Why are we talking about July 4th on Memorial Day weekend? Because our May Marketing Idea of the Month needs a little planning and prep time. Plus, someone already cadged our April “idea” (more on that in the monthly wrap-up next Tuesday). We need to stay ahead of the game.
There is a new July 4th tradition in many communities large and small: the annual fireworks display has been canceled. Local municipalities cut back on this type of discretionary spending during the height of the Great Recession. Due to a perverse form of “trickle down,” state and local governments are yet to crawl out from the wreckage.
With the tax haul down, budgets are still under the gun. There won’t be fireworks again in many towns and cities across America this year.
That’s where local businesses come in, by sponsoring a community July 4th event:
- Pay for a true fireworks display (although that might not be feasible as some insurers are refusing to cover events like this)
- Sponsor a simulcast of Macy’s fireworks
- Failing those two, put together an all-day/all-weekend event with real local flavor – art show, local musicians, etc.
There will be lots of coordination needed any way you go, so you see why lead time is needed.
This works best for a business with a product or service that has a high degree of touch, feel, and usage. For example, an auto dealer could have its newest models on display and offer test drives from the event locale. A home restoration business could show off its work through a mini model house. The sponsoring business could also invite in partners – the home restorer could bring in a landscaping company as co-sponsor, for example.
So often you hear marketers talk about seasonality, not in their business, but in their marketing. “Oh, we don’t do any marketing in the summer – none! – since people aren’t around (or aren’t shopping, or aren’t thinking about our product then, etc.).” You will take advantage of your competitors’ misread of the consumer.
Here’s the deal – if you aren’t around, your ideas about “consumer seasonality” become a self-fulfilling prophesy. So give your prospects a Happy 4th of July. And your business one too.