It’s well known that in marketing it’s very important to be aware of your surroundings in terms of the marketplace selected for selling your product. There is another dimension to this that is now very widely used and therefore sometimes misunderstood. Try to understand how to take advantage of dates and current events. Whether it’s through an e-mail, online ads, radio spots, TV commercials or something else completely, those who understand how much of a “process” marketing truly is find new and inventive ways to make money on events that will inevitably happen throughout the year.
We all know that Thanksgiving is about quickly giving thanks, getting stuffed, and then immediately plunging headlong into the darkest corner of the Christmas season. What are some other things that happen during the year? As far as I can tell no one I know still genuinely celebrates Christopher Columbus, but we tend to agree with Mr. Columbus on how necessary blowout sales on furniture truly are! What I say may be riddled with cynicism, but it still carries truth. Companies that pay close attention to the calendar figure out odd ways their products and brands correlate and then they sell it to us. A good portion of the time, the holiday has nothing to do with the product being sold, but there is still a tongue-in-cheek playfulness to it and in the end no one seems to care. It turns into an excuse to get a new catalog, e-mail, or commercial in front of potential consumers.
Let’s take this a step further and look thoughtfully at some other things. Holidays are obvious and good, but there are other events that cut deeper into the psyche because they mean more to more specific people or a niche market. Look at something like the 2016 Summer Olympics which will be taking place this August. Do I care about the Olympics? No. But other people do, and I bet the event could be used to push a new flat screen TV on a lot of people. Up here in Boston there tends to be a lot of pandering to the fans of local sports teams. Almost every spring Jordan’s Furniture comes out with a new promo based on how the Boston Red Sox perform at the end of their season with the possibility to be refunded on your purchase if the “Sox” do “X,Y, and Z” against this specific person, whose pitcher must be an only child or whatever the promotion turns into. There are more stipulations every year, but I think the possibility of the furniture being free doesn’t matter as much as the kinship between fans of the same team. In the end it probably only equates to the strength of the Boston Red Sox brand in association with pricy couches, but it does sell more furniture during summer months when sales are often down.
As always you want to stay true to your own branding in terms of identity and products. That part does not change; the trick is to look at the calendar and current events that will happen in advance. If you want to be serious about an Independence Day promotion, you need to have the marketing strategy developed and ready to go months in advance. Don’t start in the beginning of June all bright eyed and hopeful, realize what you want to do takes more time to plan and execute than you have to spend, and wind up with efforts wasted on a good idea that just didn’t have enough time to take hold. Realistically if I were planning a July 4th promo, I wouldn’t start creating my plan any later than early March. Generally a marketing campaign around Christmas time should be in development in late July or early August. These are basic guidelines of course for creating and developing marketing campaign plans, but leave yourself enough time to be somewhat thoughtful about what “thing” you wish to capitalize on, who you are in relation to it, and how you will get a message out to the consumer about it.
Written by Guest Blogger – Ken Pellegrino. Ken Pellegrino is a freelance writer and part-time marketer at Purple Diamond LLC with a background in business management, marketing, sales and customer relations. A graduate from Salem State University’s Bertolon School of Business with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Marketing, Ken shares his passion for marketing and sales with the owner of Purple Diamond, his mother, Charlene St Jean. In addition to his love of marketing, Ken is also a talented guitarist who enjoys both writing and playing music.