Commentary

How To Use The 'Giving' Season As A Marketing Opportunity

Thanksgiving: a holiday synonymous with spending time with family, friends and loved ones. But it no longer takes place only on the fourth Thursday of November.

Instead, it’s grown legs with Friendsgivings, work-givings and other giving events filling consumers social calendars all October and November long.

So how are consumers navigating this new holiday landscape? We set out to figure out just that, polling 2,760 consumers to further understand their motivations and planning tactics during this hectic time of the year.

Here are our key learnings and actionable ways that marketers can further reach and serve consumers this season and beyond.

How are consumers preparing for different types of gatherings?

Of those polled, 68% are relying on digital or handwritten lists to prepare for their gathering.

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This makes sense. It can be hard to remember to pick up daily staples during a routine shopping trip, let alone all the essentials for a “giving” event. From the ingredients needed to make that famous pumpkin pie, to the cleaning products that will inevitably be needed to clean pre- and post-gathering, to the perfect hostess gift, there are simply too many items to just wing it.

With consumers relying so heavily on lists, now, more than ever, it is imperative marketers focus on breaking through the noise, influencing and inspiring consumers in a pre-shop environment before the purchasing behavior begins.

How early does the planning process start?

Surprisingly, consumers may not be planning as early as one might think. In fact, 55% of respondents claimed they only start planning two weeks ahead of a given event. That said, with gatherings spanning the months of October and November, make sure you have tactics in place to have a presence all giving season long.

It’s really not just Thanksgiving anymore!

58% of those surveyed are planning to attend more than one group event this November. Of those, 33% are planning to attend five or more, over a short period of time!

What can marketers do to ensure their brands stay top of mind for all occasions? In todays world of interruptive advertising, consumers are yearning for brands to speak to them in a manner that provides value. Consider creating a content series of inspiring hosting tips, recipe hacks, or host/hostess gift ideas to provide value and help relieve the planning stress people face this time of year.

Just how large are these gatherings?

With over 58% of consumers attending more than one event, you may wonder: Just how large are these givings? Of those surveyed, over 60% plan to host or attend a gathering of six or more. Thirty percent  plan to celebrate with 10 guests or more. With consumers either hosting or attending multiple givings per season, it is important to tailor marketing tactics that speak to both the hosting tips and tricks, as well as attendees who are tasked with either bringing a gift or dish to the event.

In closing, focus on marketing tactics that reach consumers in their pre-shop environment all season long. Providing value to both hosts and attendees with insightful and inspirational content is guaranteed to get your brand on their shopping list.

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