Dean, should we run Google Ads campaigns at Christmas?
This is a question I get fairly frequently from clients, and the answer is always the same: it depends.
It depends on several factors, such as:
1. Whether you’re in a B2B or B2C market (or a mix of the two)
2. Where the user is in the conversion funnel at this time of the year
3. What product/service you sell (in several parts of Europe, lead generation and sales slow practically to a standstill from mid-December to mid-January)
4. Your average customer time to conversion (timeline between the first contact, quote and purchase decision)
5. Where your target customer is during the Christmas holidays
6. What your target customer does during the Christmas holidays
To better understand points 5 and 6, I recommend you read our article The Purchase Decision.
There are several types of businesses that can really benefit from running Google Ads campaigns at Christmastime, including:
1. Holiday rentals and hotels (families are together and make holiday plans for next year)
2. Products/services clearly related to Christmas gifts or experiences
3. Restaurants and culinary experiences (home chefs, company dinners, Christmas meals, etc.)
4. Online courses, mainly B2C
The Christmas season is an appealing time for sales – appealing, but very complicated.
As I mentioned, many businesses go into stand-by mode. As a result, people have more free time (which is wonderful for marketing purposes).
Many people receive a year-end bonus (this "thirteenth salary" is either customary or compulsory in much of the world), a Christmas bonus in December, and even more importantly, their regular pay cheque reaches them right in the middle of the holiday season.
In terms of behavioural analysis, anyone who has been in the business world for years knows how important this factor is for B2C sales.
This Christmas pay cheque (along with the year-end bonus and Christmas bonus) is the only one all year that people receive right in the middle of their holidays. (Even if they don't specifically take a holiday break, many businesses slow almost to a stop until the middle of January, as I mentioned, which is pretty much the same.)
In my experience, there is no fixed rule for Google Ads Christmas campaigns. Some stay the same as before, others are scaled back, for others, we change audience strategies, remarketing strategies, conversion funnel levels – and for others, we simply put the campaigns on pause.
Every business has its own unique situation in the market and relative to Google Ads campaigns – and I say this with 10 Christmases of experience managing Google Ads campaigns at this time of year.
Merry Christmas, and let's go get that next Google Ads conversion!