Holidays, Trends and Themes, oh, my
How do you beef up marketing for even the common things like savings accounts and hotels? It’s easy if you pay attention to trends and you are not afraid to think a little creative.
Trends is best stated by a user on Business Directory:
“To follow a trend you must not only be aware of what is currently happening but be astute enough to predict what is going to happen in the future.”
Following trends is not hard and you are probably already doing it. Do you put out decorations for Christmas, Independence Day or Halloween? That is following an expected trend.
I want you to take it a step further in your marketing and really capture the attention of a lot more customers.
Example 1: Stranger Hotel
Hotels are everywhere and the mostly compete on pricing. That is why there are so many sites for hotels deals. One hotel decided to make the most of their marketing efforts and took advantage of an upcoming Netflix series named Stranger Things.
Stranger Things, produced by Netflix, was one of the hottest releases in the last couple of years on Netflix. I am sure you have seen ads on billboards, TV commercials, Facebook Ads and Youtube. It seems like the release date was all over the place.
One clever hotel took advantage of this trend. The offered a special “Stranger Things” package. It included food, decorations and even access to Netflix. It was a smart offering that took one hotel to recognition beyond a typical ‘stay here’ type of ad. (source)
Example 2: Super Savings Account
Saving accounts at banks don’t usually get a lot of attention. What is more ‘boring’ than saving, right? And, how do you advertise something that few people want to do? Well, you tag on to a growing trend: superhero movies.
Synchrony bank set up a mini comic book to talk about how the Avengers save. (I am sure you can immediately see the pun). The title of the story was “Saving is a Smash.” In the comic, Thor can’t buy a hot dog because he doesn’t have money. Hawkeye rescues him and introduces the idea of a savings account.
After the comic book, the provided a quiz so you can ‘save like a hero.’ Based on the quiz you can see if you save more like Hulk, Thor, Captain America, etc. They created this campaign to line up with the large release of the newest Marvel movie Thor Ragnarok.(source)
The Power of Trends
When you catch on to a trend, half of the work is done for you. Let me phrase that differently, when you catch on to a trend, half of your marketing budget is spent for you. When a bank tags on to an upcoming movie, everyone has seen the posters and ads for the movie. When they see the bank, they are immediately drawn in since the foundation of getting noticed has been taken care of with the large marketing budget of a movie release.
Now, don’t get me wrong, it will cost some money to ‘officially’ market using someone else’s characters. You may have to spend some money working with the creators and you will need to get approval. On the other side, sometimes the company will ‘co-market’ with you. They will pay for a portion of the ads as long as you promote their upcoming feature.
Beyond Movie and TV
When I think about last year, 2016, I think about all the fidget spinners and how they were everywhere. What if your business caught on to that trend? Could you have used that trend to market your business?
Yes and no. Product based trends come and go. To use those kinds of things, you want to be quick to act and quick to get out. You don’t want to catch a trend when it is on its’ way out. Let me remind you of the quote about trends. . .you must be astute enough to predict the future.
Good thing is that you don’t need a crystal ball to predict the future. There are a lot of ways to keep up with trends. As a matter of fact, sites like Twitter will show you what is trending. Is it an event, phrase or holiday? Is there a news happening that you could use in your favor?
Ongoing or “EVERGREEN” Trends
The way I see it, there is never a bad time to help people. If your business can find a way to help people with what you are already doing it could be great for business. I think about Tom’s Shoes. They would give away a pair of shoes to someone in need for every pair that was purchase. It was easy to align the need for shoes the fact they sold shoes.
I have seen companies come together to raise money for hurricane victims, breast cancer awareness and even food for starving children. These are ‘evergreen’ type of events. You can raise a social awareness in your business and tie yourself to things that are important to you.
Let me speak boldly for a moment. If you use social causes just to promote your business, that is wrong. You want to promote social awareness because you care about the results and the efforts of the cause. Then, you align your company to match the values of what you are sponsoring. That is the honorable way to tie your business to a social cause.
Get in on the Trend
Take some time and look around your community. Look for trends that you can promote to your customers. Look at calendars and days to see what emphasis this month or day is. Look to your local chamber, search on Twitter, or just ask around. You may find something that will boost your business and catch on in your community.
Quick story: One local restaurant took time to get to know some of their frequent customers. They found out that a lot of the customers had dogs. The staff pulled together to create an ad campaign for dog lovers and even opened their patio for people to bring their dogs. It was simple, did not take much money and they have loyal customers for life.
Here are some questions to get you started thinking about trends for your own business:
Is there a going trend set out by your local city board? Is there an upcoming movie that represents something interesting about your business? Is there a cause that you can immediately align your business with? Is there a focus for the upcoming month that you could help facilitate?
The key is to be aware and take action quickly. Seeing a trend and not taking action quickly could hurt your efforts. On the other hand, not thinking out your strategy could kill your ROI.
Develop a team that helps you catch trends, take action and set up a solid strategy to focus your marketing efforts. Then you will reach marketing success.
If you ever need help. Don’t hesitate to reach out.
Here’s to your continued marketing success!
Latest posts by Lyle Huddlestun (see all)
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