This past St. Patrick’s Day, I was on a Southwest Airlines flight back to Houston. On the flight, I noticed the “In-Flight Menu” offered passengers 21 and over a complimentary Gin and Sprite for St. Patrick's Day while on board. Southwest has promoted other holiday offers throughout the year, too.
Southwest's simple, timely offer reminded me of the opportunity companies have in leveraging holidays for their marketing efforts. There are over 150 holidays each year when you include religious, state, federal, international, and seasonal holidays - 40 percent of the year! That creates a lot of opportunities that often seem to be missed.
Here are three easy ways your business can incorporate holiday offers into their marketing program.
1. Give specials or discounts
Give your customers and leads the opportunity to apply a special deal or discount in honor of a specific holiday. This tactic is especially great for holidays or events where high expenses are incurred, like Christmas or Back-To-School shopping.
Be sure to focus on holidays or seasons relevant to your specific business or industry. For example, a pool cleaning company might make the first day of spring the beginning of a special offer for summer pool cleaning services.
2. Releasing new or seasonal products
You can also release a new or seasonal product based on a holiday or event. Easy examples here are Starbucks with their Pumpkin Spice Latte and tax software/services during the yearly run-up to tax filing day in the U.S. (April 15th).
This sort of marketing can really create a buzz and a demand for your product. It's also a way to change up your typical marketing look or message.
3. Donations or Charity Giving
Use Earth Day and Breast Cancer Awareness Day as a way to build positive brand image and a reminder to give back to society, for example. The following are a few examples of how this can be done:
- Your employees could volunteer and share their volunteering effort with customers and leads. You could even invite your customers to join with the employees in volunteering if your client-base is local.
- You could donate a portion of your proceeds during a particular month, week or day.
- Ask your customers to donate to a charity or organization and match their contributions.
All of these options give you more opportunities to communicate with your customers and leads and build a true connection with them.
There are countless other ways to incorporate holidays into your marketing plan. You can event invent holidays, like Movember/No Shave November. Or build off classic sales events like Back-to-School, Black Friday or Cyber Monday.
If you're not incorporating holiday marketing into your exisiting Holiday plan you are missing an opportunity. So, what are your marketing plans for Easter?
Photo Credit: JD Hancock via Compfight cc