Interviews, insight & analysis on digital media & marketing

The Golden Quarter: Key learnings ahead of the Q4 gold rush

By Adam Jabłoński, Account Management Strategy Team Manager at RTB House

The festive shopping period from Black Friday through to Christmas is the most important time of year for brands, and it’s imperative that advertisers find ways to effectively reach audiences and drive sales as the world saunters toward the new year.

On Black Friday 2022 alone, $40 billion was spent around the world, highlighting just how big of a revenue opportunity the final few months of the year can present to brands. RTB House-owned data also revealed that CPM across the Fashion, Electronics, Health & Beauty and Home & Garden sectors increased from 0.9 to 1.5 between October and November 2022 across Europe, LATAM and the US.

It isn’t that simple though. To capitalise on the Golden Quarter, marketers need to work harder than ever to fend off the competition.

The key to winning during the festive season is understanding that a broad-brush approach isn’t going to cut it. Every market has its nuances and any marketing activity should be focused on engaging with particular audiences with relevance.

There are plenty of brands that have managed to find the secret combination to unlocking success over the festive period. Here are just a few of those.

Winging it

German home décor retailer Westwing wanted to capitalise on Black Friday being the busiest retail period in one of its key markets of Brazil. In 2022, this just so happened to coincide with the opening weekend of the FIFA World Cup, meaning campaigns had even less of a window to capture the attention of audiences.

In response, RTB House worked with Westwing to divide the retailer’s products into categories and promotional periods, and created dedicated banners for retargeting campaigns.

Via Deep Learning-powered technology, the campaigns delivered targeted ads, featuring relevant product recommendations, to audiences most likely to be in a position to buy.

Though faced with the additional challenge of the World Cup, Westwing achieved a 70% increase in revenue, compared to November 2022. Moreover, revenues increased 81% from October to November 2022, with return on investment (ROI) consistent across the months.


To capitalise on the golden quarter, footwear brand Steve Madden wanted to reach audiences with a video campaign. This online and offline video campaign had to make an impact with a pre-holiday message.

Working with Steve Madden and its media agency, Publicis Groupe, RTB House used its Deep Learning solution to ensure that the 15-second video campaign reached the most engaged and quality users. The goal of the campaign was to strengthen Steve Madden’s brand image with young female audiences.

RTB House was able to fulfill 100% of the goal set by Steve Madden and Publicis Groupe, achieving an average of over 70% viewability and a cost-per-completed-view 25% lower than local benchmarks. Importantly, these figures were achieved while successfully reaching younger female audiences across top premium publishers.

Luxurious commerce

US luxury retailer Neiman Marcus, which attracts more than 12 million customers to its ecommerce sites every month, wanted to scale its online marketing without significantly increasing return on ad spend (ROAS).

The retailer turned to RTB House to see if the scale of transaction events could be maximised alongside a significant increase in incremental ROAS (iROAS). Deep Learning algorithms worked to maximise both ROAS and conversions.

The campaign generated 65% higher iROAS than the target while seeing a 26% net uplift in incremental sales revenue and a 20% increase in conversion rate.

What can be learned?

There are plenty of lessons that brands and retailers can take note of this festive season and beyond – whether they’re having to respond to major sporting or cultural events, targeting specific demographics, looking to scale transaction events, or any other challenges they may be presented with.

The big overall lesson to take away is that it’s important to think outside of the box to rise above the competition. And artificial intelligence (AI) – in particular, Deep Learning technology – can facilitate any ideas that brands and retailers may have.

Winning in the golden quarter requires innovative thinking and the technology to make those thoughts a reality.

*RTB House is a client of Bluestripe Communications, owned by Bluestripe Group, publisher of ECA