The holiday season is in full swing and our team knows it will fly by in the blink of an eye. We also know it’s well time for Q1 planning. The holidays are a high time for marketing, but it doesn’t end with Christmas. Q1 is filled with opportunities for brand promotion, such as the “New Year, New You” push for health and fitness brands, Valentine’s Day for florist and romance-centric brands, and President’s Day for mattress and appliance retailers. These are just a few of the options Q1 offers, and we’ve got the guide to ensure your business sees success during Q1.
While it's difficult to begin thinking about Q1 in the midst of Q4 madness, not all brands have high seasonality in Q4. Traditionally, publishers won’t have availability for Q1 placements until the first or second week of December, so it’s important to think ahead and focus on publisher recruitment efforts. Brands who don’t see a lot of action around Black Friday should be strategically targeting new publishers during Q4 to boost brand awareness as much as possible for Q1.
Timing is everything when planning with publishers. They will be extremely busy leading up to Black Friday and Cyber Monday, with little to no break after, as they continue to push toward Hanukkah, Super Saturday, and Christmas. Because of this, brands will need to be swift in planning. If your brand wants to lock January 1st placements in, you should be making arrangements with publishers no later than the second week of December. This includes creative - you don’t want to hound your graphic designer while they’re on vacation in Hawaii. Valentine’s Day and President’s Day planning comes next; as a rule of thumb, it’s best to plan two months in advance of holidays.
When it comes to discussing placements with publishers, it’s important to emphasize the brand’s focus. Travel is a vertical that can be very successful in Q1 but is frequently overlooked. Both paid promotions and commission increases are available for travel in Q1, but if the publisher isn’t aware of the brand’s focus, it may not be considered an option. Mentioning the brand’s focus can be the difference between a commission increase and a paid promotion. These opportunities may be overlooked by publishers because of the chaotic timing of Q1 planning, so make it a point to discuss the brand focus during planning.
All in all, for those brands who don’t have high seasonality during Q4, it’s important to use that downtime to focus on Q1 planning. Concentrating on publisher recruitment and targeting new publishers, locking placements down prior to the new year, and emphasizing brand focus to publishers during the planning process are the keys to marketing success in Q1.