Despite negative consumer spend trends, brands remain optimistic that shoppers are ready to open their wallets for the right deal. Stats from BankServ Africa show that the nation racked up R3-billion in card transactions on Black Friday 2018, which is up by 16% from 2017.

Audience surveys, conducted by Jacaranda FM and East Coast Radio, disclosed that the most popular Black Friday shopping categories include groceries, clothing, shoes and home décor. Furniture, electronics and gadgets, as well as travel and leisure, also featured prominently.

The same challenge is being felt at the media owner level, with the pressure on inventory to accommodate both retail month-end and Black Friday campaigns.

Here are seven tips that can help ensure that your brand is well positioned and that it stands out over Black Friday:

1. Be well prepared for the onslaught

If you haven't already, engage with media owners and partners, evaluate their Black Friday deals on offer and secure your inventory early. These are most likely to be in high demand and short supply.

2. Go premium

With the knowledge that content is king, the opportunity exists to amplify your generic price and product offering with customised solutions. Premium inventory is limited by nature and aims to cut through the clutter of standard advertising formats. Think native advertising, branded content, power spots and home page takeovers.

3. Run awareness and teaser campaigns in advance

Many consumers start saving for Black Friday months in advance. Start engaging with them in the weeks early to get on their radar. Let them know you have great promotions coming up and tease your deals ahead of time.

4. Target your message

When Black Friday comes around, many brands forfeit the principles of personalised and targeted engagement in favour of mass communication. A deeper understanding and targeting of specific audiences are guaranteed to boost campaign results.

Engage media owners to share the behavioral nuggets of their audiences and use these insights to target more effectively. The magic happens when brands overlay these insights with their own data analytics.

5. Integrate solutions

Given the level of marketing material consumers are exposed to, it's important to reach them across multiple channels. An integrated media solution enables you to reach consumers through their medium/channel of choice — driving better uplift and response rates.

6. Keep the campaign alive through to Cyber Monday and beyond

Published data reveals growing participation in Cyber Monday. Cyber Monday is another opportunity to attract customers. 

7. Think strategically

Sure, Black Friday can be a useful way to clear stock / inventory, but brands and media owners need to think beyond serving bargain-hunters. We are all compelled to invest in analytical insights before planning our campaigns and media deals.

As with brands, media owners can use the demand on Black Friday to improve satisfaction scores among existing advertisers, as well as acquiring new ones.

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