Year after year, Americans spend tens of billions of dollars on Black Friday and Cyber Monday. These two days represent the most important opportunities in retail—which is why e-commerce marketers start sourcing inspiration for campaigns in the spring, summer, and early fall.

In 2015, the most ambitious marketers will marry the traditional with the new: they’ll combine established campaign concepts with newer techniques like personalization and real-time marketing.

If you’ve ever built a campaign like this, you know how difficult it can be to get started. How can you predict success and ensure it’s something that truly stands out?

The holiday season is too big of a revenue driver for retail marketers to take lightly. We’ve rounded up a few ideas to guide you.

1. Macy’s Snapchat Stories Ads

Try It Yourself: Add real-time marketing spin to a tried, true, and established initiative

Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade has been a New York City tradition since 1924—which means that 2015 will mark the event’s 91st birthday.

Despite the visibility, success, and turnout that the Parade has brought, Macy’s is always looking for ways to extend the company’s reach. You might have seen the event on TV as a kid, for instance.

In 2014, Macy’s created a Snapchat Stories campaign to source user-generated content (UGC) in real time. Rather than waiting for an event recap or watching the event from the TV, general audiences could experience the event from the perspective of an actual attendee.

Screen Shot 2015-08-07 at 10.28.39 AM

Bring this experience to any on-site marketing initiative

Real-time marketing made the holiday event more tangible and real. Similarly, real-time marketing can help your company optimize its on-site experience. Monitor the content that your audiences are sharing, and use this information to deliver more targeted offers, email marketing messages, ads, and on-site experiences. Through real-time technology, you can transform your traditional marketing campaigns into in-the-moment engagement channels.

2. Kate Spade’s Interactive Video

Try It Yourself:  Track micro-engagement with content

It’s common for e-commerce brands to use video as part of their marketing strategies. During the 2014 holiday season, however, Kate Spade decided to transform this tried-and-true multimedia form into something completely new.

Here’s what the campaign involved:

-An interactive video featuring Anna Kendrick

-A fun, engaging, and human storyline

-An opportunity for audiences to learn more about the products featured in the video

This initiative, at its heart, was a learning opportunity for Kate Spade. Within the context of an engaging storyline, loved actress, and fun video experience, Kate Spade developed a direct lens into customers’ in-the-moment interests—information that can be translated into a targeted product messaging and marketing strategy.

Bring this experience to any on-site marketing initiative

This approach to personalization and real-time marketing is applicable to any on-site experience. If you don’t have a video budget, work with your blog posts, photos, and product pages instead. You can collect data points from any and all content.

3. Krispy Kreme’s “12 Days of Donuts”

Try It Yourself: Be persistent

In 2012, Krispy Kreme launched an integrated in-store and digital campaign with songs, festive decor, QR codes on donut boxes, beautiful visuals and even t-shirts.

The campaign, while 3 years old, speaks to a pain point that many of today’s marketing leaders face—the fact that audience attention is fleeting and tough to capture.

As a marketer, you’ll need to tackle these fleeting attention spans. As a first step, you’ll want to collect data around shopping intent. You’ll then want to reinvest this data into your campaign strategy to deliver a consistent and compelling message.

Bring this experience to any on-site marketing initiative

This messaging will need to be reinforced through multiple aspects of your holiday marketing. Instead of delivering one-off campaigns, use your data to deliver an integrated and persistent brand experience. Develop messaging that’s both compelling and ubiquitous so that your holiday initiatives shine.

Remember that you can apply your website’s real-time data to marketing initiatives across shopping and marketing channels—reinforce your messaging to be visible, capture your audience’s attention, and maintain a high level of engagement.

Final thoughts

The holidays, especially, are saturated with noisy market messages. The best way to stand out is to empathize with your audiences. Deliver engaging and relevant content, empathize with their needs, and be persistent in communicating your value proposition. With real-time and personalization technology, these approaches will shine.