The holidays are a prime time for brands to gain a competitive edge through marketing. During this season, consumers are not only on alert for bargains and deals, but also prepared to spend extra money, making it an ideal time to capture their attention.

Below, 14 members of Forbes Agency Council share the special marketing opportunities their agencies are leveraging this year to help clients stand out in a crowded marketplace even before the holiday shopping season begins.

1. Leveraging In-Person And Online Patient Education

Since a medical marketing agency focused on helping doctors attract more patients, leverage patient education through in-person events and online webinars. These educational opportunities provide a way for our clients (doctors) to raise awareness of the various healthcare services that they offer in their local community as it relates to staying healthy during the holidays. - Lori Werner, Medical Marketing Whiz

2. Taking Advantage Of Product Award Season

Product award application season is now, and most programs announce winners right before the holidays. Helping our clients win enables them to truly shine in the spotlight for both consumers and for reporters and journalists who are covering gift guides, listicles and roundups. It is all about strategic timing, and it truly helps our clients gain a competitive edge during the holidays. - Monique Tatum, BPM-PR Firm (Beautiful Planning Marketing & PR)

3. Leaning Into Emotion- And Purpose-Driven Marketing

leaning into emotion- and purpose-driven marketing over transactional efforts. The holiday season has so many connotations for people, and we’ve seen a lot of success by going against the norm and highlighting unconventional stories that are emotional and relatable and represent unique perspectives. By tapping into emotional insights, we hope to position products as much more than physical objects. - Amber Ward, Invisible North

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4. Using Clients’ AI Tech To Personalize Holiday Campaigns

Since a tech PR firm, we’re looking to use our clients’ artificial intelligence technologies to target personalized holiday campaigns at consumers that will bring them closer to their loved ones. These personalized, AI-enabled campaigns will not only bring true value to our clients’ customers, but they will also increase our clients’ brand awareness, as these campaigns will be shared with others.

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5. Focusing On Strategic Timing And Unique Approaches

As approach the holiday season, we’re focusing on strategic timing and unique approaches. Planning early is essential for well-executed campaigns. Additionally, differentiation is critical. By analyzing competitors’ past holiday reviews, we identify unmet needs and transform them into competitive advantages this season. - Danielle West, CAYK Marketing

6. Running An SEO Training Session For Our Clients

Leading up to holiday seasons, clients are pulled into a plethora of meetings, and external agencies won’t be able to attend all of these meetings. To combat this, we run an SEO training session for our clients to ensure they are aware of the essentials. This helps us, as client can act as an advocate for SEO in those meetings and update us if they need more advanced support from us. - Sam Hurley, NOVOS

7. Getting Our Clients Included In Holiday Listicles

This time of year, publications around the world—including PopSugar, Glamour and Allure, along with many of our favorite bloggers and newsletters—share their picks for the best holiday gifts, Black Friday promotions, Thanksgiving decorations and more. Getting clients organic and sponsored inclusions in these lists has proven cost-effective, especially since only pay for every sale generated. - Mustafa Saeed, Paul Street

8. Doing Affiliate Collaborations With Relevant Influencers

Affiliate collaborations with influencers who have clients’ same target audience is a great holiday marketing opportunity. Giving the influencers a custom discount code to share with their audiences that they can use to purchase from our clients’ businesses incentivizes the influencers’ audiences to try new brands, and it also enhances the influencers’ brands by giving them a chance to save their audience some money with a discount. - Tony Pec, Y Not You Media

9. Keeping Strategies Flexible And Not Wasting Budgets

It’s important to not waste media budgets when audiences aren’t focusing on the product or brand, such as during Black Friday or election coverage. As head into the holiday season, being mindful of those events and ensuring our strategies and budgets remain flexible to reach audiences when they’re listening. - Jessica Hawthorne-Castro, Hawthorne Advertising

10. Incorporating AI Into A Client’s Mobile App

The holiday season is a marketing juggernaut. As such, it can be difficult to stand out amid all the noise. One way my agency is doing that is by incorporating AI into a client’s mobile app. The AI will analyze the motivations and behaviors of each customer so that one-to-one personalized promotions and experiences can be delivered at scale during the holiday season.

11. Diving Deep Into TikToks And YouTube Shorts

For the holidays, diving deep into TikToks and YouTube Shorts, which are organic goldmines for showcasing our clients’ products. By consistently posting engaging content, enhance brand visibility without draining ad budgets. This approach primes audiences early, ensuring our clients are top of mind when holiday shopping swings into full gear. And that’s how prepping for a successful festive season.

12. Developing Viral Thematic Mechanics For Influencer Campaigns

researching current trends and developing viral thematic mechanics for holiday influencer marketing campaigns. Audiences have a fondness for celebrations and are willing to engage creatively during these times. Influencer marketing campaigns should include giveaways that are specifically aimed at addressing common concerns or needs among your target audience. This approach boosts engagement

13. Pairing An Early Purchase Runway With Strategic Payment Options

pairing an early purchase runway with strategic payment options for their customers. This year’s campaigns are going to start earlier than ever before because customers are purchasing and researching their options earlier, credit card debt is at an all-time high, and student loan payments are resuming. Starting months earlier this year is the biggest advantage any of our clients will have. - Bernard May, National Positions

14. Launching An Interactive Challenge For Customers

in the process of launching an interactive challenge. Our aim is to engage customers through quizzes, tips and virtual demos focused on optimizing home systems for a cozy living environment. Upon completing these quizzes, users will receive personalized discounts as early participants, thereby boosting pre-holiday sales

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