August is when the majority of US marketers will begin planning a Christmas campaign, but 18 per cent of those surveyed for an Experian Marketing Services report said they would start holiday planning for brands as early as June.
When it comes to launching the first holiday campaign, almost half (49 per cent) of marketers surveyed suggested they will launch before Halloween. The most popular time to launch campaigns overall is the first 15 days of November, right after Halloween but before Thanksgiving.
“Retailers have been extending the shopping seasons with promotions, post-recession, so it's not surprising to see that nearly half of all marketers stated they would launch a holiday campaign before Halloween," explained Bill Tancer, general manager of global research, Experian Marketing Services. "This year's Back to School season started in early July as a big promotional month versus last year. Our consumer confidence data shows it as the highest it's been since the recession, so we expect the early promotion trend to carry over into the holiday season with Black Friday deals being offered even earlier than last year."
The study, which involved 200 marketers, found that 83 per cent are planning on running a coordinated, cross-channel marketing campaigns during the holiday season, with 55 per cent stating they will be coordinating marketing campaigns across four or more channels.
The top marketing channels are online display (59 per cent), email (55 per cent), print (46 per cent), search (30 per cent) and mobile (24 per cent).
More than 70 per cent of marketers surveyed said they plan to use some sort of promotional offer for consumers this holiday season. Free shipping offers ranked as the top promotional tactic that marketers will integrate into their customers' holiday shopping experience this year, with 39 per cent of marketers saying they will use free shipping, followed by deal of the day offers (28 per cent) and eCoupons (21 per cent)
Surprisingly, 28 per cent plan to not use any type of promotion at all in the run up to the festive period.