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Outperform Sales Forecasts by Targeting Audiences with the Right Media

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With a 2023 holiday spending increase forecast of only 3% nominal growth (1% real growth) over 2022, your clients have their work cut out for them. That’s because, in the past ten years, the average growth rate was 5.4% according to Bain & Company. The projected $913 billion in holiday season sales sounds like a lot, but your clients must be visible to consumers and transmit the right messaging to capture their share of spending. To succeed they need to consider targeting audiences with the right media.

Why Targeting Audiences Matters

The sluggish sales across the board in 2023 have attracted analyst attention. Overall, sales growth has been hovering in the 3% range so far this year. While non-​store sales have jumped in the past seven months, in-​store sales have bumped along with hardly any growth when compared to last year’s levels. Between January and July, non-​store sales amounted to 25%, leaving in-​store sales to contribute to 75% of the total. This trend suggests that your clients will need a presence in stores and online in order to capture their share of holiday spending.

Adding to the concern is the general consumer mood. After experiencing a period of high inflation, some consumers are contending with the need to begin repaying student loans. Other consumers are dealing with the loss of federally-​subsidized child care payments. It’s not surprising that August consumer sentiment turned cautious with middle-​income consumers showing the biggest drop in intention to spend.

But all is not lost. Some consumer groups will be opening their wallets to give gifts this year. Media sellers can help their clients with audience targeting and the best media formats to use by checking out the latest AudienceSCAN data published by SalesFuel. With this information, marketers can reach the consumers who intend to purchase gifts in the upcoming holiday season.

Targeting Parents of Kids Ages 6–9

While consumers may want to hold the line on holiday-​related spending, parents with kids ages 6–9 will find that hard to do. Kids in this age group still believe in the magic of the year-​end holiday season, Santa Claus for some, and parents don’t like to disappoint.

Parents of younger kids are also extremely busy and tech savvy.

  • 21% agree that advertising on their mobile apps is useful.
  • They are far more likely than average to respond to ads heard during an audio podcast.
  • 45% of these consumers prefer to purchase from small or independently owned businesses.

These details should excite your clients about advertising to parents. And promotional messaging should appeal to the specific purchase motivators for this audience. Buying products that make them feel successful is important to 23% of these consumers.

Convincing this group to shop with your clients can pay dividends as 15% call themselves frequent social media video creators. They’re digitally savvy and might just tout the great holiday-​related purchases they’re making to their followers.

Targeting Gen X Consumers

Historically, consumers between the ages of 45 and 55 tend to be big spenders on holiday gifts. Here are key media usage details about this audience:

  • Nearly 31% take advantage of special offers in emails.
  • They are 14% more likely than other consumers to have responded to streaming TV ads in the past 30 days.

Gen X parents are far more likely than other consumers to have kids who are age 13 and up. That generally means their kids will expect more expensive gifts. This year, 20% of Gen X consumers plan to splurge for special occasion items, which means they could be open to a persuasive holiday gift promotion. These consumers are well worth including in your clients’ targeting audiences strategy this year.

Leveraging the Market Power of Trend Setters

Your clients can multiply the impact of their ad campaigns by promoting their products and services to trend setters this holiday season. When targeting audiences, it is hard to beat the power of trend setters. These are the consumers who friends and family members seek out for advice about products and brands. According to AudienceSCAN data, nearly 10% of U.S. adults fall into this category. Your clients can tap into the power of trend setters by understanding their media use and motivation.

  • Nearly 51% of these consumers will share their good experience with a product or store by posting a positive review, especially on social media.
  • 37% of these consumers enjoy watching TV between 2 and 5 hours every day.
  • TV advertising has prompted 43% of trend setters to take action.

Compared to other U.S. adults, trend setters are 88% more likely to purchase items that make them feel unique and distinctive. Include that type of messaging in your client’s promotions to appeal to trend setters.

Not surprisingly, trend setters are ahead of other consumers in expecting to pay for cryotherapy, IV drip (fluids) and tattoos in the coming months. They are also more like to purchase fashion-​related items that make popular holiday gifts, including a new watch or jewelry, activewear and fashion accessories.

Looking Ahead

The forecast for this year’s holiday sales growth doesn’t look stellar. But don’t let the analyst gloom dim your clients’ chances for a great year. Work with them on targeting audiences and finding the right media and messaging to optimize results. That strategy will set you up for a great start to next year.

Photo by Tim Douglas on Pexels.

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