Lagging Quarter 1 sales are a yearly challenge for any business. There are many factors that make increasing sales in January through March difficult. Instead of forcefully pushing against consumer decision-making, businesses should focus on long-term strategies that can develop and increase lifetime customer value. Rethinking the parameters of a productive Quarter 1 requires delving into the psychology of consumer choices at this time of year.
What’s the “Holiday Let Down?”
Studies have shown that as many as 25% of Americans suffer from low to severe depression after the holidays. Depression, a persistent feeling of sadness or loss of interest includes a wide array of symptoms. This illness pulls sufferers away from the people and activities they love. Often, they retreat from the world around them instead of proactively interacting with it. Even the smallest of tasks can be insurmountable. If this illness is affecting your customers, they may be making choices outside of their usual decision-making paths.
For many, January 1st is a moment to hit their financial reset button. One of the top five New Year’s resolutions is to “save money and spend less.” In 2018, Americans were projected to spend an average of $1,000 individually on the holidays. Due to this increase in spending, many Americans reevaluate and reassess their finances in January. With customers interested in saving instead of spending, brands need to lean into these psychological moments instead of pushing against them. Brands must adapt to their customers’ needs and desires throughout the year.
Beyond aspirational behaviors and holiday slumps, the majority of Americans face and are thus affected by inclement weather. The relationship between personal mood, decision-making and colder weather is long documented. Cold weather finds many consumers cramped, curled or cooped up inside. The lack of light that winter brings directly impacts human physiology. Cold temperatures forces us indoors. Human mood and behavior are directly impacted by light levels and temperature. “Light has a major influence on human physiology and consequently has an effect on psychological processes.” New research from social media posts suggests that weather has the possibility to alter human emotional states.
Why Focus on Mobile Marketing?
Due to the psychology of winter weather and the “holiday let down”, your brand should focus on mobile marketing. Smartphones have become the most important device to access the Internet. 70% of internet traffic comes from mobile usage. Yet as of 2018, only 68% of companies have integrated mobile marketing into their overall strategy. Finding the right mix of mobile marketing effectively targets your desired audiences. Discovering this balance can only be done with testing. The proven benefits of mixed mobile advertising include finding increased reach, reducing wear out and more.
Effective mobile marketing requires specificity. Being able to quickly and efficiently share your product or brand story is necessary for success. Within that, location targeting, retargeting, contextual targeting and behavioral targeting all can be used to reach the right customer in the right moment. Its small screen offers the opportunity for purposeful engagement. Content must be created strictly for mobile and not repurposed from other sources. Mobile also creates a richer dataset than traditional media, allowing marketers to capture real-time context, moments and intents of consumers. AI can assist in mobile targeting optimization.
Testing for Success
To engage your target audiences, testing is imperative. A/B testing allows your brand to test for one variable at a time. Quarter 1 is the ideal time to test upcoming marketing for the year. To begin testing, start by establishing your goal and working backwards. From there your brand can conduct one test on one asset at a time. Variables can include offers, copy, form fields, whole page, placement, and size to suggest just a few. Each variable can have one control and one treatment which is considered the optimized version that’s expected to perform better. In the presence of statistically significant results, marketers are able to adjust each ad for its highest probability of success.
Mobile marketing can tackle the yearly challenge of lagging sales after the “holiday let down.” By using psychology to focus on long-term strategies, your business can develop and increase not only sales but lifetime customer value. Mobile marketing meets customers where they are in the cyclical year and testing ensures that they receive the most effective messaging possible right when they need to.
Curious about other strategies for boosting winter sales? Read our white paper here. Or just want to chat? Reach out below!