Back to life: It’s the ‘new’ New Year – and a huge opportunity digital marketers overlook

For decades, marketers have made a moment of “back to school”, setting their sights on mothers and, in more recent years, fathers.  But according to new data from Pinterest, limiting marketing to families with kids focused on back-to-school is a miss for advertisers.

On Pinterest, we see a renewed enthusiasm from people of all ages for organisation, health, positivity, activities and refreshed routines in September. It’s almost like people are hitting refresh on their resolutions and restarting their year. We call this moment “Back to Life.”  

Back to Life represents a key opportunity for marketers. Setting long-term goals on Pinterest in the summer translates to making major purchases in the autumn. For example, in the summer months, consumers on Pinterest express various shopping intent such as buying a new car (+77% for searches for “car goals”), renovating or purchasing a new home (+449% for searches for “new house plans”) or preparing for upcoming travel (+2178% for “travel dreams”).

Furthermore, we ran a study in Japan, the US, Germany, the UK and France which allowed us to better understand people’s behaviours during this specific time of the year, and confirmed that Back to Life is universal.

When questioned about how they feel at the end of summer, more than half (55%) of adult repondants globally are looking for ways to maintain their positive summer mindset through the autumn. In the UK, 45% of Brits feel more inclined to make small life improvements that will increase their happiness at the end of summer. Similarly, 45% of Brits say that they are looking for tips to declutter and reorganise their home when summer ends and 26% would like to start new feel-good routines. When it comes to work and play, 41% of the respondents are looking for ways to have a better balance between their personal and professional life.   

On Pinterest, brands can play a key role in inspiring people to turn the ideas they find on the platform into reality. During Back to Life, it can range from inspiring them to declutter and reorganise their home, motivate a new workout routine with new gym gear or influence a new beauty routine by trying different products. By reaching out to consumers as early as July, brands can help them define what is best when they are starting to envision their Back to Life projects and  get their products and services in front of them. 

And with more than 300 million potential customers in-market at a time when they’re open to possibilities and alternative brands, it’s an untapped opportunity for marketers. Additionally, a recent study by Neustar found that because people come to Pinterest seeking initial inspiration, it can influence their purchasing decisions much earlier in their buying process. On average, 75% of the sales that came from Pinterest happened more than a week after people saw the ads. So being there early and with the right content matters. 

Just like the New Year, Back to Life represents a turning point in terms of daily life habits for consumers. On Pinterest, brands have the opportunity to play a key role in turning new projects into reality  by offering the right content, at the right time and by targeting an audience actively looking for new ideas. Welcome to the “new” New Year.

Update September 4: A previous version of this article contained different country data. This has since been fixed.

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