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February 28, 2014
Heritage Month…Special occasions…

Fri Feb 28, 2013

Business Buzz by Candice Sealey

Whilst there are some companies that do absolutely no marketing, there are those that do air some advertising or embark on marketing campaigns.{{more}} Unfortunately, at times, some marketing campaigns don’t reach prospective buyers when they are most receptive to buying and that’s where occasion-based marketing comes in – to boost sales and response.

You may have special offers for Christmas or even Mother’s Day, but what about the other occasions? e.g. March is Heritage Month; how will your business capitalize on this special occasion? A celebration such as Heritage Month, or National Heroes’ Day can be turned into a sales opportunity by offering special discounts or even promoting special products; e.g. have you thought about special discounts on local produce or locally produced items in your supermarket? Will your restaurant offer special local dishes throughout the month at a discounted price? Will your institution highlight local entrepreneurs? Will your furniture store have a special on furniture made locally? Will your bar/hotel feature a special cocktail made with only local ingredients, each week in the month of March? Will your bookstore have a special on books written by Vincentian authors? Will your bookstore feature local cookbooks? Do you have plans for your local rum or beer brand during March? Does your media house have an initiative for Heritage Month or National Heroes’ Day?

Occasions don’t have to be all that special for you to talk about them; you just have to make them relevant to your company. Big events set people buzzing with conversation – everyone will be talking; so what can you do as a brand to make the most of the excitement in the air? Here are some guidelines:

1. Don’t ignore it! Don’t treat special occasions just like they are any other day of the year. It’s a chance to freshen things up – to give you a different angle. Think about what occasions would make your prospective buyers more receptive to buy and/or respond to your marketing campaigns. Avoid jumping on the bandwagon, unless it’s relevant and motivates buyers.

2. Broaden your outlook – Go beyond ‘holidays’ such as Christmas. Why do you have wine with dinner at restaurants and sports drinks when you exercise or play sports? Because marketing has made you associate these products with these occasions. Look for opportunities to create an association for your service/ product or expand an established association; e.g. flowers are not only for Valentine’s; persons don’t only drink wine and other celebratory drinks at Christmas, they drink them at birthday, anniversary and other celebrations, so why advertise these products only at Christmas, or why not create targeted advertising and promotions with those occasions in mind?

3. Plan it out. You can always do more if you’re prepared. Thinking ahead of time means you can build up the excitement beforehand. Build your calendar and identify all potential dates relevant to your potential customers and product range to enable you to plan timings effectively.

4. Get visual: Make a special logo for the event/occasion, create a specific video advert… let your Facebook profile pic and your website reflect the occasion.

5. Start a conversation. Take an interest in what your twitter followers and Facebook fans are doing. Ask about their plans to celebrate the occasion. Not only does this show your fans that you care, it also gives you access to invaluable marketing information, especially if you discover your customers have a strong emotional connection to your brand.

6. Get into their inbox. Depending on the business that you are in, email marketing is would be a key part of your communication. In that case, send out email updates to your list.

Candice Sealey is Founder of Ignite! Full service Marketing & PR Consultancy Company offering tailored services to help businesses improve their customer targeting & generate better results. Let Ignite! help you create a successful targeted promotion for any special occasions. Create new sparks and get better results for your business!

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