Three key trends for the 2022 holiday marketing season

December 9th, 2022 | Marisa Frys

In this piece, our Comperemedia experts explore brands’ holiday marketing campaigns across the financial services, telecoms, and insurance industry in email and digital marketing channels. Three key trends were emphasized when it came to creative strategies:

1. Spend and Get Offers

Brands debuted creative holiday advertisements across industries based on consumer action. Offers included lucrative spend-and-get offers and additional cash-back options for the holiday season. Brands additionally touted their browser extensions and Buy-Now-Pay-Later (BNPL) options to appeal to the value-conscious consumer.

In an effort to financially give back for the holidays, many financial services brands including American Express and PayPal advertised limited time spend and get offers in their email campaigns.

Source: Mintel/Pathmatics [9/01/2020-11/20/2022] as of 11/21/22

In order to encourage termed commitments, telecoms brands baited customers with “switch and save” discounts on high-value tech and the internet. While promoting the latest tech is traditionally a tried-and-true holiday approach, brands can go above and beyond this year by pairing the deal with outside cash offers. Verizon took to paid Facebook to offer customers an extra $200 to DoorDash or Grubhub after switching internet providers.

Source: Comperemedia Omni [9/01/2020-11/20/2022] as of 11/21/22

In other efforts to help shoppers save, brands like Capital One presented its shopping platform as the best place to find deals for the holidays by marketing its browser extension to the value-conscious consumer as a way to systematically check for deals across sites. Recent Mintel research shows that this coming holiday season, we will see more consumers utilize tools such as buy now, pay later, and browser extensions that offer coupon codes and cashback.

Source: Comperemedia Omni [9/01/2020-11/20/2022] as of 11/21/22

Brands know consumer spending is tight and should use BNPL options to their advantage. BNPL brands offered relief by delaying payments for shoppers that opted into their service.

Affirm statistically mentioned the number of shoppers who use a pay-over-time feature to purchase gifts as means to assure the audience of its program’s trust.

Source: Comperemedia Omni [9/01/2020-11/20/2022] as of 11/21/22

2. Black Friday and Cyber Monday

Brands attended to consumers’ desire to start shopping earlier with Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales as early as October. Financial service brands’ promotional APRs and extra cash-back options made up a majority of the early holiday shopping days’ deals, while insurance and telecoms touted buy-one-get-one offers.

Care Credit kicked off holiday promotions in October with 18-month financing at partnering store Bowflex, while Citibank emailed 18 and 24-month promotional financing for two separate price ranges.

Source: Comperemedia ePerformance/eDatasource [9/01/2020-11/20/2022] as of 11/21/22

With deals driving consumer behaviors this holiday season, a buy-one-get-one offer can heighten perceived value and increase attractiveness, especially for less glamorous services like telecom and insurance. AAA emailed an offer to receive a free associate membership after getting a membership of one’s own for Black Friday. Mint Mobile used paid socials to offer customers six months of membership for the price of three.

Source: Comperemedia Omni [9/01/2020-11/20/2022] as of 11/21/22

3. Good Tidings

Brands across industries identified consumers’ need for additional help this season from inflationary concerns and pressures. Without monetary bonuses, brands attended to consumers with relevant shopping, health, and home tips with holiday themes to keep consumers safe this holiday season.

As holiday traditions came to fruition, financial services brands like US Bank helped prep consumers with beneficial shopping tips. Mintel research shows consumers are expected to garter a greater sense of normalcy this season and with in-person shopping and events on the rise, shoppers expect brands to help depict the market.

Source: Comperemedia Omni [9/01/2020-11/20/2022] as of 11/21/22

Insurance brands like Aetna gifted tips of good health and home to help consumers decrease stress over the holidays.

Source: Comperemedia Omni [9/01/2020-11/20/2022] as of 11/21/22

Allstate, specifically, made sure members are always “in good hands” this season with festive-inspired mocktails to combat drinking and driving.

Source: Comperemedia Omni [9/01/2020-11/20/2022] as of 11/21/22

What we think

The 2022 winter holiday season will be defined by consumers’ value-driven mindset due to the impacts of inflation, rising prices and threats of a pending recession. This means brands have the opportunity to lay a foundation of trust and reliability this holiday season by easing the burden of financial complexities. Consumers will not likely want to sacrifice convenience or quality this season, therefore they will likely prioritize deals and savings over loyalty to a brand.

To avoid the chopping block this holiday season and beyond, brands should craft holiday offers and messaging that showcase their beneficial role within consumers’ strained lifestyles. 

Whether it’s cashback, discounts, or helpful budgeting tips, brands should position themselves as a holiday helper to show, not tell, consumers the value of their products and services. By putting consumer needs first this holiday season, brands will have the opportunity to create and deepen customer relationships on the basis of trust and reliability. There is no better season to prove the value and the importance of your customer relationships than the holiday and brands that go above and beyond, to truly display additional value, will earn good standing for the year ahead.

Marisa Frys

Marisa Frys

Marisa is an Associate Research Analyst with Comperemedia, specializing in marketing trends within Financial Services.