Like it or not, September is quickly fading away- as is your brand’s chances of a fruitful Q4, if you haven’t started planning already. That said, the savviest marketing leaders are jotting down their marketing plans in pencil, not pen this quarter. For good reason. Here are some predictions for Q4 to help you calibrate your marketing strategy:
Your target audience is likely wealthier than it was a year ago. Here’s why: It’s shifted. Your current (previous?) customer set is less likely to purchase from you as often, if at all. Customers that may have previously opted for a higher priced solution or products are now fair game. We’re seeing this play out in realtime as Dollar General continues to flourish on customers making $80,000 per year and Walmart adds DTC brands like Billie to its shelves in an effort to attract wealthier customers that may have spurned the store for Target or Amazon in the past.
Brands will opt for all the channels instead of changing the channel. With increasing ambiguity around attribution, the race for zero party and first party data is on. In the meantime, with ad costs rising on Meta and TikTok brands are shifting dollars to influencers, CTV, Podcasts, Direct Mail, and even video games. But they’re not leaving paid social and paid search in the dust- we’re just seeing ad dollars being distributed more evenly than we have in a long time.
Those with the best creative will win. Regardless of channel, the recurring theme of Q4 will be that the brands with best-in-class creative will post best-in-class results. The “one ad for all formats” mindset isn’t just tired; it will straight up exhaust your budget with minimal results to show for it. Nothing blows my mind like seeing brands invest in CTV while running the equivalent of a slide show with background music that they pulled from Facebook. Be as smart and intentional about your creative as you are about your media spends.
The best marketing strategies will change. And then change again. Marketing strategies should remain incredibly fluid this quarter. Black Friday/Cyber Monday is no longer a 3-4 day event, the influx of election ads will wreak havoc on even the best-laid paid media plans, and we might even have to deal with a UPS strike. It’s more important than ever to remain agile when planning. And, maybe borrow a couple of your children’s Ticonderogas just in case.
Need help crafting or executing your Q4 strategy? We’d love to talk.