From Erica Meyer, VP, Account Management, Simulmedia
July 2022 marked a record-breaking year for Amazon’s annual Prime Day, with over 300 million items sold over a two-day period – a 20% increase over last year – translating to 100,000 items sold per minute. Even more notably, competing discount events run by retailers like Target and Best Buy contributed to total online retail sales during the Prime Day period surpassing $11.9 billion in the U.S., an 8.5% increase over 2021, according to Adobe Analytics data. It’s no wonder that Amazon is now reportedly planning a second Prime Day-like event, potentially to be called “Prime Early Access Sale” for October of this year.
Those huge sales may have surprised some in light of the significant headwinds facing consumers, but historically, looming downturns have done little to curtail spending habits during major shopping periods or retail events – and, in fact, can often spur activity that helps propel brands past choppy macroeconomic waters.
With Back to School shopping starting and the winter holidays, Black Friday, and Cyber Monday still to come, now is the time for brands to plan and put into motion advertising strategies that take advantage of consumers’ willingness to continue spending. After all, according to one study by Kantar in partnership with Amazon Ads, 71% of shoppers only learn about brands from advertisements in the weeks leading up to Prime Day, and 75% of shoppers are likely to purchase a product on Prime Day that they were only made aware of from those ads leading up to the big day.
And no medium can help brands cut through the clutter in the second half of the year like cross-channel TV advertising with its unmatched ability to drive brand awareness and business outcomes to the widest possible audiences. The mass reach of TV advertising allows you to get your message in front of millions of new people, which is particularly important for marketers and retailers with a national footprint. For them, national TV campaigns are simply more effective and economical in terms of driving awareness and action. And it's more important than ever to be able to forecast campaigns accurately —there’s always the potential for pre-emption when you buy local inventory or Direct Response (DR) inventory. That could be particularly disastrous when you have a warehouse of product that needs to ship in time for the holidays.
Even with Q3 already under way, there’s still an opportunity for brands to plan, buy, and activate their target consumers wherever they’re watching or streaming with smart, data-driven TV campaigns across both linear and connected TV.
As we’ve learned from staggering supply chain shortages across sectors in the past year, it is imperative to match advertising efforts with available supply and expected high demand. The Adobe Digital Economy Index found that one out of every 59 online product pages show an out-of-stock message, a 235% increase from pre-pandemic, 2019 levels. Marketers should seek out advertising partners and platforms that provide the flexibility needed to respond to unforeseen shifts in supply and demand in mid-campaign flight – without sacrificing cost-efficiency, reach or effectiveness.
Brands should also be prepared to test various creatives, networks, platforms and dayparts and adjust for performance as results roll in during the crucial Q3 and Q4 sales periods – especially this year, when competition will be fiercer than ever. Despite growing concerns over inflation and a recession (or a recession-like period), consumers overall have $2.8 trillion more in savings in 2022 than in 2019, according to studies by the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco. That translates to opportunities for brands to unlock the purchasing power of their target audiences – if they have access to the real-time data insights and measurement they need to be able to optimize their TV campaigns, or pivot entirely if necessary, with relatively short notice.
As is typical, television inventory tightens up considerably amidst all the Back to School and holiday demand. Marketers should lock in their TV plans now to ensure they don’t miss out on driving brand awareness and down-funnel KPIs during the biggest shopping periods of the year in Q3 and Q4. With the right partner, brand advertisers can be guaranteed full audience reach across premium inventory on both linear and CTV this fall — something to be thankful for in this challenging year.