Cross-Channel Integrated Planning

Ovative Trends and Performance Update: July 2021

With Back-to-School and holiday seasons fast approaching, marketers mustplan ahead to account for supply chain disruptions, take advantage of emerging channels and platforms, and capitalize on some American families receiving a financial boost. Read on for actionable insights to help you prepare. 

July Macro Trends   

  • Consumer confidence is beginning to steady, but still remains at its highest level since February 2020. Though confidence was flat in July, spending intentions picked up with a larger percentage of consumers planning to purchase homes, major appliances, and more in the coming months¹.   
  • Continued disruptions to the supply chain, largely caused by COVID outbreaks, may leave some US retailers with product shortages during the back-to-school (BTS) and holiday seasons.  
  • 35 million families received a financial boost from The American Rescue Plan in mid-July. Families are eligible to receive up to $300 per child every month through the remainder of the year. Additional child tax credit payment dates include 8/13, 9/15, 10/15, 11/15, and 12/15².  

What Trends Did We Observe Across Ovative Clients Last Month? 

  • Across some Ovative clients, July was a quieter month in terms of promotions. Even some 4th of July promotions under-performed expectations. A portion of clients were focused on evergreen programs, like loyalty and clearance, to manage to their current inventory levels. 
  • With the holiday season approaching, Ovative clients prioritized establishing media testing roadmaps to drive learnings that can be applied during the higher demand timeframe come end of year. Customer analysis and strategy conversations increased during July as clients want to further understand consumer behavior and the value of their customers to help plan for holiday.  
  • Following the success seen from Amazon Prime Day during June, many clients are beginning to think about how they could use Amazon to reach new customers or re-engage with current customers in new ways. To learn more about adding Amazon to your media mix, read our latest article, “Transitioning to Amazon”³.  

What Trends Did We Observe Across Google and Facebook Last Month? 

  • Both Facebook and Google saw significant spend decreases MoM as a function of mild cost decreases, which could be due to lower traffic and lighter promotions typical during the summer months. 
  • During July, Facebook CVR hit its highest point and spend dropped to its lowest point since March 2021. Over the Fourth of July weekend specifically, we saw the strongest CVR all month on Google while coming in below average on Facebook, which could be due to high competition over the holiday weekend, and lower demand with many people celebrating. 

Ovative Cross Client Data, July 2021 

How Can You Turn These Insights Into Action? 

Plan ahead for continued supply chain delays

Supply lines are expected to remain backed up through at least the first half of 2022, so current inventory and supply issues are here to stay. Marketers should determine strategies to support current demands given tight supply chains and high prices, balancing promotions and inventory carefully. Diversifying suppliers and manufacturer partners, managing product demand, and investing in technology that gives a full-funnel view can help brands avoid major disruptions⁵. 


Align BTS and holiday promos to child tax credit payment dates

Americans receiving child tax payments will be getting a boost right in time for back-to-school shopping and core holiday promotions, making it the prime time to strike while the iron is hot. Consider aligning promotional content around payment dates (8/13, 9/15, 10/15, 11/15, and 12/15​) to entice consumers to shop around the times they are receiving these payments.  


Prioritize your holiday testing strategy

Make sure to streamline your testing roadmap, prioritizing tests that will inform your holiday strategy and enable decisions that could impact this time period. Running any tests past the month of October makes it difficult to get statistically significant results, and insights from tests during holiday may not apply year over year.  


Consider the ‘why’ before transitioning to Amazon

If you are curious about selling on Amazon, consider the reasoning behind why you want to make this transition: are you looking to increase customer reach or increase brand presence? If so, selling on Amazon could be a great option for your brand. Even without selling on Amazon, brands can use Amazon’s DSP to programmatically buy display, video, and audio ads on Amazon. For more information about whether your brand should make the move to sell or advertise on Amazon, check out Ovative’s recent insights piece 

As you prepare for big events like back-to-school and holiday, especially with changing consumer behavior following COVID-19, set your brand up for success by planning for supply chain disruptions, prioritizing your testing strategy, adding to your media mix, and as always, thinking customer-first.  

Ovative is a digital-first media and measurement firm seeking to transform the measure of marketing success. At Ovative, we help brands move the needle. We are curious. We value your brand. We want to see you succeed. Connect with us to learn more!    


1 | Consumer Confidence Index, July 2021

2 | CNBC, Child Tax Credit Payments, May 2021

3| Ovative Group, Transitioning to Amazon, June 2021

4 | Ovative Group, Cross Client Insights Data, July 2021

5 | Forbes, Protecting Against Supply Chain Disruptions, June 2021 

Lillian Smith

Senior Analyst, Paid Social

About the Author

Lillian is a Senior Analyst on the Paid Social team at Ovative.

Dale Nitschke

Dale Nitschke

CEO & Founder

About the Author

Dale is the Founder and CEO of Ovative. After years of operating a large omni-channel business and leading a customer data initiative, Dale knew there was an opportunity to create a marketing firm that helped clients become more customer centric and drove better performance outcomes. A gap existed between business consultancies and advertising agencies that modern marketing approaches demand. He also believed that a strong, healthy culture could attract and develop smart, talented team members. In 2009, he formed Ovative to bring media, measurement, and consulting together under one roof to enable an enterprise approach that drives more revenue and grows clients’ customer base.

Prior to founding Ovative in 2009, Dale spent 23 years at Target Corporation where he served as President of and grew the ecommerce business from start-up stage to a $1 billion+ business and established the foundation of Target’s Guest database capabilities. Previously he served as SVP Merchandising at the Department Store Division of Dayton Hudson. Dale has advised retailers and brands globally on business, growth, marketing, and measurement transformation strategies.

Outside of Ovative, Dale is a leader on topics including business strategy, change management, and team leadership. He serves on the board of Allergy Amulet and on the Dean’s Advisory Board of the Wisconsin School of Business at UW-Madison.  He enjoys spending time with his family, up north in northern Wisconsin, playing golf, and cheering on Wisconsin sport teams.

Seth Brand

Senior Manager, Consulting

About the Author

Seth is a Senior Manager on the Consulting team at Ovative.

Amanda McCann

Senior Manager, Consulting

About the Author

Amanda is a Senior Manager on the Consulting team at Ovative, specializing in Retail Media Networks.

Jenny Reinke

Senior Analyst, Measurement Solutions

About the Author

Jenny is a Senior Analyst on the Measurement Solutions team at Ovative.

Annie Zipfel

Executive Vice President, Media

About the Author

Annie is the Executive Vice President of Media at Ovative. She oversees delivery and growth across paid and owned media (digital, traditional, and retail media) and creative services.

Annie has more than 30 years of experience in media, brand management, insights/analytics, marketing, and product. She has also developed large, high-performing teams and built new measurement capabilities. Annie led the marketing team at Andersen Windows & Doors, leading the digital, social, content, customer insights, and creative functions. Prior to that, Annie served in multiple marketing leadership roles at Starbucks, REI, Target, and General Mills, with a keen focus on brand, media, insights, analytics, and measurement.

Annie is an industry leader in brand management, customer insights, e-commerce, social media, and analytics. She enjoys hiking, traveling, cooking, fishing, and spending time with her sweet dog and two sons.

Bonnie Gross

Executive Vice President, Talent Services

About the Author

Bonnie is the Executive Vice President of Talent Services at Ovative. She is responsible for attracting and retaining top talent and creating a culture in which our team thrives personally and professionally. Under Bonnie’s leadership, Ovative has defined an industry leading leadership and development program and transformed our approach to talent recruitment with a focus on diversity, equality and inclusion. Prior to her current role, Bonnie led Ovative’s Client and Business Development team overseeing client satisfaction and new growth opportunities.

Before joining Ovative in 2014, Bonnie spent 13 years at Target Corporate as the VP of digital and Digital Marketing where she led the launch of Cartwheel, an industry-leading social shopping application. Bonnie was the VP of Marketing for Fingerhut for 15 years prior to joining Target.

Leander Cohen

Analyst, Consulting

About the Author

Leander Cohen is an Analyst on the Consulting team at Ovative.

Will Silva

Analyst, Measurement Solutions

About the Author

Will is an Analyst on the Measurement Solutions team at Ovative.

Sarah Chang

Sarah Chang

Analyst, Consulting

About the Author

Sarah Chang is an Analyst on the Consulting team at Ovative.

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