Marketing Pulse Blog

[Event Recap] Spreading the Wealth: Are Changes in Consumer Spending Here to Stay?

In our first Marketing Pulse Webinar of the year, WITHIN experts covered the significant changes in consumer spending that brands can expect to see in 2022.

We walked attendees through the most notable shifts and presented actionable tips for a surgical approach to brand marketing.

Speakers from the WITHIN team included:

Areeb Mahamadi – Director of Digital Media
Tyler Horner – Director of Digital Media
Tommy Lamb – Head of Lifecycle Marketing

What Do We Mean by “Spreading the Wealth”?

How much of your end-of-year shopping did you do on Black Friday last year?

We’re not asking how much shopping you did in November, or even the total amount of shopping you did throughout the holiday season; how much did you spend specifically on the date of Black Friday?

If you’re like other consumers, the answer is not much.

Instead of purchasing on specific days, shoppers opted to spread their purchases across longer timelines, hence “Spreading the Wealth.”

To account for these new ebbs and flows in consumer demand, brands need to plan differently in three main areas:

  1. Revenue Forecasting – setting baseline expectations for consumer demand.
  2. Promotion Planning – timing and overall management of promotions.
  3. Budget Planning – aligning efficiency of ad spend to meet demand timing.

Related: 4 Disruptive Business Trends to Expect in 2022

How Are Revenue Curves Changing With Consumer Demand?

In the past, we’ve seen consistent revenue curves around major seasonal holidays like Black Friday and Cyber Monday, which made timing for campaigns more predictable.

Predictable revenue curves helped brands conserve ad budgets for industry-specific holidays. However, a heavy emphasis on hard-hitting promotions caused a negative ripple effect on customer relationships.

Our marketing trends have changed considerably in the past few years.

revenue curve in 2010s

Here’s an example of what a revenue curve could look like now.

changes in consumer spending revenue curve

What Data Should We Look at to Determine Our New Normal?

Standard deviation is one of the most critical types of statistics that we should consider when adjusting marketing efforts to new revenue curves.

Since standard deviation is a descriptive statistic used to understand data distribution, it’s critical to get a complete picture of how consumers will spend over time.

A higher standard deviation means more variability and volatility, while a lower standard deviation can indicate a more consistent revenue stream.

Here’s what our data sets have shown us about year-over-year standard deviation.

changes in consumer spending chart

As you can see, the standard deviation of daily revenue has been on a downward trend, which means there are more fair-weather revenue days.

We’re also seeing a significant decrease in peak revenue days (days where revenue is more than one standard deviation above average).

Despite lower daily revenue and shrinking standard deviations, we’ve seen an increase in overall revenue.

Why?

Mainly because the pandemic has forced people to shop online. As a result, shopping has become an ongoing activity, not a one-time event.

Customers can catch deals earlier, which deeply impacts brands that have traditionally run promotions seasonally.

How Should You Respond to Changes in Consumer Spending?

Most brands should start their promotions earlier. Across verticals, we saw brands running promos a few days before Black Friday. Now, we’re seeing them run promos for months at a time.

To give your brand the best shot at gaining overall revenue in a time of shrinking standard deviations, start by analyzing your previous promotional habits.

Here’s how your brand should respond across the three main focus areas:

Our Suggested To-Do List

Revenue Forecasting:

  • Don’t bank on Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales as much. Focus on long-term promotions instead.
  • Identify and lean into incremental revenue streams.
  • Nip channel cannibalization in the bud for maximum profitability.

Promotional Planning:

  • Mirror your promotions with shifting consumer demand using industry-specific data.
  • Opt for personalized offers over sitewide sales.
  • Determine the best promotional duration and spend fewer days on promos.

Budget Planning:

  • Plan for increased spending in weeks and months surrounding typical promotional days.
  • Analyze when your business typically sees lower CPMs and CPCs.
  • Test the time delay of media spend for optimal ROAS.

Want your brand to thrive in seasons of changing consumer spending habits? Talk to us at WITHIN for a hands-on, omnichannel approach to media management.

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