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The Invisible Fifth Quarter

By: Sarah Stemen    January 3, 2023

Do you know what the fifth quarter is?

We normally think of there being four quarters in a year, but some smart marketers have coined the term “invisible fifth quarter.”

The invisible fifth quarter refers to the period after Black Friday, through the holiday shopping season (which is typically considered to be the end of December) and the beginning of the next fiscal year. This period is referred to as the “fifth” quarter because it falls outside of the traditional four quarters of the fiscal year.

The invisible fifth quarter is important because it can have a significant impact on a company’s performance.

Black Friday, a shopping holiday that occurs the day after Thanksgiving in the United States, is traditionally a time when retailers offer significant discounts on a wide variety of products. It is typically one of the busiest shopping days of the year. After Black Friday, many people are looking for additional deals and discounts, as well as gift ideas for the holiday season.

Marketers should adjust their tone to reflect the holiday season and the fact that many people are looking for gift ideas and deals. This can include highlighting the discounts and promotions that are available, as well as emphasizing the unique features and benefits of the products being offered.

The period after Black Friday is generally a favorable time for sales, as many people are still in the holiday shopping mindset and looking for deals. However, it is important to continue to offer value and focus on the needs of the customer, rather than just trying to make a sale.

After the holidays are over, many companies see a decline in sales and revenue, as consumers are typically less focused on shopping and more focused on other activities such as returning to work or school after the holiday break.

There are a few things companies can do during the invisible fifth quarter to help boost sales and revenue:

 Offer promotions and discounts: One way to attract customer interest during the invisible fifth quarter is to offer promotions and discounts on products and services. This can help to drive sales and revenue during a traditionally slower period.

 Focus on customer retention: Another strategy is to focus on retaining existing customers rather than trying to acquire new ones. This can be done through personalized communication and by offering rewards or incentives to loyal customers.

Utilize digital marketing: Digital marketing can be an effective way to reach and engage with customers during the invisible fifth quarter. This can include things like email marketing, social media advertising and content marketing.

 Diversify product offerings: Expanding or diversifying a company’s product offerings can also help to boost sales during the invisible fifth quarter. This can include introducing new products or services, or offering special bundles or packages.

Once the season is over, it is still an important time for many companies. Don’t forget to spend time on the following critical tasks:

 Analyze and evaluate the results of the holiday shopping season: This can involve reviewing sales data, customer feedback and other metrics to understand what worked well and what could be improved upon in the future.

 Plan for next year: Many companies use the invisible fifth quarter to begin planning and strategizing for the coming year, including setting goals, developing budgets, and identifying new products or services to offer.

Overall, the fifth quarter is an important time for companies to reflect on the past year, plan, and continue to engage with their customers. There is no doubt that Black Friday will soon be a distant memory, and it’s time to move forward. As we move past the fifth quarter and beyond, it’s important to continue learning and adapting to stay competitive in the ever-changing retail landscape. By staying attuned to customer needs and being ready to pivot as needed, businesses can set themselves up for success in the coming year.