2021 Holiday Marketing – Media Planning and Buying Strategies

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Holiday Marketing and Advertising

Covid -10 drastically changed the holiday shopping landscape in 2020, leading to an unprecedented shopping season.   According to a recent survey of U.S. Consumers by RetailMeNot a few of the findings:

  • Consumer spending will be up from 2020 an average of 9%
  • Apparel/Clothing (58%), Gift Cards (54% and Toys (40%) are top holiday shopping categories
  • 83% of shoppers say they’ll get started on their holiday shopping before Thanksgiving

While it is not too late to prepare a media plan for the 2021 holiday shopping season, it is important for business owner to review the trends and adjust their marketing to consumers based on trends.

The End to Black Friday Marketing and Advertising

The day after Thanksgiving has long been referred to as Black Friday—has become one of the busiest shopping days of the year in the United States.

The term dates to the early 1960s, when police officers in Philadelphia began using the phrase “Black Friday” to describe the chaos that resulted when large numbers of suburban tourists came into the city to begin their holiday shopping and, in some years, attend Saturday’s annual Army-Navy football game.

The phrase “Black Friday” to signify a positive boost in retail sales didn’t grow nationwide until the late 1980s, when merchants started to spread the red-to-black profit narrative. Black Friday was described as the day stores began to turn a profit for the year and as the biggest shopping day in the United States. In truth, most stores saw their largest sales on the Saturday before Christmas.

In recent years, Black Friday has been joined by other shopping holidays, including Small Business Saturday, which encourages shoppers to visit local retailers, and Cyber Monday, which promotes shopping online.

We are currently seeing large retailers roll out “daily deals” in the hopes of generating additional retail sales.

In an article in Chain Store Age, the following are the top 10 busiest shopping days in the U.S., as ranked by Sensormatic:

  1. Friday, November 26 – Black Friday
  2. Saturday, December 18 – Super Saturday
  3. Thursday, December 23 – Thursday before Christmas
  4. Saturday, December 11 – 2nd Saturday in December
  5. Sunday, December 26 – Day after Christmas, aka “Boxing Day”
  6. Wednesday, December 22 – Wednesday before Christmas
  7. Saturday, November 27 – Saturday after Thanksgiving
  8. Saturday, December 4 – first Saturday in December
  9. Tuesday, December 21 – Tuesday before Christmas
  10. Sunday, December 19 – Sunday before Christmas

On-Line versus In-Store Shopping

Experts are predicting that on-line shopping is here to stay and will continue to grow.   More consumers are continuing to shop on mobile devices and the digital realm is entering the walls of traditional stores.   The future of retail is both online and offline.

In the RetailMeNot survey, consumers said they’ll do more than half (51%) of their shopping online this holiday season (2020 the answer was 56% said they’d prefer to shop online) and the remaining in stores.

Christmas Present Delivery Revolution

According to the RetailMeNot survey shoppers are most interested in hearing the following from brands and retailers:

  •             Deals/discounts 71%
  •             Competitive pricing/price matching  52%
  •             Product information 47%
  •             Delivery/pickup options  43%

During the holiday season in 2020, several small businesses in the pandemic-fueled shifted to online shopping and their proximity to customers’ doorsteps to partner with services that guarantee deliveries within the hour or on the following day.  On-demand delivery services such as DoorDash, Roadie and Uber’s Postmates are just a few of the companies that are working with neighborhood retailers to help deliver goods to nearby shoppers.  It only makes sense that this trend will continue to grow in 2021.

With stores that are experiencing labor shortages as well as supply chain shortages, many consumers are expecting major holiday shipping delays.  Shopping early seems to be part of the key to this problem on behalf of many consumers.

Media Planning and Buying for 2021 Holidays

With the consumer spending over a longer period (starting October or earlier), it makes sense that a campaign to impact purchase decisions should begin prior to the traditional “Black Friday” campaign strategy.   Advertisers who wait, might be missing out on sales for the 2021 holiday season.

If you have not made plans to market your products and services during the 2021 Holiday Season, it’s not too late.   Certainly, the nearer we are to the Holiday, the more critical it will become to have your plans and media purchases made.   Traditional media pricing tends to increase as the inventory available decrease, so buying media earlier generally will be more efficient.

2021 Holiday Advertising Strategies

There isn’t a cookie cutter strategy for marketing your company during the holidays.   Looking at mediums that deliver the target audience for your product is always the marketing strategy that an experienced media professional should recommend.  With all the media tactics available, your agency will build a plan that best fits your business.

Hiring an Advertising Agency to Help with Your Holiday Campaigns

Every business has different needs. Copp Media provides solutions from consulting, media planning and media buying.   To put the experts to work for you during the upcoming holiday season, gives us a call.