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Audience Targeting Online Advertising Data Quality

How to engage and convert early holiday shoppers this Black Friday



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October 8, 2021 | 5 min read

Black Friday, once a typically American retail trend, and Cyber Monday, its more recent online counterpart, have become worldwide shopping phenomena over the last decade and represent a major marketing opportunity for brands and advertisers

According to eMarketer, US retail eCommerce sales on Black Friday in 2021 will rise 22.9% (YOY) to $10.96 billion, capturing 5.3% of total holiday retail eCommerce sales.

With an ever-growing pool of online users, it is crucial for marketers to reach and engage their online target audience in the right place, at the right time. Holiday shoppers are searching and purchasing much earlier than they have done historically. A 2021 study conducted by YouGov found that 27% of holiday shoppers have already started shopping this year.

Engaging and converting early holiday shoppers

Brands and advertisers planning Black Friday and Cyber Monday campaigns can integrate audience segments built with powerful consumer attitudes and behaviours to target potential consumers throughout the buyer journey, from awareness to consideration and decision-making.

According to Amazon, 86% of laptop buyers conduct research online prior to purchase. This means that 86% of laptop buyers can be reached and influenced through online advertising during the awareness and consideration stages. Brands looking to engage these top-of-the-funnel consumers can optimize their digital ad spend by integrating top-of-the-funnel audience segments into their campaigns, such as ownership and past purchase segments. For example, a consumer tech brand looking to target Black Friday shoppers might target users who have previously purchased certain services, from certain brands or who own certain products.

That being said, as a strictly transactional event, typically based on a first-come, first-served system, with emphasis on last minute deals and bargains, Black Friday and Cyber Monday shoppers are most receptive to advertising and marketing messages further down the marketing funnel. Therefore, when targeting holiday and seasonal shoppers, timing plays a key role in finding the target audience at the right stage in the marketing funnel and the true value of ‘intent’ data becomes evident. For Black Friday and Cyber Monday, brands should focus on targeting audiences based on ‘recency’, i.e. users that have shown interest (through activities such as reading blog posts, news articles and answering survey responses, etc.) and intent to purchase (through actions such as product searches, configurations and comparisons) within the last 30 days. While historical purchase data, as mentioned above, can still be helpful, marketers looking to maximize their advertising efforts and spend need to reach and engage in-market consumers that are actively searching and likely to make a purchase.

Where can brands target these audiences?

After the shift to digital retail due to the Covid-19 pandemic, eCommerce sales are forecast to continue to grow by double digits through 2023 and make up 22.3% of total retail sales. As a result, we can expect many consumers to not only research but also purchase items online this holiday season. In 2020, digital marketplaces (such as Amazon), mobile devices and stores’ eCommerce websites were the most popular channels through which Black Friday and Cyber Monday purchases were made. For consistent cross-channel campaign targeting, brands looking to engage early holiday shoppers can activate audience profiles across desktop, mobile and social channels. An omnichannel campaign enables marketers to improve the consumer experience, tailor brand visibility and achieve a greater return on investment as a result of optimized campaign delivery.

How can brands activate these audiences in their campaigns?

Audiences can be activated within open or private marketplaces or through custom audience activation:

  • Open marketplace audiences are pre-built audience segments that are publicly available for activation on the majority of demand-side platforms.
  • Private marketplace audiences are pre-built audience segments that are available for activation on DSPs and social channels by request only.
  • Custom audiences are newly created audience segments that are built on request by an individual brand or advertiser.

The Eyeota Black Friday and Cyber Monday Audience Targeting Playbook can further help marketers connect with Black Friday and Cyber Monday audiences, including shoppers who have recently shown an interest in Black Friday and Cyber Monday, users actively searching for deals and bargains, consumers likely to buy consumer electronics and clothing, audiences with recent interest in shopping for holiday gifts, and many more consumer-type profiles. Discover the audience segments brands and marketers need to reach their best online consumers on desktop, mobile and social channels this holiday shopping season here. Get in touch with Eyeota’s Audience Specialists today to request your custom targeting strategy.

Audience Targeting Online Advertising Data Quality


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