Greetings Readers! This week’s PPCChat session is summarised here. “Q5 – What did we see & learn” was the session’s main theme, which was presented by host Julie F Bacchini.

Q1: We talked about strategies for Q5 back in late November, but I will ask again – are you familiar with the term “Q5”?

I learnt it from our Q5 chat last year. @TheMarketingAnu

Familiar, but it’s not in wide use around me. Technically right now it’s Q4 for public sector! @JuliaVyse

Guessing it is the one that comes after Q4 making us think about continuity and consequence. @soanders

I get it, but it makes me cringe every time I use it. Like when I use the words ‘touch base’. @PPC_Fraser

Heard of it, but never used it. @DianaAlinaAldea

Yes – Q5 is my favourite time of year for PPC! @gilgildner

I was generally familiar with that time of year for advertisers but didn’t know of the specific term “Q5” until November’s. @adclarke10

The biggest learning for our team was that scaling ahead of the big sales was more optimal @runnerkik

Like @TheMarketingAnu I learned about Q5 from last month’s #ppcchat and wrote a blog about the topic – coming soon so credit to this chat there. @runnerkik

It is my fav time of year. Good sales compared to the week leading up to Christmas. Plus quiet at the office since many clients take the time off. @duanebrown

Q2: Did you do anything special for Q5 2022 (defined as the period from Dec 25 to Dec 31)?

Yes, we did! That particular week is very big for returns, and shopping for NYE. If you have retail partners, turn returns into upsells. and if you have liquor partners, pop them bottles before the 31st! @JuliaVyse

Lots of automation this year as the team was off during the period. Ensuring rules and scripts were in place and that we had processes to check in over the period without checking everything daily. @PPC_Fraser

I did not do anything differently during the Q5 period for the brands I work with, but I’m doing all lead gen right now. @NeptuneMoon

We have a large account which knocks it out of the park every year after Christmas. Outperforms BFCM every time. This year it was around 600% ROAS and around 2x revenue YoY. We worked hard on this one! @gilgildner

Since most of my clients are in the B2B space or are focused on lead generation, Q5 was very quiet and we didn’t run any special ads/campaigns/etc. @adclarke10

No, we didn’t have any special campaigns for this period. Also, we didn’t pause anything. And, surprisingly, we had a very good December in terms of performance. Better than October, for instance. @DianaAlinaAldea

Done a lot of event-focused campaigns during 2022. Prime days, Back to School, Black Friday. We set up a 3-phase strategy each time: 1) build audience 2) boost budget and conversion 3) retarget peak audiences (Q5?) And I have to admit 3) didn’t work for us. @soanders

For a few clients, we scaled back and did less spend. For one client we expanded the abandoned cart campaign to 90 days to increase new customer orders before EOY. Both approaches worked for different use cases. Nothing too fancy though. @timmhalloran

I would say just making sure all RSAs are set with all headlines, leaning more into automation which was scary for some clients. @runnerkik

No, most of our clients are lead generation so we don’t really need to do anything special during this time period. @adwordsgirl

Canadian clients will do a boxing week sale of some sort usually. Some USA and EU clients will do a sale to move inventory if they feel like it. @duanebrown

Q3: Is the Q5 time typically a busy time for the brands you work with? And in what industry/industries are you working?

No, the Q5 period is typically not a busy or high-interest period for the brands I work with. I do lead gen for B2B and B2C. I have had biz in the past where it was a busy week – HVAC & Plumbing with emergency service needs. But not with mix right now. @NeptuneMoon

I’m working for a SaaS. And this time of the year isn’t usually too busy for us. @DianaAlinaAldea

Yes! this is a big week in the retail, restaurant, and alcohol space. In some cases, you want a particular budget for that week, but mostly it’s offers, reminders, creative. @JuliaVyse

It’s dead for many of our clients (especially tech/SaaS/recruitment-type stuff) but it is always slammed for eCommerce/retailers. Our biggest clients are usually in some form of eCommerce/retail. @gilgildner

Yes, not only is it busy from a performance standpoint but for planning as well, making sure we roll up learning reports into the next year’s plan. @runnerkik

Right now is the busy part. The second half of Q5 and the beginning of Q1 (which is the same thing technically). Lots of beg of yr. strategy, new biz starting, Jan/NY sales etc. Industries: ecom retail, software, brick/mortar health specialities, a little higher ed too. @timmhalloran

Nope! For B2B & lead generation (which is the majority of our clients), we keep ads running with the same level of budget so that we can still capture any searches. But overall Q5 tends to be pretty quiet all around. @adclarke10

I should specify that from a client & performance perspective, it’s fairly quiet. So our agency also does a lot of planning and updating internal processes during Q5 instead. @adclarke10

Not really. We mainly work in lead generation so budgets stay the same but we usually see a decline in metrics since everyone is out of the office. @adwordsgirl

It is more quiet than Black Friday week. Lots of brands take the week off. As per A2. Some clients are still doing sales. @duanebrown

Q4: Did you see or learn anything in Q5 2022 that was interesting and/or unexpected?

Canadians love Boxing Week and buy everything. @gilgildner

Not something new, but maybe it helps others reading this. People still search even if it is Q5. The world doesn’t stop, so be sure to be present. @DianaAlinaAldea

The buying period felt long some of the strongest ROAS periods were mid-December, traffic is still incredibly high through Christmas but intent to purchase is hard to predict, and it is risky to pull back IMHO. @runnerkik

Not really unexpected, but very proud of my team for the smooth week. @JuliaVyse

Unless you have a particularly well-suited commercial offering for that period, I would use Q5 to save some budget. I have not seen benefits from retargeting for eCommerce clients in that period. Boost clients in dating and fitness gear instead. @soanders

Revenue off ecom clients was relatively high. Having discussed with clients the consensus seems to be that consumers are tending to spend more due to the wider poor economic climate (e.g Spending to forget their worries) @PPC_Fraser

At least for our book of brands, nothing new this year. Sales down compared to last year, which was expected. Minus the clients who did better than last year. @duanebrown

Based on what we saw throughout last week, nothing really stood out in terms of account performance (other than some slightly lower search volume). @adclarke10

Also tbh I haven’t had a chance to really dig into Q5 performance yet (had to focus on some campaign launches & new team members starting today). But will definitely be looking for any major trends/shifts when I get to it! @adclarke10

Not really. Just because most folks are on a break doesn’t mean that users aren’t searching so ensuring we’re still present is something I’d encourage most brands to do. @adwordsgirl

It was much quieter this year with sales than in prior yrs. Tho, our home-based product client acct where we focus on lead gen as their sales team is involved, had their best week of the year during Q5. CPCs dropped 41% from prior weeks & our budget went further. @AkvileDeFazio

Q5: Are any Q5 2022 strategies being carried into Q1 2023? If so why and if not, why not?

Answering Q5 about Q5, huh…I’ve learned that the last week of the year always has different behaviour so it doesn’t always carry over into Jan/Feb. @gilgildner

Not from just that one week no. but any data in context does help with future plans and goals. @JuliaVyse

No, not from Q5 since we’re not implementing any new strategies during that time period. @adwordsgirl

In some ways yes, we were more fluid the past month that is because having spent all year working on TOF, the performance was there, so hopefully, we can keep that going and build over the next year. @runnerkik

I think anything that performed well in Q5 can be carried in Q1, as well. Unless, of course, we talk about something that is time bound to that specific period and cannot be extended. Also, every learning should be remembered for the next Q5 to improve the strategy. @DianaAlinaAldea

We end all our deals on Dec. 31st or sooner. Otherwise, really hard to create any urgency. @duanebrown

No, mainly because we didn’t change our strategies for Q5 to begin with. It also tends to perform differently than other times of the year (like lower search volume), so shifts in performance aren’t usually indicative of a larger trend. @adclarke10

Q6: What’s coming up for your brands in early 2023? Anything new you’re planning to test or hoping you get the chance to test?

We have some brands scaling up, some brands scaling down. I think we’re going to see a lot of companies tighten their belts and start trimming the fat. 2023 is not going to be a great year economically and advertisers are gonna feel it. @gilgildner

it’s Q4 for public sector, so lots of ramp up and big spends. For my other partners, we’re in planning and evergreen mode. @JuliaVyse

In Q1 I’m eager to test ads on two new platforms: AdRoll & Outbrain. Also, we have in plan some specific competitor campaigns, on Search mainly, with personalized LPs. Lastly, we plan on extending some complementary campaigns that worked well for us in the past Qs. @DianaAlinaAldea

Planning for 2023 – expecting economic issues across the board. Also, CPCs are going to continue to increase, so getting even more strategic about what we want to pay for – the same $$ won’t get you the same conversions/sales in 2023 that you got in 2022. @NeptuneMoon

Officially launching our first Reddit campaign today! So very excited to test that new platform. We may also test some programmatic later this year if the right opportunity is there. @adclarke10

I would like to be an early adopter for new features/campaigns. I say this because a few clients waited til the last minute on Pmax and even RSAs and this was not ideal. @runnerkik

Something I’ve been thinking about lately: More OTT (TOF) – and faster deployment. More testing of OOH (TOF) More consistent evergreen RT on boutique social like Quora, RD, TT (BOF) Improving clarity in Google Ads (too much mushy in-between funnel confusion lately) @timmhalloran

And what @NeptuneMoon said keeping in mind the back drop of the economy is going to be important, also for our clients figuring out how to test in this AI environment is a new kind of challenge. @runnerkik

We will talk 2023 planning with clients in our Jan meetings. We have some ideas we will pitch them as well. I spent part of last week thinking about clients and what we want to do with them. @duanebrown

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