The Music Man is about Harold Hill, a traveling Professor of Music aka con man who arrives in River City, Iowa. He convinces the locals to start a band for their children. Of course he will sell them the uniforms and instruments. Imagine if he had arrived in March, which is “National Music In Our Schools Month.”
“It’s a government edict, folks. It’s happening across the nation!”
The Music Man would have loved this.
Already a natural salesman, Dr. Hill would have been elated at this chance to tie his marketing message to a special national recognition day, week or month.
You can do this too to market your business. It’s about being bigger than you are. It’s leveraging a nationwide story to drive local marketing exposure for you, your brand and your business.
You can do this too to market your business.
Tying into an established day, week or month event let’s you amplify themes you already own in your day-to-day work. Give your local paper a homegrown angle to a national story. Increase your SEO with blog and social media posts about your promotion, tagged with the national hashtags. The national designations often include a presidential proclamation and even a photo op. Start early to see if your program can be the one featured.
How could it work for you?
Think broadly about topics related to the work you do. What issues and themes are important to the people you serve? How can Employee Resource Groups get involved?
If you are a cupcake baker, find out when National Cupcake Day is and offer free mini-cupcakes. Even Accountants have their own special day. Create a math quiz on Facebook to enter a drawing to win a restaurant gift certificate.
For Mather’s More than a Cafe, who targets people 50+, Chicago and mother-nature provided a chance to turn lemons into…soup. During the record breaking cold in January they offered soup for the price of the temperature . There was at least one day that their $2.99 soup was only 1 cent.
Talk differently about things you already do. During Women’s History Month at the Chicago Department of Aviation they had a woman aviation professional speaking somewhere in the community every business day in March. They dug deeper into things they already did…speaking at schools as part of the Student Motivation Program and tapping into citywide events to offer a speaker. The result was a “packaged event” that generated lots of media coverage.
Beware the Stretch (or negative association.)
One warning. Don’t associate yourself with something you don’t want or need to be associated with. Or be conscientious about it. Think how Dick’s Sporting Goods got positive news coverage for halting sales on assault rifles. They purposely tied the move to the Parkland Florida shooting.
Be sure to know power and history. Ram Truck’s equating driving their trucks with the freedom and power and promise of Dr. Martin Luther King during Black History Month was really poorly thought out. The sentiment (as reported in the NY Times) was “Did the company really just use Dr. King’s worlds about the value of service to sell trucks?”
Where do you get ideas?
There are cultural heritage months, months for different foods (Chocolate Chip Cookie Day is my fav), and a variety of assorted oddities (seriously? March 3 is “If Pets Had Thumbs Day“). Many offer DIY tool kits, or easy Internet searches yield interesting things that others have done, that you can do better.