Advertising

Skip to main content
Advertising

Download the Marketing with Purpose playbook to get actionable tactics to start your inclusive advertising journey today

Microsoft Advertising Blog
Page 1 of results

Seasons of change spark seasons of search

Big changes in life often come with even bigger questions about how to achieve or celebrate life’s big moments. A single event or moment, like a new home addition, a graduation, or a new baby, will prompt a variety of consumer decisions — not just the immediate one at hand. While these events, which we call Life Moments, can occur any time of year, from March through August search activity peaks.

Businesses across industries can benefit from considering the full set of questions and needs a consumer might have when tackling a big life moment or celebration. In the life moment of a home addition, the homeowner might need to hire a professional contractor, obtain a home equity loan, or buy paint supplies at the local hardware store. In one life moment, the homeowner interacts with B2C services, financial services, and retail. Taking this a step further, a homeowner who is putting an addition on their home may be preparing to sell their home or welcome a new member of their family, which spurs interactions with real estate and health & wellness journeys. This is how one season of change creates numerous seasons of search.

In this article, we’ll share how marketers can use Life Moments as a framework for designing campaigns that resonate with seasonal searchers, highlighting three examples of these life celebrations: home improvement and relocation, celebrating loved ones, and preparing for a baby.

Home improvement and buying season peaks is March to August

In 2021, home purchasing and renovation will continue to grow. Home sales are expected to grow by 7% and home prices are poised to hit new heights, increasing by 5.7%. Meanwhile, consumers will continue to upgrade their existing spaces, including improving outdoor spaces and repurposing spaces for work, school, and leisure — spending $337 billion USD in North America alone.

Financial services

Buying a home requires consideration about how to finance that new home. In fact, 3.42 million on the Microsoft Search Network are looking for a home loan right now. In-market Audiences uses intent signal and artificial intelligence to pinpoint who is ready to buy. You can use audience targeting tools like In-market Audiences to target them.

B2C services

Sometimes, the job is better left to the professionals. Last year, Home Improvement category clicks increased by 464% YoY. Show off your business rating from a third-party source in their search results with Review Extensions.

Retail

People are spending more time in their homes than ever and online shopping has grown with no signs of turning back. Over 75% of consumers have completed at least one home improvement project because of the pandemic. To reach and engage shoppers interested in upgrading their spaces, Local Inventory Ads can help communicate in-store availability and “buy online pick up in store” options to boost brick-and-mortar sales.

Real estate

Finally, when searchers are ready to find a new home, they will need to identify an agent. Call Extensions can help agents connect with clients who are searching for agents with expertise in specific neighbourhoods.

New trends for celebrating moms, dads, new grads, and happy couples

During the first half of the year, people love to celebrate their loved ones. Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, graduations, and wedding planning season all occur during this time and people are busy researching, planning, and shopping to celebrate loved ones. While the pandemic has changed the ways we all celebrate, it hasn’t stopped us from recognising what’s most important in our lives.

Tech & telecommunications

Dads & Grads season drives an annual surge in searches in consumer electronics. This year, people are connecting with their loved ones virtually with the help of technology and they’re also shopping online at a growing rate. Shopping campaigns can help showcase your products and services in a visual way.

Travel

For special loved ones, some people will still make the trip to see them in-person for special occasions, which means they will be searching for covid-safe transportation, accommodations, and activities. Hotel Ads can help drive bookings by showcasing your offerings in both Bing search results and Bing Maps.

B2C services

Even a smaller gathering can benefit from professional touches. 27% of consumers said their shopping through independent, local, small businesses has increased since March 2020. Restaurants, bakeries, florists and photographers who want to reach local residents can use Location targeting to get in front of people searching for those services in their area.

Retail

For those who don’t make it in-person, they can still send a gift to show they care. In fact, 57% of gift givers said they will ship presents directly to recipients. New seasonal In-market Audiences help retailers target shoppers who are specifically browsing for a specific holiday, like Mother’s Day.

Prepping for parenthood

A new addition to the family means a ton of change for parents and their support network.

Retail

Expecting parents spend up to $1,373 USD on purchasing new belongings for babies. This doesn’t even include toys, clothes, and gifts from family members and friends. Retailers can tap into the Microsoft Search Network’s audience, who spends 32% more than the average internet searcher.

Consumer packaged goods

Expecting parents are also forming new habits for their growing family. Prenatal vitamin market is expected to reach $575.6 million USD by 2023. Beyond vitamins, parents may be considering foods with organic ingredients, scrutinising household products for toxins, and buying tons of diapers, wipes, etc.

Health & wellness

Healthcare needs are high for expecting parents, who will be researching and selecting hospitals, doctors, and specialty care providers like midwives. Enhanced Sitelinks extensions can help direct viewers to specific pages on your website, including service offerings, FAQs, patient reviews, and more.

Automotive

Did you know that over 50% of expecting parents are also shopping for a new car? Use In-Market Audiences to reach the 2.16 million desktop searchers who are shopping for cars and trucks or the 1.04 million looking for used vehicles.

Financial services

Not only are new parents putting aside money for new homes, home improvement, and increased cost of living, but they’re also looking ahead, setting up 401Ks and savings accounts for funding college tuitions. Create a display campaign through the Microsoft Audience Network to educate new parents about the importance of establishing this nest egg early.

Consumer decision journeys related to life moments are nuanced, by season and searcher

The key takeaway is that a change, an occasion, or a big decision in a person’s life triggers numerous search journeys, across industries. These moments offer advertisers an opportunity to reach and engage searchers to offer guidance, services, or products to help them reach their goal.

Reach your audience today

On the Microsoft Search and Audience Networks, businesses can find a unique, valuable, large, and growing audience:

  • 44.2 million desktop searchers who can’t be found on Google.
  • Internet searchers who spend 32% more than the average.
  • 639 million unique searchers worldwide.
  • 88 million new desktop searchers in the last year.
 

To learn more about the evolution of ecommerce and the role of search, download the eCommerce Consumer Shopping Behaviors research from Microsoft Advertising Insights or attend the live webinar with Microsoft Advertising and Luth Research on 6 April 2021. (English only)

For more valuable insights including the 2021 consumer trends report, bookmark Microsoft Advertising Insights.

Let our friendly digital advertising experts help you set up a new campaign or optimise an existing one for a season of search.