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3 Ways to Succeed in the “Secret” Quarter: Q5

Q5 Blog

The holidays have wrapped up, and peak shopping is over. Or is it?

Let’s talk about the Q5, a brief window of consumer buying that occurs right after the traditional holiday shopping season and stops around mid-January when the New Year finally kicks in.  

In this blog post, we’ll preview Q5 and three ways marketers can make the most of the “secret” quarter. 

What is Q5? 

As mentioned, Q5 falls in late December (after the 25th) and extends the holiday shopping season into the first several weeks of January. 

This “secret” quarter is gaining traction for marketers because of a simple reality: not everyone is happy with their holiday gifts. The “returns” period is even longer now, given the move to physical-digital buying; returning or exchanging an online purchase isn’t as simple as going to a Help desk at a nearby store. Plus, many people are eager to spend the gift that always fits: gift cards. 

So those returning gifts, and those with gift cards — and perhaps those still on a holiday shopping high – are ready to spend even after peak shopping days. But it’s not just about satisfying unfulfilled holiday shopping lists. Q5 is also when consumers act on their New Year’s shopping goals or personal health objectives such as diets, health club memberships and new travel plans. 

Now, how can marketers take advantage of Q5?

  1. Less Competition = Lower CPMs

Q5 benefits advertisers by providing lower CPMs (cost per mille) for impressions. The lower prices are due to the lack of competition; most campaigns have wrapped up by New Year’s. Don’t take our word for it — both X and Snap have touted the availability of cost-effective CPMs during Q5.

Here’s your perfect chance to use it for those with a leftover budget in the new year. Plus, advertisers can leverage Viant’s Bid Optimizer to see even more savings.

  1. Screen Time is Up (More Than Usual)

One thing people love to do after the holidays is relax. Today, that often means a lazy day in front of a screen — whether a mobile phone, laptop or TV screen. It’s also worth noting that many people scrolling and or consuming content during Q5 are focused on “me” time ahead of the New Year. 

Thus, marketers can reach consumers at a high-attention time when competition is low. 

  1. Reach Out with Retargeting

Speaking of increased screen time — do you remember those audiences that engaged with an ad but didn’t convert? Well, now’s the time to retarget potential buyers returning unwanted gifts and those with gift cards. 

While Q5 may be an underrated time to get ads in front of target audiences, that doesn’t mean marketers should have inflated expectations or go in without a plan. Set clear goals (e.g. making Q5 a continuation of your holiday campaign), don’t off-load excess inventory at the wrong time (perhaps not a swimsuit in January) and look for a partner that can help you reach target audiences where they are paying attention. 

Learn more about how to reach audiences during Q5 (and all year) with Viant and our omnichannel DSP. 


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