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Marketing in the Fifth Quarter

Updated: Mar 30, 2023

By: Meghan Macaya


For those in the digital marketing space, Q5 is a land of infinite possibilities. This fiscal hidden gem spans from Dec 26th to Jan 8th and is often overlooked in the midst of the holiday frenzy. Though most brands take this time to rest and prep for Q1, this transitional phase provides the ultimate opportunity for maximizing profits and expanding your customer base. There are plenty of ways for brands to stand out throughout the year, but one way to truly stay ahead of the curve is by mastering Q5 marketing.


What is Q5?

Q5 is the invisible quarter that runs from Christmas time through the beginning of January. Though not widely recognized, this is the optimal occasion for brands to run promotions and reach a broader audience. Brands should take advantage of this stage while social media engagement is high and competition is low. Instead of running aimless promotions and end-of-year sales, confer with your team on specific strategies to help your brand rise above the noise. Keeping a precise goal in mind will more accurately shape your Q5 journey and will likely garner a more loyal customer base. It’s important to keep in mind that this quarter is comprised of multiple phases, each phase deserving of its own creative thinking and approach. Since pre-Christmas, Christmas time, and New Year's promotions vary greatly in marketing strategy, your brand’s focus will encounter a significant shift over time.


Q5 Marketing Strategies

The best way to prep for the 5th quarter is by solidifying strategies that set your brand ahead of the curve. One vital thing to remember is the shift in product focus as time goes on. Leading up to December 25th, promotions are primarily aimed at gift-giving. Heading into January, there is a major shift in purchase intention, transitioning more towards self-serving products. For beauty, activewear, and health-conscious brands, this is a prime opportunity to take advantage of the “new year, new me” mentality. Come January, people start setting resolutions to sustain a healthier, happier lifestyle. Whether that be investing in cleaner skincare products or establishing a workout routine, people will be in search of new, enticing products to satisfy their needs. The electronics industry also greatly benefits from Q5 due to the particular time of year. During the holidays, one of the most common gifts to receive is electronics. This could include anything from phones to tablets to smartwatches. Once the 5th quarter rolls around, people will be scouring the stores for fresh, exciting accessories to complete their favorite Christmas gift. During this crucial time, your brand must convince customers that your product will either elevate their lifestyle or upgrade their holiday goodies.

Paid Ads in Q5

In order to fully reap the benefits of Q5, brands must fine-tune their paid ad content to cater to this “new me” mindset. Some of the best platforms for paid content are Google Ads, Facebook Ads Manager, and Twitter Ads. Though most brands thrive on Google and Facebook, Twitter has recently made quite an impact in the paid performance scene. Regardless of the platform you choose, make sure your ad copy and creatives promote the essence of an upgraded lifestyle. One strategy for optimizing your paid ads during Q5 is to extend your ad campaigns through January. This decision is not only budget-conscious, it’s also more likely that your brand will reach a broader audience. By extending your campaigns, you’ll reach those last-minute purchasers who’ve failed to find the perfect gift by the holidays. In recent years, eleventh-hour purchases have become common as shoppers are most intent on finding the best deals and the latest product drops. Regardless of your product, your brand’s Q5 strategy should undoubtedly keep paid ads at the forefront.


How Brands Did in Q5

Though the 5th quarter is a major opportunity for brands to maximize profits and expand their audience, not all brands have found success in this contentious marketing phase. During this past Q5, many struggled to define purchase intentions throughout the quarter’s many stages. Some brands became so caught up in the gift-giving madness that they neglected opportunities to promote self-serving products. By overlooking this “new year, new me” phase, brands struggled to connect with new customers in search of lifestyle upgrades. Poor Q5 performance is largely due to the fact that it’s still not widely recognized as a fiscal quarter. Moving forward, as more try their hand at 5th-quarter strategies, the increased exposure will encourage brands worldwide to push the envelope, inspiring more successful methods in the digital marketing space.

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