A constant struggle for online business owners is standing out from the crowd of competitors. In the world of the internet, you can find competitors from every continent so that struggle can be even tougher. Having a strong marketing plan and out of the box ideas can certainly help bring your company’s name to the forefront.
Take the example of Chick-Fil-A. They are a fast food company that built their menu around their signature chicken sandwich and they have a cow as a spokesperson. You’ve probably seen the commercials where the cows wear signs, “Eat Mor Chikin,” with the hopes people will eat at Chick-Fil-A instead of the burger joint.
The marketing folks at Chick-Fil-A have gone one step further and created their very own Cow Appreciation Day, where anyone who dresses up like a cow either from head to toe or just with an accessory receives some free food. Think it’s silly? In 2011 they served 450,000 customers across the country.
Sure, they came in for free food but if they had a good experience, they will likely come in again for another meal or will bring friends to the next Cow Appreciation Day.
Did Chick-Fil-A use direct mailings to promote their holiday? I don’t really know but this would be an excellent case where they would finely target their list to include ONLY those people who lived near one of the 1,600 national restaurants.
Absolutely any business can create their own holiday with some planning and creativity. Add to that a special direct mail campaign promoting the holiday and you’ll create quite the buzz around your business.
The most important thing to remember is that your holiday should integrate effortlessly into your existing marketing plan. Chick-Fil-A already had a cow in their plans, so a Cow Appreciation Day was a natural choice. If your idea needs explanation for people to understand it, then it might not be the best choice.
If you don’t want to create a unique day, you can certainly plan a direct mail campaign around one of the other untraditional marketing holidays I discovered while researching online. Again, the holiday theme should meld easily with what you sell. Here are some examples:
January: National Bath Safety Month, National Blood Donor Month, Winnie the Pooh Day
February: Black History Month, National Grapefruit Month, Make a Friend Day
March: National Nutrition Month, Crochet Week, National Craft Month
April: International Guitar Month, Library Week, National Poetry Month
May: National BBQ Month, National Police Week, Mother Goose Day
June: Candy Month, Fishing Week, National Donut Day
A business owner who sells baby toys and clothing might consider promoting Winnie The Pooh Day by offering a discount on Winnie The Pooh merchandise. Create an appropriate mailing and send it 2 weeks before the event and hopefully you’ll see lots of traffic to your website which could then lead to sales.
As you can see, most of us have never heard of these “national” holidays before but if they tie in with what you sell, then use that to your advantage. Create a fun direct mail campaign, schedule fun content on your website related to your chosen “holiday” and share the buzz on your social networks.