Q4 Strategy Insights

How confident are you in achieving standout for your brand amongst the other 5000 messages delivered every single day?

Here in the Innovations Team at Bench, we are always looking at the most effective ways to utilise our insights whether that is through more intelligent audience segmentation, data analysis or research. Additionally, we understand that interpreting the consumer mindset and purchasing habits is key to informing the most efficient programmatic media strategy. Recent analysis of Q4 behaviours that were uncovered during a series of client workshops is the perfect illustration of this. The insights we share below illustrate not only how audiences traditionally react and behave across this specific period, but how clients can presuppose and plan for this by engaging a digital media strategy that really respects your budgets in terms of driving both performance and CPM.

What do we already know?

Well, we know that no sooner have we finished a mouthful of hot cross buns, supermarkets are already stocking up on mince pies and brandy butter. Whilst to the naked eye it might feel something of a commercial affront, the truth is that once September arrives our mindsets have already turned to Christmas and the approaching end of the year. We are commercially engaged and boy, are we happy to show it. Interestingly this is not only specific to retail. Subconsciously we are also thinking about the New Year that lies ahead, lifestyle changes, travel aspirations, health goals and even up-skilling. This unique Q4 open mindset affects virtually every available industry, and the benefit of programmatic media is that we can help you leverage this opportunity to ensure that your brand avoids clutter, and delivers results.

With a surge of commercial interest flooding media channels at this time, the challenges are twofold. Firstly, achieving any kind of cut-through is incredibly difficult, and secondly, the huge pressure on inventory simply results in driving up CPMs. In the programmatic world, this creates an increasingly aggressive auction environment that eats up budgets disproportionately to return. How confident are you in achieving standout for your brand amongst the other 5000 messages delivered every single day? Is there a smarter preference?

The short answer is reassuringly ‘Yes’.

We have uncovered how you can avoid those sharp CPM increases, how you can effectively pace out your budgets and how best to use a combination of time and data to optimise your campaign and deliver the results you want. It’s all in the planning. Starting with a comprehensive planning process including an understanding of planned spend, our team can help you circumnavigate CPM increases well in advance, creating a more cost-effective and accessible environment for your brand message. Using programmatic insights around channel selection, we can be more intelligent about the environment in which these formats serve that still deliver effectively against your target audience. This creates increased reach at optimal frequency, but also works within your planned budgets.

Using planning as a tool to anticipate a known set of circumstances, we can give your brand a sharp competitive edge and much needed standout in an aggressive Q4 marketplace.

One of the greatest incentives for early planning is the opportunity to test and learn with regard to creative copy and audience identification. Effectively paced budgets – specifically from September onwards – are ideal in terms of reaching an optimal CPA over a period of time, as well as preventing knee-jerk Q4 reactions simply to be in the game. By allowing more time for optimisation prior to Christmas, cost efficiencies occur, resulting in an increased reach and decreased CPA. We understand there are a range of pressures, often outside of anyone’s control that can inhibit effective budget pacing. Fear not, without engaging in effective budget pacing, the key element for success lies in the planning and learning phases of the campaign lifecycle which cannot happen without being given the time to shape and evolve.

Early planning and strategising is vital in enhancing the opportunities for greater learning. It delivers increased control over budget pacing and crucially, it delivers results. Don’t wait around to fight for your slice of the Q4 pie, plan to stay ahead and enjoy the full Christmas dinner.

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