How to plan your advertising campaigns for Ramadan 2023

Have you planned your advertising campaigns for Ramadan 2023 yet? We’re sharing five top tips driven by data to help you make the most of seasonal consumer trends.

Before we dive into our data-driven insights, let’s take a closer look at the celebration of Ramadan. Ramadan is observed by 2 billion people around the world, and this year, the period of fasting, prayer, and reflection begins on 22 March and ends in the evening of 21 April. 

During Ramadan, Muslims abstain from food and drink (including water) during daylight hours. Those who observe Ramadan usually eat a meal before dawn, and break their fast after sunset. Eid al-Fitr is the celebratory feast that marks the end of Ramadan. 

But the Ramadan period is also an important time for retailers to have in their calendars. Purchasing and online behaviours change as people around the world (specifically South East Asia and MENA) buy food, gifts, new clothes and decorations to prepare for celebrations. 

So now that we’re all on the same page, how can you use data-driven insights to help plan your advertising campaigns this Ramadan? 

Five ways you can make the most of seasonal Ramadan purchase trends

  1. Time your ads around purchase behaviour
  2. Make the most of the growth of cross-border sales
  3. Ensure your ads reflect the sentiment of Ramadan
  4. Run personalised campaigns
  5. Use video

1) Time your ads around purchase behaviour

As people’s daily routines change during Ramadan, so do their consumer habits. E-commerce websites begin to see traffic peaks as early as 4 am when people wake for Sahur, their pre-dawn meal. And during Iftar, the evening breaking fast, online activity dips. Data shows that 60% of people also start planning their purchases before Ramadan. In Malaysia and Indonesia, most people shop during the third week of Ramadan. There is also a surge of last-minute shopping three days before Eid, thanks to the rise in local delivery services.

Using these insights will help you maximise your reach and impact, sharing the right messages at the right time. 

We also know that clothes and decorations are popular purchases at the start of Ramadan, whereas sales of groceries and ingredients for traditional meals rise towards the approach of Eid. In South East Asia, data shows that clothes and beauty products are the most popular purchases during Ramadan. This is followed by airline tickets and home appliances. However in Indonesia, this changes slightly, with toys and games being the best performing categories. Demonstrating the value in breaking your market research down into smaller regions, to really understand your audience. 

2) Make the most of the growth of cross-border sales

In recent years, there has been a significant rise in cross border sales for Ramadan. 

Research shows that 44% of Ramadan shoppers around the world made at least one cross-border purchase in 2022, while one in three spent more on cross-border purchases than in previous years. The global cross-border e-commerce market is expected to be worth $2.2 trillion by 2026.

If you are planning a cross-border campaign it is important to note and overcome common concerns by buyers. Here’s what people are looking for and considering when buying overseas:

  • 81% display of all costs 
  • 79% localised pricing and currencies 
  • 78% easy returns and refunds
  • 77% delivery tracking

Use these insights to tailor the messages you’re leading with for your cross-border campaigns. Whether it’s free global returns, top tier tracked delivery that’s safe and reliable, or transparent breakdowns of custom and delivery fees, these messages will resonate with your cross-border customers and help get sales over the finish line (and out of the shopping cart). 

3) Ensure your ads reflect the sentiment of Ramadan

Ramadan is a time of prayer, reflection and community, so it’s not surprising that content on these themes performs well during this time of year. 

Research by Facebook discovered that 91% of users like to see content that promotes community and togetherness on Facebook and Instagram. And we know that ads in Arabic promoting generosity and kindness do well in MENA. 

It is important that any marketing campaign you plan for Ramadan feels respectful, and not exploitative. So working with a digital advertising partner with local offices in each region can be a benefit. 

4) Run personalised campaigns

Research shows that two in three shoppers enjoy personalised shopping experiences on Meta technologies, and 64% have purchased from personalised ads. What’s more, 71% of shoppers agree that it is easier to complete their Ramadan shopping with personalised product and gift suggestions.

So it is important that your Ramadan advertising campaigns are personalised to each individual person. This requires working with a single programmatic partner with the technology to build legally compliant audiences globally. 

You’ll need a long-lasting user ID like ActiveID that allows you to know when someone has seen an ad before, making sure you don’t waste your budget or alienate customers by showing them the same ads on repeat. 

And finally, you need to ensure your campaigns use dynamic creative optimisation (DCO). DCO enables you to build thousands of ads in real time, using a number of individual elements. Unlike a static campaign of pre-designed ads, DCO means you can show every person an ad tailored to their location, their language, their engagement with your content, and their place in your customer lifecycle. 

You can even tailor ads to current weather conditions, local and current pricing, and real time stock levels – all strategies that are proven to be incredibly successful. 

5) Use video

And finally, Facebook research shows that 65% of shoppers or observers spend more time watching video content during Ramadan and Eid. So ensure that video content and pre-roll and instream ads feature in your campaign. 

Again, these ads should be personalised and use DCO to maximise their impact and effectiveness. 

Video content that helps inform buyers and enables them to evaluate potential purchases and build trust – especially if they are buying from across a border – should also perform well.

So what are the next steps? 

There’s no doubt that Ramadan is a festivity to get right. According to research from YouGov, 53% of people spend more, 40% search for offers, and 49% look for discounts during Ramadan. Data also shows that searches for Ramadan equal those for Black Friday, making it MENA’s biggest shopping holiday. So in other words, if you haven’t started planning your Ramadan campaign yet, now is the time to start. 

As global programmatic experts with our own proprietary technology, including DMP, DSP and DCO, and regional offices in Asia and MENA, we are perfectly placed to help you plan and run campaigns that meet your goals. 

If you’d like to find out how we can help boost your Ramadan sales this year, get in touch and book a chat with one of our local experts. 

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