Tax Refund Season: Contextual Strategies to Align with Consumer Plans

April 2, 2024

Authored by Monica Bellflower, VP Marketing

Tax Refund Season: Contextual Strategies to Align with Consumer Plans

Happy Tax Day! Although it can be hard to get excited about such an administrative annual “holiday,” there’s reason for plenty of Americans to celebrate on April 15. This year, two-thirds of U.S. adult consumers expect to receive tax refunds

The average tax refund this year is more than $1,700, and the ways in which people plan to put this money to use are incredibly varied. While some thrifty Americans are intending to pay down debt (19 percent) or put their money into savings (28 percent), more than half of consumers are seeing this “bonus money” as an opportunity to treat themselves or invest in other areas of their lives. 

From a marketing standpoint, now is the time for brands across all verticals to consider how best to connect with Americans as they weigh their options on how to spend their much-appreciated tax refunds. Let’s dig deeper on the ways in which people are considering putting this money to use and how advertisers can best position themselves to capture spend. 

How Americans Plan to Spend Their 2024 Tax Refunds

When it comes to how Americans are planning to spend their tax refunds in 2024, their intended uses run the gamut from frugal to frivolous. Consider:

  • 11 percent of Americans see their refunds as a means of covering day-to-day expenses.
  • 9 percent of Americans plan to invest their tax refunds.
  • 9 percent plan to use their refunds for home improvements.
  • 7 percent plan to spend it on a vacation.
  • 4 percent plan to splurge on retail purchases like clothes and electronics.

That means there’s virtually no limit when it comes to the types of brands that might benefit from connecting with Americans who are considering how to spend their returns. From financial brands looking to guide investment-minded individuals to travel brands looking to suggest exotic destinations to people wanting to splurge on a getaway, there’s an opportunity to capture consumer attention during this heightened period of spending. 

How Contextual Advertising Can Capture the Attention of Tax Refund Spenders

Contextual advertising can be a powerful tool for brands looking to capture the attention of tax refund spenders by leveraging the context of their online activities and interests. Here’s why contextual is particularly well-suited to the task: 

Targeting Relevance: Contextual advertising allows brands to target their ads based on the context of the content that users are currently engaging with online. For tax refund spenders, this means targeting ads to websites, forums, or platforms where discussions or content related to tax refunds, financial planning, shopping, or specific consumer interests are prevalent.

Understanding Intent: By analyzing the content being consumed by users, contextual advertising platforms can infer their intent and interests. For example, if someone is reading articles about budgeting or shopping tips after receiving a tax refund, it indicates their interest in spending their refund wisely or making purchases. Brands can then tailor their ads accordingly to offer relevant products or services.

Personalization: Contextual advertising can be personalized based on the specific interests and preferences of individual users. By combining first-party data with contextual intelligence, brands can deliver ads to prospects that are highly relevant and personalized, increasing the likelihood of capturing the attention of tax refund spenders.

Timing: Timing is crucial when targeting consumers who are deciding how to spend their annual tax refund. Contextual advertising allows brands to reach users at the right moment when they are actively researching products or services to purchase with their tax refunds. By displaying ads at this critical juncture, brands can influence purchasing decisions and drive conversions.

Now is the opportune moment for brands to engage with Americans eager to put their tax refunds to use. By leveraging contextual advertising strategies tailored to their spending behaviors and interests, brands can effectively capture attention, drive conversions, and foster lasting connections with these excited spenders and investors.

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