2018 Promotion Trends: Seasonality

We recently released our 2018 Print & Digital Trends analysis. Here we’re going to highlight the seasonal patterns we found for both Print and Digital promotions.

One of the key conclusions we found was that non-food dominated print in 2018, while food activity was stronger within digital. This occurred across nearly every month of the year.

On aggregate, the months with the highest volume of activity are January, April, July and September. The lowest volume months are November and December.

For a deeper dive into our full print and digital trends analysis, fill out the form on the right to set up a review with our promotions experts.

Print & Digital Seasonality

Examining the complementary nature between food and non-food as well as print and digital patterns across the year, the correlation likely occurred because companies are leveraging a portfolio of products to maximize reach with consumers.

Food seasonality trending tends to be much flatter over the month for print where the 2nd and 4th weeks of the month featured more prominently. For non-food in print, the majority of the year (7 out of 12 months) was emphasizing the 1st week of the month.

Print Promotions Seasonality

Similarly, this pattern continued for non-food in digital with the emphasis placed on the 1st week in 11 out of 12 months. Second in priority for non-food in Print was the use of the last week in each month. Also notable for non-food is that the peaks and valleys were much higher and lower than we saw for food, especially in print.

Digital Promotions Seasonality

Event & Holiday Trends

There are noticeable peaks in volume for digital promotions coinciding with specific calendar dates, especially for food. Most notable events in digital include:

It’s no surprise that these dates would show the highest levels of promotion activities. They tend to be the days where people are hosting get togethers or stocking up on essentials. This also mirrors the seasonal activity we found for digital rebates.

Conversely, when looking at print, volume trends tend to decline on or around these holiday weeks. However, as print often has no drop weeks on the holiday itself, activity typically spikes 1-2 weeks prior to the holiday. New Year’s tends to be most active holiday for both food and non-food in print.

Seasonality Implications

There are clear patterns that have emerged regarding the tactics employed by food and non-food marketers. In determining where to best position your promotion activity the key factors to consider include:

  1. Playing to the strengths of your respective brand or product consumption patterns
  2. Whether it works to your respective brand or product’s benefit to have a presence in contested or non-contested weeks
  3. How to best leverage promotions between print and digital (e.g. stacked or staggered) for your respective brand or product

For any additional questions on seasonality in promotions, or for a deeper dive into our full print and digital trends analysis, fill out the form on the right to speak with one of our promotions experts

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