content to the analyzed data. The aim is to streamline the user experience for quicker, more confident access to information, without the need to navigate between multiple platforms.

    3. Enhanced Content Discovery: This feature utilizes innovative technology to surface valuable guidance, making it quicker and easier to find answers to specific questions. The application provides on-demand access to routinely useful information for members, covering category and industry data.

    4. Industry Dashboard: This dashboard offers a comprehensive view of brand perception across multicultural segments in a specific industry or category. This will allow you to assess a brand’s position within the broader industry landscape, identify areas of outperformance or underperformance, and discover opportunities for improvement.

    5. Consumer360 Dashboard: This dashboard provides a detailed exploration of brand love, segmented by audience. Actionable insights for understanding and engaging with diverse consumers are offered.

Get started with Collage Group’s application for comprehensive consumer insights to guide your marketing efforts. Plan, refine, and optimize your holiday marketing campaigns this New Year and beyond.

Contact us today to learn how you can gain access to the full research and more in our world-class Cultural Intelligence Platform.

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Gregory Cypes

Gregory Cypes

Gregory Cypes serves as the Chief Product and Technology Officer, overseeing Collage Group’s cutting-edge Cultural Intelligence platform which houses proprietary diverse consumer insights, data, tools, and best practices. With more than two decades of experience in the tech industry, he is a proven expert with an impressive history of building and optimizing products that bridge the gap between brands and consumers. Before joining the Collage Group family, Greg led product and engineering teams at three venture-backed high-growth companies. He began his technology career in lead technical roles for AOL Instant Messenger (AIM) and ICQ product suites. His expertise in building and developing large scale solutions for both consumers and for Fortune 500 clients, has pioneered next-generation communication. Greg has positioned and enabled both individuals and groups to better connect, share, and market their brands across multiple channels. Greg is a native Marylander who now resides in Potomac, MD with his wife and two daughters.

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