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56% of Businesses Emphasize Digital Marketing for Holidays

by | 3 minute read

The first wave of COVID-19 infections caused businesses to pull back on advertising. During the second wave, which is coinciding with Q4, 56% of businesses will emphasize digital marketing. The New Normal, Marketing in 2020 and Beyond report, by OpenX, also showed business owners have a more positive attitude. Around 71% plan to adjust the advertising strategy they used in the first wave. These findings echo a recent Comcast Business survey that revealed the majority of SMB owners feel prepared for the second COVID-19 outbreak.

Businesses Emphasize Digital Marketing

While many marketers cut their ad spending significantly in Q2 of 2020, 22% say they will not pull back as much in the coming weeks. Another 15% won’t cut their marketing budgets at all. At the same time, businesses will continue to invest in online shopping to meet consumer demand.

Businesses, including your client's, are making these changes in response to shifts in consumer behavior. We know that over 40% of consumers are paying more to digital news sources. The extra time spent online provides marketers with the opportunity to increase their branded and promotional messages through mobile texts, online video, and email.

Q4 Consumer Spending

During quarantine, consumers cut back their spending in some categories. But they increased it in other categories. People didn’t go to restaurants or events. In some states, this kind of activity is still subdued. But consumers are buying more at the grocery store. They are investing in online classes and learning new skills. And the pandemic has become a happy time for many pets who were adopted from shelters.

With social distancing still being mandated in many regions, consumer holiday-related spending will look look different this year. For one thing, the unemployment rate remains high and will limit spending by many consumers during the holiday period. But 36% of consumers plan to spend more on holiday gifts and trimmings than they did last year. About half, 51%, will pay $500 or more for a big-ticket item before the end of the year. The items under consideration by these shoppers are:

  • Tech items 37%
  • Major appliances 32%
  • Vacation/travel 31%
  • New car 21%

Another report, by the NRF, reveals that average consumer spending to celebrate the winter holidays will amount to $997.79 this year. While many consumers are already shopping, 53% say a sale or promotion will encourage them to shop earlier than usual. Consumers also want to avoid crowds (37%) and don’t want to miss out on highly desired items (26%). These motivations will drive an earlier than usual shopping season. Consumers also plan to shop online as much as possible. And, they will build in expected shipping time when they order gifts.

46% of marketers realize they can increase sales by increasing their ad budgets. Of the 46% who will spend more, at least 37% will spend more than they did before COVID-19 appeared. They can maximize the return on their ad investments by being visible to consumers at the right time and place. Don’t let your clients miss out on the holiday spending that many consumers plan to do. Run a Digital Audit in AdMall from SalesFuel to be sure your client’s online profile shines.

Kathy Crosett
Kathy is the Vice President of Research for SalesFuel. She holds a Masters in Business Administration from the University of Vermont and oversees a staff of researchers, writers and content providers for SalesFuel. Previously, she was co-owner of several small businesses in the health care services sector.
November 2, 2020 Media + Marketing