Marketers Smarten Up, Spend Less On Holiday Campaigns

Data released Monday from The Exchange Lab, a GroupM/WPP company focusing on programmatic advertising, suggests marketers spent less on campaigns this past U.S. Thanksgiving Day weekend than in prior years.

But that's not a bad thing for brands.  It seems either marketers have made smarter campaign investments or technology has stepped in to improve performance. it's probably a little bit of both, according to the data.

The Exchange Lab's findings suggest 2017 Black Friday ad spend fell 67%, compared with 2016, yet return on ad spend rose more than 500%.

Sports clubs, fitness companies and other nontraditional retailers saw a 40% drop in cost per acquisition (CPA) for Black Friday campaigns.

“Insights from multiple campaigns we’ve run over [the U.S. Thanksgiving Day holiday weekend] found that although ad spend is down 67% compared to 2016, return on ad spend is up by a monumental 500%," wrote Nikki Hawke CMO at The Exchange Lab in an email.



Hawke also believes the data proves marketers are making better decisions on how and where they spend their budgets.

The use of video and display media in Black Friday campaigns equated to a five-time increase in performance compared with campaigns that only used display or video.

That seems to match recent findings from Forrester Research suggesting video and display will give digital advertising a boost within the next few years.

“Another key finding is that Black Friday and Cyber Monday, typically associated with retail brands, have become big business opportunities for other B2C sectors such as fitness clubs and specialist alcohol brands," Hawke wrote. 

These nontraditional retailers also saw a major return on investment through targeted advertising campaigns, with a 40% drop in CPA.


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