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Post-holiday experience: How brands should leverage Q5

30 second summary:

  • Q5 is the time immediately after vacation when consumers are rated as low. However, people shop with a slightly different attitude.
  • The start of the year offers many opportunities for brands to reach and connect with consumers who are shopping with a “new year, new me” in mind.
  • This year, the ecommerce cost per mille (CPM) on Singles Day, which takes place in October, increased by over a third compared to 2019 – a 36% increase over the previous year to be precise. Ecommerce CPM rates have risen sharply since August and the back-to-school season, suggesting a more competitive holiday shopping season than last year.
  • Cost-per-mille (CPM) rates begin to decrease in late December (when shipping limits are reached). Brands can see lower CPMs through most of January, which opens up plenty of opportunities to start the year off strong.

This year has been a whirlwind to say the least. While we’re not quite out of the woods yet, 2021 brings promise and hope. There is one final opportunity, especially for marketers, that brands cannot forget: Q5. We generally define Q5 as the period between Christmas and New Years when consumers are typically low after the holiday season.

However, people still shop, just with a slightly different attitude.

The start of the year gives brands a chance to reach consumers who are shopping with a “new year, new you” in mind. Vacation pay and gift cards burn a hole in shoppers’ pockets, and consumers return to stores to complete the exchange.

2020 is a particularly interesting year as brands drive the transition from offline to online and consumers spend more and more time on social media.

In fact, 48% of consumers say they are now more open to social media ads and 51% have made purchases from ads. With this in mind, it’s important for marketers to be where the consumer is: in the feed and in stories.

Additionally, on Singles Day this year, e-commerce costs per mille (CPM) increased by more than a third compared to 2019 – a 36% year-over-year increase to be precise. Ecommerce CPM rates have risen sharply since August and the back-to-school season, suggesting a more competitive holiday shopping season than last year.

Brands should keep their eyes on what lies ahead. With offers, targeted promotions and personalized messages, there are tons of opportunities to extend the 2020 sales cycle and reach a new group of enthusiastic customers.

Below I’ve outlined the best ways to set up a successful Q5 campaign:

1) Treat Q5 like the holidays

In this fifth quarter, it’s important for brands to be as efficient as possible to make up for the lost sales earlier this year. The sooner you prepare your assets for the fifth quarter, the better you will be. Include in your Q5 campaigns the same prep that you did for the holiday season. You also want your ads to be approved well in advance of December 26th.

While it’s important to treat the fifth quarter like the holidays in terms of timing, it’s important to keep in mind that customers have different motivations and mindsets during this time than they did in the fourth quarter of shopping for friends and family on vacation.

The beginning of the year is all about personal growth and aspirations, and buyers want to shop for themselves.

2) Get the new year started

Brands have the opportunity to make noise and start the year strong with a full fledged campaign. This historically forgotten time has become more important in recent years and you don’t want to be left behind! With so much competition, it’s important that advertisers with certain initiatives and languages ​​enter the market early so that you and your products are in the foreground.

The beginning of the year is all about personal growth and aspirations, and shoppers want to make their own purchases. New year’s resolutions and planning for the coming year are extremely important. When planning your creatives, keep in mind that consumers may be more receptive to motivational and inspirational languages ​​to help them achieve their goals.

Although the New Year has traditionally been relevant to industries like education, fitness, nutrition, wellness, and beauty, the New Year opens up new opportunities for most industries.

3) Secure the bag

In addition to the “New Year, New You” mindset, consumers may also be more open to trying something new – we call it the “why not” mindset. Since the motivation for shopping in the fifth quarter may be different, keep in mind that the preferences and strategies for lowering the barrier to entry are still the same (sale! Free shipping!).

In this case of Q5 and personal growth, consumers are more likely to be more geared towards providing impetus or faster decisions that could help them along the way. For the first month, consider offering a free or discounted subscription, bundle discounts, or trial products.

4) Make time for what matters

Especially when everything is set before the vacation break, marketers can enjoy their vacation and simply restart the campaign when they’re back at work.

Automation technology enables brands to set hourly or daily warnings and actions based on performance goals, increase bids and budgets, and activate or pause ads. This allows marketers to automatically stop creating poorly performing ads and allocate those budgets to the top performing ads.

The holiday shopping season doesn’t end on December 25th, and this is the year brands make everyday life count. To get the most out of Q5, plan, plan, plan! The sooner you prepare for the fifth quarter and get into the market, the better you will be. Brands that progress this year and harness the power of Q5 will be prepared to end this turbulent year on a good note.

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