A small winter festival in 1890 has become a famed annual showcase on the first day of the new year. The Rose Parade in downtown Pasadena, Calif., celebrates the “Mediterranean of the West” by celebrating Southern California flowers and sunshine. Shown in 200 countries around the world, the brand has become an international sensation synonymous with New Year’s Day.
This demonstrates how a non-profit organization can build a strong brand presence without the bells, whistles and deep pockets of larger corporations.
How much do you really know about Black Friday? Here’s a quick history on the annual shopping frenzy following Thanksgiving:
- Black Friday was originally named for the crash of the U.S. gold market in 1869
- Retailers used to color-code accounting losses in red and profits in black, eventually adopted as the modern-day origin of the name
- By the 1980s, Black Friday became more widely associated with deep discounts on the day after Thanksgiving
#1- 4: IN-STORE INSIGHTS
Frequent shoppers will happily return for exclusive Black Friday sales if they are well-informed on the specifics. Use the opportunity to let them know when, what and how to take advantage of Black Friday promotions.
- Place posters or flyers on doors and windows with sale hours
- List products without the sale price on rack cards as a teaser
- Give customers postcards to promote friends & family discounts
- Include a business card with every purchase as exclusive coupons
#5-8: SEND AN E-VITE
Email marketing should definitely be part of your marketing mix when it comes to Black Friday. Send out reminder emails starting one week before Thanksgiving. It’s best to capture shoppers before they begin traveling out of town or spending all of Turkey Day in the kitchen.
- Write a grabby subject line (e.g. Find out what’s 75% off)
- Make it time-sensitive (e.g. 4 hours left!)
- Add animated gifs to stand out
- Instant return customers (e.g. No lie! Deals unlocked every hour)
#9-12: MOBILIZE YOUR MARKETING
With so many shoppers glued to their smartphones, maximize your Black Friday mobile promos. First step: Optimize website and email for mobile, especially the shopping cart. Second step: Offer unique deals for mobile purchasers. This keeps them shopping all day before they even get home from work.
- Boost bundling at the shopping cart (e.g. Others also bought this. Add to cart?)
- Create mobile alerts to instantly promote sales
- Have in-store customers check in online for extra discounts
- Use push notifications to push specific products
#13-16: TEASE A TRAILER
Video marketing is a great way to tease door-buster sales. Build anticipation leading up to the big day by filming the making of a product, receiving shipment at the store or the setting up of product displays.
On the morning of Black Friday, use Facebook live to show crowds gathering outside or happy shoppers checking out with coveted items. Gather testimonials on how much shoppers saved and let customers know how much time is left to enjoy Black Friday sale pricing.
- Keep videos under 60 seconds
- Add subtitles (most view videos without sound)
- Post directly on social platforms (avoid links from YouTube or Vimeo)
- Create or include a hashtag
Trade shows are one of the most effective forms of face-to-face marketing for both B2C and B2B companies. Mastering event marketing is essential to standing out in a sea of competitors and attracting prospects.
- Stock up on business cards, or have the design file on hand in case you run out. Among the many attendees will be key decision-makers and qualified leads, so be prepared to exchange contact information. It is good practice to find a printer ahead of your arrival who can accommodate print requests either same day or overnight.
- Giveaways that make them stay. The promotional bags and products industry rakes in $19.4 billion per year, and trade shows are among the biggest spenders. Swag should match the theme of your company culture, marketing campaign, or trade show theme, location or season to help attendees relate to and recall your product after the show has ended.
Functional giveaways, such as mobile device chargers or power banks, are great for attendees and exhibitors whose cell phones typically run out of juice by lunch.
Seasonal items, such as flip flops or sunglasses, work well for shows taking place in the summer or at beach destinations. If the show is scheduled during rainy season or in a city with unpredictable weather, consider branded umbrellas for a thoughtful and portable giveaway that can be reused.
Go crazy! Even if the giveaway is somewhat impractical, the story is so memorable that the recipient will tell it over and over, like these wacky gifts.
- Have knowledgeable and approachable booth staff. Exhibitors can either send their internal sales team to the show or hire and train local representatives. Consider the benefits and disadvantages for each when deciding which is best for your company, but most importantly, invest time into booth staff training so that your company is well represented.
HIRED BOOTH STAFF
- Be social. Guests feel more welcomed when booth staff are standing to greet them. To keep staff members from getting too tired during a show, arrange shorter 2-4 hour time slots and rotate schedules throughout the day so that they can take lunch breaks, rest and visit other booths.
Attendees appreciate comfortable seating within the booth. This also allows exhibitors an extra opportunity to converse with and convert prospects into leads.
- Update booth graphics and creatives each year. Many exhibitors attend the same trade shows and conventions each year. Attendees often remember the appearance of a booth, even if moved to a different location. A refreshed marketing campaign can attract curious attendees by using different colors, creating a new tagline or rearranging the booth orientation.
Print collateral should also match the campaign’s overall look and feel. Maintaining a cohesive theme throughout digital marketing efforts and with print materials, such as flyers, brochures and mailers, will keep attendees engaged before, during and after the show.
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