Will Americans spend their tax refunds on your brand?

Every year the leisure marketing specialists here at CCT Advertising take a special interest in tax season. Why?

CCT is a Denver-based ad agency that specializes in 5 to 9 brands–products and services that help people get the most out of their free time or enhance their personal lives.  One of the biggest investments they make with their tax refunds is in leisure-time products and activities.

According to the National Retail Federation’s (NRF) 2011 Tax Returns Consumer Intentions and Actions Survey, two thirds of taxpayers are planning on a refund this year, with the average refund expected to be $2753.

Of those people, 13% say they will spend their refund on a big ticket item. Another 12%plan to use their money for a vacation, while 30% say they will use it for everyday expenses. Most of the world thinks Americans don’t know how to save their money.

But since the Great Recession started, more and more Americans are putting their refunds in the bank. This year, 42% say they will save their refunds for a rainy day, up from 40% in 2010.

If you’re an advertiser who wants your fair share of your customers’ tax refund money, you better hurry. According to the NRF survey, by the end of February 6 in 10 Americans have already filed their taxes.  Since 57% of Americans now file online, most of them have their refunds already, and have either saved or started to spend it.

But all is not lost. Almost 4 in 10 Americans wait until March or April to file their taxes, so there’s still time to reach out to refund stragglers.

As an advertiser, is it necessary to reference tax refunds to claim your booty?  The answer is no. You don’t have to tell Americans when they have money in their pockets. There is plenty of research on consumer spending trends to show that sales of big ticket items go up in March and April as tax refunds start pouring in.

The most important thing is to time your advertising early enough in the year so that people who are getting a big refund put your product or service on their wish list before they’ve spent it all on other things.

Happy Tax Days!




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  1. Pingback: Leisure marketing: Do you know where your customers will spend their tax refunds? « 5 to 9 Branding

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