For marketers, the "Fifth Quarter" (Q5) is a critical commercial opportunity during which consumer shopping intent is high, and the cost of media is low compared to popular holiday shopping dates in the preceding weeks. This year, the Fifth Quarter will gain even more significance as consumers, concerned about inflation and supply chain challenges, look to secure products outside of high demand shopping periods.
In this special Fifth Quarter mobile marketing guide, created in collaboration with Jampp, learn key opportunities and challenges for maximizing your brand’s year-end marketing strategy on mobile channels.
What is the Fifth Quarter?
Spanning from the day after Black Friday to the end of January, Q5 is divided into three pivotal phases: pre-Christmas, Christmas and Boxing Day, and the New Year with its associated January sales. For brands, this is a pivotal period as consumer shopping intent remains high, while the cost of media remains low compared to preceding weeks.
2023 Holiday Shopping Trends
In recent years, inflation and supply chain disruptions have changed consumer shopping behavior, enhancing the value of the Fifth Quarter. Sixty-eight percent of consumers say they plan to start their holiday shopping earlier this year. Furthermore, increasing numbers of shoppers are expanding their shopping timelines on either side of the traditional Q4 shopping season to search for better deals and make early and last-minute purchases.
Supply chain challenges in the last few years have also recalibrated customer expectations and behavior. One in two consumers have said they’ve lowered their expectations for timely shipping, and 95% of merchants have adjusted their planning in response to market conditions.
For brands, these economic disruptions equal opportunity. An earlier shopping season frees up advertising inventory while releasing programmatic auctions sooner. This means advertisers can capitalize on reduced competition at a more efficient CPM.
What’s more — investing in Q5 doesn’t just position brands to save on advertising spend — it also helps them reach much larger audiences. According to Jampp aggregated internal data from November 2022 - February 2023, installs across Shopping apps grew 27.55% month-over-month (MoM) in December 2022. They increased an additional 27.30% MoM in January 2023. For contrast — after the end of Q5 — installs saw a 21% MoM drop in February 2023.
Maximizing the Q5 Opportunity: Mobile marketing tips for brands
To harness the potential of Q5, retailers and brands must adopt agile budgeting, messaging and creative strategies tailored to the media costs and consumer behavior of the Q5 season.
Make the most of changing traffic costs
Traffic costs are lower right before and after the traditional holiday shopping season.
- Before the shopping season: Focus on using a combination of UA + Retargeting ahead of the key dates, when traffic costs are lower.
- During the shopping season: Reap your rewards. Focus budget on keeping users engaged, driving first-purchases and re-purchases.
- After the shopping season: Retain new users and take advantage of CPMs dropping while purchase intent is still high by retargeting your audience with new creatives. Test new channels like CTV to engage users across different touchpoints.
Adapt Your Budget for Key Dates
While the price of inventory is high around this time, so are the returns. As users start browsing for upcoming deals before Black Friday, app marketers looking to access scale should make sure to match the growth in search and traffic by adjusting their campaign budget.
Focus on Creative Optimization
Create more than one themed set and try different formats (display, video, dynamic ads, animated ads, etc.). Ad rotation is key during Q5: app usage soars during this period. Ad rotation will help keep users more engaged and provide more data into which unique design elements (colors, picture type, interaction) resonate the most with your audience.
Relevance is Key
Themed ads should be cut off after the holidays have passed. Have new ad variations ready to run after Black Friday to make sure your campaign is still relevant for shoppers. As consumers may be more receptive to motivational and inspirational language after the New Year, align your messaging with achieving new goals and a “New year, new me” mindset.
Diversify and Personalize Your Creatives with DCO
Multi-product campaigns drive better results, increase efficiency and improve performance. Dynamic product feed integration can let you optimize and serve a carousel of creatives according to consumer interests.
Incentives and Rewards
Get users to interact with your mobile ad by offering rewards or discounts that will incentivize them to purchase a new product, item, or service within your app. There’s a variety of strategies you can try based on your goals and users’ interests:
- First purchase discounts: offering a discount on a first purchase can encourage users who downloaded the app but haven’t completed the registration stage or spent money on the app yet.
- In-app-only discounts: for brands with high website traffic, offering discounts only when purchasing on the app is an effective strategy to grow their mobile business.
- Free shipping: leveraging free shipping/free delivery combined with a minimum purchase threshold can inspire users to increase their order to reach that threshold.
- Rewards: rewards come in many forms, such as free credit users can spend on the app, free rides for a Taxi app, and boosters or free coins for a mobile game.
Q5, from the day after Black Friday to the end of January, is a golden period for marketers. High consumer shopping intent and lower media costs make it a prime opportunity to maximize brand exposure and sales.
- Budget Smartly: Allocate budgets strategically. Before the season, focus on UA + Retargeting when costs are lower. During the shopping season, prioritize engagement and purchases. Afterward, capitalize on lower CPMs and high intent through retargeting.
- Creative Excellence: Optimize creatives with multiple themed sets and diverse formats. Rotate ads to maintain engagement and relevance. Personalize messaging based on post-holiday consumer mindset.
- Incentives and Rewards: Encourage interaction with mobile ads by offering discounts, free shipping, or rewards. Tailor incentives to drive specific user actions like first purchases, in-app purchases, or boosting order values.
Ready to “hit start” on winning high-intent shoppers? Strategize for “Fifth Quarter” mobile growth by connecting with the Jampp User Acquisition team here. Keep high value shoppers beyond Q5 by investing in retention success with the YouAppi Retargeting team here.