Connected TV

The Performance Marketer’s Guide to Fourth of July

The Performance Marketer’s Guide to Fourth of July

7 Min Read

The Fourth of July falls in the height of summer, and we’re in for a big one this year. Shot Girl Summer memes have been circulating around the internet as COVID-19 cases slow down and we reach herd immunity. Independence Day will take on a new meaning – not only will it be a celebration of our nation’s independence, it will be a collective celebration of our independence as restrictions lift and we head towards a sense of normality after a year of lockdowns and isolation. While we saw a dip in overall celebrations last year from 86% in 2019 to 76% in 2020, that’s all about to change in 2021. 

We’ll cover:

Sunday’s Best Makes For a Slow and Steady Summer

consumer data trends – even the most conservative of spenders were looking to splash out (and perhaps invest in a little self care) in the lead up to the Fourth of July. Customers shopped big particularly on the Sunday the week leading to (81% increase) and the Sunday the week after (57% increase) Fourth of July. We also see from the trend line overall across this five-week period that the increase in conversions generally trended upwards.

Another interesting observation was mapping revenue against pre-pandemic times. Shoppers spent the most the day before Fourth of July (as much as 65% versus any other day in the holiday shopping window) in 2019, but last year painted a different story. Revenue increased on the Friday and Sunday leading up to the holiday, as shoppers made last minute purchases going into the weekend. We then saw spending levels flatten on the few days either side of the Fourth of July holiday, but a lot of activity on the week either side. Spending then tapered off the week after the holiday. And, while revenue was the highest the week leading up to the Fourth of July holiday in 2019, we saw this up 47% the  week after the holiday in 2020.

The End of Quarantine = The New ‘New Year’s Resolution’

Could the post-pandemic signal a ‘New Year, New Me’ mentality? We sure think so. A recent article from media company Vox, explains how this optimistic time is giving us space to rethink our post-pandemic  identities and act upon them. For example, “ Friends and coworkers have dreamed up completely new vaccinated identities…while others are putting their frenzied end-of-quarantine energy into vacation planning, plastic surgery, or getting ripped.”

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention recently relaxed their guidelines, which means vaccinated people can gather indoors together without the need to socially distance or wear a mask. The same rules apply when gathering outdoors, such as a dinner party or a BBQ cookout. What we found interesting when looking at last year’s data trends, was despite a lower percentage of people celebrating Fourth of July, the average order value per person increased as the table below suggests. If this overall upward trajectory is anything to go by, we’re in for more spending per person this year.

It also appears that some regions and age groups gravitate towards Fourth of July festivities more than others. For example, the 18-44 year old demographic are not only the least likely to hold off on celebrations, they also spend the most out of other age groups and choose to celebrate with the classic cookout and family and friends get-togethers.

Not to mention, they’re spending on average more than other age groups as they stock up for parties and festivities. 

The “Go Big or Go Home” Approach to This Year’s Campaigns

If there’s one thing 2020 taught us, is to always expect the unexpected. This year, expect celebrations to be amplified. Families are reuniting after a year apart, the weather is (finally) warming up and we’re gearing up for something called ‘Revenge Travel’ trend that’s about to implode. A study by the Global Rescue Survey found that the majority of survey respondents expect to go on their next multi-day domestic trip greater than 100 miles from home by June 2021. International travel will pick up soon after, with nearly six out of 10 respondents (57 percent) expecting to travel abroad sometime between Spring and Winter 2021. 

Firstly, consider adding some of these targeting segments in addition to the usual targeting suspects (like outdoor entertaining, BBQ grills and summer DIY projects) when setting up your campaigns:

Fourth of July
It wouldn’t be a proper Fourth of July campaign without this classic targeting segment – from grilling / BBQ’s, party supplies and everything in between.

  • Connexity >  CNX Seasonal > 4th of July
  • Zipline > US Data > AmeriLINK Consumer Buying Behavior > Seasonal Audiences > Independence Day / 4th of July
  • ALC > Shoppers > Seasonal > Independence Day Shoppers

Post-Pandemic Travelers
Remember all those saved flight credits that you accrued from last year? It’s time to reach those users who are looking to book their next vacation and their holiday necessities.

  • AnalyticsIQ > Travel intenders > Pandemic Travel Plans > Likely to travel in next 3-month
  • AnalyticsIQ > Travel intendeners > Pandemic Travel Plans > Likely to travel because of new discounts
  • AnalyticsIQ > Travel intendeners > Pandemic Travel Plans > Likely cancelled or postponed travel plans

Mid-Year’s Resolution
All that pent up energy from pandemic times has to go somewhere. Set your targets on those looking to take their self care up a notch.

  • Clickagy > Interests > Seasonal & Events > New Year’s Resolutions
  • Cuebiq > Geo-behavioral Audience > Seasonal > New Year’s Resolution Gym-goers
  • Lotame > Home & Family > New Years Resolution Makers

Secondly, optimize your campaign for success so your budget and targeting are utilized in the best way possible. Here are some non-negotiables that will make your campaign run smoothly:

1. We saw that shopping and browsing activity picks up early in the month. Start your prospecting campaigns now to allow ramp up time before the big holiday and to widen your audience pool. Often times than not a prospect will need to see or hear your marketing message at least seven times before they take any action and 81% of shoppers research their product online before buying. You want to avoid bombarding these same shoppers with your message in a one-week time span, which is likely to turn off potential new customers.

2. Since activity picks up the week before the holiday, this is a great opportunity to switch on your retargeting campaigns and run these alongside your prospecting efforts. Using MNTN Performance TV, you can retarget your own site visitor on television – for example, cart abandoners or shoppers who have viewed 2+ pages. On the creative front, we suggest switching up your messaging for connected TV retargeting to drive urgency, like discounts and sales to attract last minute shoppers.

3. Balance your budget accordingly and save some spend to last you through summer instead of only a week after the holiday. The Fourth of July isn’t just a standalone holiday this year – the whole summer will be a celebration of independence. Plan your creative messaging ahead of time and create reiterations of one template that you can easily switch out with evergreen messaging. For some more handy tips, we’ve pulled together a few recommendations on how to position your creative.