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How To Use Creative Holiday Marketing

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Yesterday morning, something popped up on one of my social media accounts about it being “National Guacamole Day.”

That got my attention because (a) as a fan, student and practitioner of smart marketing, I am always on the lookout for how business owners leverage news and current events for their own benefit, and (b) I’m a big fan of avocados, and therefore, guacamole.

I immediately started searching online for information about the origin of this “holiday” – but I couldn’t find anything about when or where it first began.

I did find this graphic, however, which caught my eye because of its inclusion of an “Irresistible Offer:”

National Guacamole Day

Yes, that promotion was from last year, when September 16th fell on a Monday. It was run by the national restaurant chain, “On The Border.”

Perhaps there were certain restrictions (known among marketers as “weasel clauses,” named for marketers operating from less-than-full integrity who want a way to “weasel out” of providing the promised benefit), such as customers having to spend a certain minimum amount in order to qualify for the free guacamole.

Or maybe the company had run tests prior to the “holiday” promotion, and knew that the numbers made sense for them to go ahead and provide the free food to everyone, regardless of order size (based on the average profit per order, even taking into account the “loss leader” of the free guacamole to get customers in the door, most of whom ordered additional food).

That’s precisely the proper use of an Irresistible Offer: to make one’s chosen target prospect practically run to give money to the business owner, while asking only one possible question: “What’s the catch?”

I shared that graphic on my Facebook wall, and was almost immediately informed by a friend that the restaurant chain decided not to run that same promotion this year. Instead, they gave out “a free cup of queso.”

Now I’m no expert in Mexican-American cuisine, but I did take seven years of Spanish in high school and college, and from what little I recall, “queso” has nothing whatsoever to do with guacamole.

So if that is indeed the promotion the restaurant chain chose to run this year, they have set some kind of record of going from Irresistible Offer to “Incomprehensibly Unrelated Freebie” from one annual occurrence of the “holiday” to the next.

Ouch.

However, despite the awkward irrelevance of the “free cup of queso” offer to National Guacamole Day, as a Mexican-American food it did relate to a more “real” holiday: Mexican Independence Day. So at least On The Border didn’t miss the target completely.

All entrepreneurs, business owners and sales professionals can learn two valuable lessons from all of this:

1. There is tremendous power in crafting a truly “Irresistible Offer” that draws your ideal prospect to you like honey attracts bees. (*This is the “O” in The WOW! Strategy™ that I created and have used to help thousands of people experience transformational growth in their businesses. If you want my help crafting your own personal “Irresistible Offer,” go to my website, www.SteveSipress.com.)

2. You should incorporate holidays into your marketing plan – and not just the major, well-known ones. There are literally hundreds of months, weeks and days designated to honor just about anything you can think of (and a lot of things you can’t).

Here is a fantastic resource where you can find all kinds of fun “holidays” to use in your marketing, such as “International Country Music Day,” “School Backpack Awareness Day” and “Time’s Up Day” – all of which, it just so happens, are actually being celebrated TODAY.

*TIP: Don’t just stick to “holidays” that are obviously related to your business, because that’s exactly what all of your competitors are likely to do, which makes it much more difficult for you to stand out from the crowd in the eyes of your prospect. Look for “holidays” that are unrelated to your industry, and come up with ways of weaving them into your marketing.

These could be months, weeks or days that are related to a hobby or interest of yours or one of your staff members or customers, clients or patients, or they could simply be fun celebrations that you can easily think of ways to have fun with in your marketing, and engage and attract more customers, clients or patients.

As we head into the final quarter of the year, we know that everyone is about to be bombarded with “typical” holiday promotions around Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas. Put together a marketing campaign based on an obscure, bizarre “holiday,” and people are much more likely to notice you and think positive thoughts about you and your business – not to mention wanting to do business with you.

Happy “Save The Koala Month,” dear reader!

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