Q5: How to Maximize Your Marketing Strategy for the Hidden Quarter

Did you think the holiday season was over? Think again.

The fifth quarter, or Q5, is a relatively newer trend in consumer behavior that brands and marketers have started to realize is a continuation of the peak shopping season. Relax, there are still only four fiscal quarters in the year, but by recognizing and leveraging the “hidden” fifth quarter, brands can really maximize their profits and reach new customers.

Let’s take a closer look at Q5, why it’s worth running campaigns during this period, and the specific marketing strategies to use during this short bonus quarter.

What is Q5?

The fifth quarter in marketing refers to the period after the end of the traditional four quarters of the year. Q5 refers to the weeks between the end of the holidays and before we’re fully into the full swing of Q1. While many brands take this time to relax, assess sales, and regroup before the new year, some others have been taking advantage of this “invisible” quarter to increase sales and boost brand awareness.

How can selling in Q5 boost your overall sales

After a busy holiday season, it can seem daunting to continue marketing campaigns and extend sales for another few weeks when many companies take a well-deserved break. However, if you look at Q5 as part of the holiday season and plan for it in advance, then this can turn out to be a profitable way to boost your sales even more. 

There are a few key reasons why running marketing campaigns in Q5 can be advantageous.

There’s less competition

As most brands will be in the mindset of winding down and counting profits after Christmas and New Year, there’s a lot less competition in the market when it comes to offering the best sales, leaving you with more space to create brand awareness and reach new audiences.

People are still looking to shop

According to a survey, 92% of consumers are still planning to shop after the holidays are over. As the holiday season draws to an end, many people are looking to return or exchange unwanted gifts and get themselves something they really want. Additionally, those who received gift cards or cash as gifts are looking to spend it while there are still sales going on.

Lower advertising prices

Given the decreased competition and the fact that it’s right after peak shopping season, the cost for ads during Q5 is significantly lower. Ad prices increase before Black Friday and stay high throughout the holidays, and then take a dip once they’re over. Advertisers who want to make the most bang for their buck can take advantage of these lower ad prices.

Strategies to boost sales in Q5

So, how can you take advantage of Q5 and use it to boost your overall holiday sales? There are a few strategies you employ specifically during this short window of time.

Capitalize on “new year, new you” shoppers

While shoppers leading up to Christmas were likely shopping for items for others as gifts, during this time of year, people are more likely to shop for themselves. In the run-up to the new year and right after it begins, people are in the mindset of resolutions and making personal changes. 

Brands in the space of activewear, beauty, or clothing can jump on this trend by showing consumers how their products can fit with their view of a “new me.” Adjust your marketing campaigns to align with this messaging so that your products are shown in a light that will help make people feel confident and good about themselves.

Turn to social selling

A lot of people are off from work in the days between Christmas and New Year, and what are they likely to do after eating themselves into a food coma and spending too much time with family? They’re going to look for ways to relax and disconnect, such as scrolling through social media more frequently. According to Snapchat, the company sees an increase in usage on Christmas Day, followed by a surge in app downloads afterward.

As more users are on social media after the holidays, this presents an excellent opportunity for brands to focus their marketing campaigns on these channels where they’re likely to reach more potential customers. Brands can even benefit from the ads that retailers run on social platforms as it brings in more traffic to a retailer’s website or marketplace, resulting in greater exposure to potential customers. 

Clear out excess inventory

Q5 is the perfect time to try and clear out as much excess inventory as you can before the new fiscal year kicks into gear. For items that didn’t fly off the shelves as planned during November and December sales, now is the time to offer additional discounts to move those products. 

When running ads, make sure that you highlight special sale prices and product discounts to capture shoppers looking for a last-minute deal.

Retarget your ads

Did you have a lot of window shoppers during the holidays? Well, now’s the time to take advantage of lower competition and lower-than-average ad spend to run a retargeted ad campaign to grab those uncertain consumers. 

Now that the holidays are over and people are back to being focused on shopping for themselves, it’s more likely that they’ll convert when they view retargeted ads for products that are now on sale.

How Cymbio can help you make the most out of Q5

It may seem daunting to continue to run sales after the holidays are over, especially if your company doesn’t have the manpower or resources to spread yourselves even thinner after a tiring selling season.

That said, there is a way for brands to capitalize on Q5 without wearing themselves out. Lauren Silvermintz, Customer Success Manager at Cymbio, suggests taking a deeper dive into all digital sales channels. Silvermintz says that “expanding to digital retailers and marketplaces allows brands to further leverage sales and move excess inventory.” By adopting these sales channels with the help of Cymbio,m brands can reach new audiences and automate sales processes throughout Q5.

Cymbio offers you full control of your inventory across all the retailers you’re connected to, making it easier than ever to scale your business without scaling your operations. Cymbio can also help connect you with new retailers, marketplaces, and social media channels so that you can increase the outlets where you sell your products and profit on the late December and January shoppers. 

In conclusion

Don’t be deterred by the prospect of extra work after the holidays wrap up. Figure your Q5 planning into your usual holiday marketing strategy, and with a tiny bit of extra effort and forethought, you can really maximize profits in this extra quarter. By turning to platforms like Cymbio, you can boost your Q5 sales by reaching new audiences and clearing out excess inventory through retailers and marketplaces.

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