Cindy Diamond, Group Sales Director at Mediamark, states that recent surveys conducted separately by Jacaranda FM and East Coast Radio revealed similar learnings, with an overwhelming number of participants (75% +) stating that they actively engage in shopping on Black Friday either in-store or online. 

These audience surveys 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.

With only a few trading weeks left, brands have a limited time to finalise their plans for Black Friday – which has grown into one of the most important fixtures on South Africa’s annual retail calendar in recent years.

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, up 16% from 2017.

A pressure point exists for brands this year, as Black Friday falls in the last week of November, essentially collapsing its sales into the retail month-end and festive season push. The net result is that merchants have less time to drum up holiday sales. 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.

The following media tips can help ensure that your brand is well positioned and that it stands out over Black Friday:

1. Make sure you are 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 (or queen), 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 ahead of the day

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

4. Don’t forget to 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 is guaranteed to boost campaign results. Engage media owners to share the behavioural 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. Integrated 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. In fact, in the same radio surveys referenced earlier, over a 1/3 of the participants shop on Cyber Monday.

7. Think strategically

Sure, Black Friday can be a useful way to clear stock/inventory, but which brands and media owners are thinking 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 too use the demand on Black Friday to improve satisfaction scores among existing advertisers as well as acquiring new ones.