Q5: A golden opportunity for apps
In our latest guest post, Eric Vissers, Head of Growth at growth-marketing partner DCMN explores Q5: what it is, when it is, and how app marketers can leverage it for growth.
Q4 has long been the holy grail for marketers, packed with calendar hooks and high purchase intent. But what comes next? Move over Q1, and enter Q5. It’s the extra quarter you might never have known existed — and the most underrated one too.
Q5 runs from just after Christmas through to the end of January. During this post-holiday lull, many brands and apps tend to slow down and decrease spending after heavy investments in the run-up to the holidays. But for the ones who continue to invest in their advertising, it can be a highly lucrative time to increase revenue and attract new users across a number of verticals.
We’ll go through why Q5 can be a boon for advertisers, tips for your Q5 campaigns, and how brands across the gaming, e-commerce, and health and fitness verticals can take advantage of this hidden quarter.
Five reasons why you should care about Q5
- During the holidays, consumers typically enjoy more downtime. That often means spending more time on their mobile devices playing (or discovering) games, streaming their favorite shows, or taking advantage of post-Christmas sales by shopping online. It’s also when people are highly motivated to plan their New Year’s resolutions, and the time they start looking for health and fitness, productivity, and even budgeting apps to help them stay on track.
- December is by far the highest month for new device activations in the U.S., which typically peak on Christmas Day. For advertisers, that means more opportunities than ever for users to discover and install your app. Making sure your brand is top of mind and your app is easily discoverable in the app stores is key.
- Media prices at this time provide excellent ROI, especially in comparison to the pre-holiday season, where CPMs and CPCs are through the roof. Snap, for example, reports that CPMs on its platform during Q5 are up to 44% lower than the Black Friday peak. Many networks also tend to offer reduced prices during this time, as brands have typically exhausted their marketing budgets during Cyber Week or end-of-year campaigns. This is true across advertising channels, from digital advertising to TV, CTV, and out-of-home — making it the perfect time to run an integrated campaign and boost your app’s visibility.
- Because so many brands are focused on the pre-holiday rush, Q5 is an opportunity for smaller apps to invest in attracting new users at a more cost-efficient price. And, with less competition for attention, it’s also easier to gain greater share of voice.
- Lastly, Q5 is a great opportunity to test and learn how effective different channels are at attracting your target audience, without having to break the bank. Not only are CPMs more cost-efficient, but there are more “cozy eyeballs” across devices due to the holidays and weather.
Q5 across the verticals
With more time on their hands, Q5 is the perfect time for users to play their favorite games - and discover new ones, too. As well as running typical user acquisition campaigns, it’s also the right time to try reaching a wider audience by exploring new channels — particularly if you feel like you’ve already exhausted your existing user acquisition tactics.
TV and CTV are especially complementary channels, as you’re catching users during their downtime and while they’re likely to be second-screening. We’re starting to see a lot of interest from many mobile game studios interested in exploring these channels: Wooga, Nordeus, Funplus, Product Madness, Bandai Namco, and Zynga’s Natural Motion are just some of the latest brands looking to expand.
This is, in part, due to the limitations of personalized advertising since the release of iOS 14.5, but also due to an increased focus on long-term loyalty and branding metrics. TV advertising has also become more accessible price-wise for a lot of developers, particularly in Q5. An experienced TV-focused agency can advise on the best creatives, channel mix, and strategy to achieve your goals — as well as understanding how best to measure your campaign’s success.
Think the buying stops after Christmas? Think again; research shows that purchase intent remains high throughout the holidays and into January. Facebook found that 60% of festive season shoppers in North America research gifts for themselves, and a survey by DCMN of 2,000 German consumers in 2021 showed that 20% planned to spend their festive downtime shopping for themselves — often with gift cards they’d received over the holidays.
Post-Christmas, make sure messaging within your app reflects consumers’ shifting mindset: focused on treating themselves, rather than gift buying. It’s also an excellent time to experiment with offers and incentives to help give your end-of-year sales a boost.
Health and fitness
As consumers start thinking about their New Year’s resolutions, it’s no surprise that this time of year is also big for health and fitness apps. Last year, getting fit topped 68% of consumers’ list of resolutions, with another 27% keen to practice more self-care. Lower the barriers to entry for your app by inviting new users to experience your product with free trials or incentives to download. However, you will also need to think about a long-term and plan how to retain users coming back after that initial peak in installs and sessions.
With just under four months to go until Q5, it’s not too late to start planning how you’ll tap into this hidden quarter — whether you’re focused solely on mobile advertising or want to start branching out into new channels like TV or CTV. Learn more about how to put together a killer campaign that combines the two here, or follow DCMN on LinkedIn for more advice on Q5 and beyond.
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