3 min.
Holidays 2023: Flexibility leads to success in a constantly shifting landscape
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Holidays 2023: Flexibility leads to success in a constantly shifting landscape


The holidays are fast approaching, and 2023 will be a year particularly hard hit by the big changes arriving for most advertisers who capitalize on this high-demand period to maximize their sales. Within the space of twelve months, marketers have had to adapt to:

  • The end of Google Universal Analytics on July 1, 2023, and the arrival of Google Analytics 4, which represents a new era in performance measurement for initiatives and the analysis of user behaviour on platforms.
  • The enforcement of Law 25 (as of September 23, 2023) which pushes Quebec even further into the new era of privacy protection.

Not to mention the gradual disappearance of third-party cookies.

These changes are causing advertisers to lose user traceability and will have effects in terms of both the activation of marketing campaigns and the tracking of performance. A fundamental question that is arising from this situation: What changes should be made to marketing activities in order to continue benefiting from the high consumption period over the holidays?

In this article we offer an overview of the major elements to be taken into consideration when planning and activating your campaigns over the holidays.

Before getting started

The first crucial step is to ensure you comply with the provisions of Law 25, which comes into effect this month. If you’re not quite ready for the arrival of September 22, take a look at our webinar and blog article which covers case studies and legal effects and offers solutions that might prove helpful. You should also ensure you base your actions on the support and advice of your legal team.

Major elements to be considered in light of the coming changes

Make sure you continue to collect the most primary data possible

Part of the shift towards reinstating users’ control over their data in recent years has included the progressive demise of third-party cookies, as well as the loss of some primary data even more recently. Law 25 requires that user consent be obtained before the collection and exploitation of data produced through their interactions with our platforms.

If you haven’t read it yet, this white paper from our data and customer experience experts is a useful resource for understanding the importance of durable audiences to your marketing campaigns.

To limit losses in terms of the acquisition of primary data, ensure you are transparent about the use that will be made of collected data, but above all, offer an interesting exchange value to your users (exclusive discounts, bonus offers, etc.) so that they will want to give their consent. By continuing to collect a maximum of primary data, you’ll be able to exploit them in your holiday campaigns to maximize performance. Plus, you’ll already be preparing for the future by amassing data that could be used as part of your planning for other marketing levers.

Use your primary data to plan your ad campaigns

During this period when days and weeks seem to fly by, capitalize on the use of primary data generated in recent months. Primary audiences remain an excellent performance lever in paid media in terms of both targeting and modelling similar audiences.

The audience mapping you created with this primary data will let you identify the predominant consumption behaviours or habits that will help define your strategic approach. For example, they will let you offer the right content based on search intentions, thereby improving your SEO or SEM performance.

If you are able to segment your customers based on their value, you can also adapt your offers depending on the customer. Present standard offers to bargain hunters while rewarding your most loyal customers with more attractive offers.

In closing, it’s important to maximize the acquisition and use of your current audiences both in terms of strategic analysis as well as activation to balance your efforts between various marketing channels and ensure strong synergy, and also to keep a few extra rounds of ammunition handy in your strategy so you can be highly reactive at key moments during the holiday season.

Fully prepare the activation phase of your campaigns

In order to be reactive during the period and not lose opportunities, consider having a plan B or even plan C for big days (Black Friday/Cyber Monday, Boxing Day). In case of underperformance related to our current economic context, you can deploy a more aggressive offer to increase sales. As Christmas approaches, keep an eye on delivery timelines, because when these become too long to be able to guarantee delivery in time for holiday celebrations, you can redirect your prospects to a physical store instead (if you have any) using a local marketing strategy.

At the time of activation, it’s important to consider that the recent technological and legal changes are highly likely to have a direct effect on the performance of your paid media campaigns. The reduction in the amount of data collected will inevitably impact your ability to retarget users who haven’t given their consent, as well as impact the quantity of data that is unmanaged by optimization algorithms and the attribution of conversions. You should therefore expect lowered efficiency and effectiveness with a loss of return on ad spend (ROAS) and an increase in cost per acquisition (CPA).

Keep an eye on the evolution of your audience sizes to avoid oversaturation leading to ad fatigue. In addition, your product flow must be constantly renewed to avoid any drop in advertising activity at key times when sales are high. When your customers are in purchase mode, that’s not a good time to be dealing with product flow issues.

Use relationship marketing to make up for a potential loss of media performance

Relationship marketing is an excellent way to generate results for less cost for your end-of-year campaigns, or as part of your annual marketing offensives in general. Start your relationship campaign planning early: Encourage users to subscribe with their email address or phone number to receive alerts when promotion season begins. Harness the power of your ad campaigns to help you attract the attention of potential customers and collect primary (and sustainable!) data.

Take advantage of information collected on the kinds of offers users are looking for and use these data to personalize your offers.

You can then activate the data across all your channels to amplify your tactics for media, social, websites and, or course, email.


For this year’s holiday season, the overall performance of your marketing campaigns will depend on your ability to be prepared and adapt to the technological and legal changes currently in play. Even if you are expecting a hit on your usual performance, capturing and exploiting primary data (in compliance with Law 25), as well as exploiting the strengths and synergies of different marketing levers given our new context, will allow you to emerge relatively unscathed and take a big step towards implementing a new marketing approach focused on protecting privacy.