Do you have a marketing plan for the Q5 periods? Or are you like many marketers that slow down or cease marketing efforts all together during Q5? What are the Q5 periods anyway?
We always look at each year in 4 blocks of times: Q1, Q2, Q3, and Q4. Businesses tend to generate more revenue in Q1 and Q4. Marketers work harder in Q2 and Q3 as consumer spending tend to drop during these periods. Extra efforts are put in at the beginning of Q3 targeting Q4 festive seasons. Cost of marketing during these periods is very high because there are tons of competitions. Then, everything stops after Christmas.
Say Hi to Q5
Q5 is the periods that cross over between Q4 and Q1. These are the periods ranging from 22 December to 15 January for the following year. It’s only a few weeks long but playing it right it could give you a big boost of the new year.
There is a myth from many marketers, myself included, that we should avoid investing in ad spends or marketing efforts in general during the Q5 periods. Why? It’s because many assume that people are in a holiday mode, so they are busy travelling, spending times with family, and run out of money. As it turns out, this assumption is likely to be inaccurate, which makes the Q5 periods a great opportunity if marketers have relevant, targeted campaigns.
Q5 possesses some interesting characteristics and marketers should not ignore.
- The advertising cost during the Q5 periods is likely to be lower than the Q4 periods. There are intense competitions during Q4. We are talking about Black Friday, Thanksgiving, or even Alibaba’s 11.11 promotion. This means a lower average cost per mille (CPM) and cost per action (CPA) for those who stick around.
- Contradict to a traditional belief above, when people are in a holiday mode doesn’t mean that they don’t shop. Besides, many stay at home or visit families. They still have a lot of times at hands and are likely to have quiet times to do something for themselves.
- Many people receive cash, gift cards, or gifts that require accessories. A lucky person might have got an iPhone 12 as a Christmas gift. He would need to buy a phone cover, a wireless charger, a keyboard. You get the idea.
- A lot of people are in a New Year, New Me mindset. Many come up with New Year Resolutions. They will want something for themselves to fulfil the new resolutions. If you market health and well-being products, as an example, Q5 is a perfect time for you to have a campaign targeting people with health resolutions.
The right strategy for Q5
What would be the right marketing strategy for Q5? The right marketing strategy for all campaigns should take the following factors ini consideration: relevance, targeted audience, personalisation, clear call-to-action, and transparent/straightforward offer. The same logic is applied to the Q5 strategy.
As the Q5 periods last only for a few weeks, you should have a very clear target market in mind. What I mean is your campaign shouldn’t be broad by giving, for example, a discount to just everyone. It should be a quantity-driven mindset like what many companies for the like of Black Friday. It would be best if you narrowed down the audience that you want to target. It will require fewer resources, and it will also increase a turnaround time (if you only decide to do it now).
Personalisation – Me Time
During the Q4 periods, people focus on finding the right gifts for their loved ones. They don’t have to time to think about themselves. When those periods end (after Christmas) they start to think about themselves what they would do differently in the new year. The year 2020 is strange and unique, and many people want it to end and move on. People want to start fresh and hope for the best. It’s my “Me Time” now. Tap into this positive sentiment by adjusting your messaging to show how your product will help them follow through on resolutions.
Ideally, marketers or businesses should have a plan to maximise the Q5 periods 4 to 6 months earlier. It shouldn’t be an afterthought campaign. Furthermore, if companies participate in other major promotions like Black Friday, they may not have resources or energy to do another campaign if they don’t plan for it. Q5 has different characteristics from the regular festive season periods. Customers have different motivations. Therefore, it requires different types of campaigns.
However, if you just read this post and are interested in doing something for Q5, it’s not too late to start now. Your campaign could target only specific channels if you don’t have many resources. It could be a good test that you can use as a benchmark for next year.