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How CMOs Can Win This Holiday Season

The holiday season is quickly approaching – a critical time for all marketers. A recent holiday survey from Roku unveiled key changes to consumer behavior, buying shifts, and viewing habits marketers should know about. Here are some of the key trends from the study:

Dan Robbins, VP, Ad Marketing & Partner Solutions, Roku

Dan Robbins, VP, Ad Marketing & Partner Solutions, Roku (Image credit: Roku)

Holiday Consumer Confidence is Strong

72% of consumers expressed confidence that the economy will improve in the next 12 months. This optimism is fueling shopper intent to spend what could be record numbers in 2021. More than 1 in 3 holiday shoppers plan on spending more this year - the highest number reported since 2018.

Consumers Report Spending More Time Streaming than Watching Traditional TV

Last year, consumers reported for the first time that they spent more time streaming TV than watching traditional TV on average. Now, the average holiday consumer spends 78 minutes more per week streaming compared to last year. TV streaming is now mainstream with 86% of US households now streaming.

Millennial Holiday Shoppers are Streaming and Spending More

Millennials, America’s largest generation, are leading the pack away from traditional TV to TV streaming. Nearly one-third of millennial shoppers are cordless and unreachable via pay TV ad campaigns. 

Big Ticket Purchases Increase

With the holiday consumer economic confidence improving, 32% of consumers plan to purchase big ticket items over $500 this season. This is the most since this study started.

Marketers Shift to Buy TV the Way Holiday Consumers Watch TV

Nearly half of consumers said they have seen an ad on their TV streaming device that caused them to pause what they were watching and shop for the product online. And nearly half of holiday consumers said they rely on traditional or TV streaming ads for inspiration when shopping for gifts. The “always-on” is key for marketers trying to reach their consumer.

How are CMOs adapting to these six key trends? Here’s what a few senior marketing leaders shared. 

“We are excited for the holiday season. We expect shoppers to spend early and lean more towards online and mobile, particularly younger consumers,” said Kory Marchisotto, CMO, e.l.f. Beauty & president, Keys Soulcare. “Social will remain an influential part of both Gen Zers and Millennials shopping decisions and Gen Zers will continue to shop for brands that align with their values. e.l.f. will be ready with great gifts for everyone on Gen Zers shopping list, which includes themselves too! Expect some e.l.f.ing fun and festive spirit – whether you plan on going out or staying in.” 

“From fluctuating COVID restrictions and supply chain and labor shortages, the one predictable thing this year has been the unpredictability,” said Carl Loredo, CMO, The Wendy's Company “This holiday season, many of us are going to face the uncertainty of knowing if retailers will be staffed, stocked and able to ship items. As a result, Americans have a heightened appetite for personal connection and are craving predictability. They want what they want, when they want it, how they want it – no surprises. I think we’ll see this play out with increased mobility and consumers getting a jump start earlier than ever before to avoid shipping delays. This means there will be more opportunities for Wendy’s to intercept our fans this holiday season – with more people shopping in cars earlier in the season.  We’ll be there to deliver Wendy’s anytime, anywhere people want it and in a predictable, yet flavorful Wendy’s way. Our fries will always be Hot & Crispy, our fresh never frozen beef will be just that – fresh, and you’ll always be first in line, with personalized deals in our Wendy’s app. We always have our fans’ backs and this season will be no different.” 

“It’s no secret that time spent watching streaming services soared during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, but as restrictions ease and streaming TV free trials are exhausted, consumers will take a sampling approach when deciding whether to sign up for a new service,” said Scott Donaton, head of marketing, Hulu. “A recent Hulu survey showed that, among those who reported signing up for a new service in the last month, nearly half (46%) of respondents will only keep a streaming service long enough to watch what they want, and 28% are currently trying out a streaming service on a temporary basis. TV fans know what they want, and every streamer has to earn the right to serve and keep customers every day, whether that’s through original programming, live sports, a big content library or groundbreaking movies.”  

Individual spending could hit record levels this holiday season. As consumers prepare to spend more, they are also changing how they approach gift giving and how media consumption influences their purchasing decisions. CMOs who are prepared to follow the consumer are poised to win this holiday season. 

Roku is America's #1 TV streaming platform; it connects users to the streaming content they love, enables content publishers to build and monetize large audiences and provides advertisers with unique capabilities to engage consumer.