Marketing to the Promotional Calendar

Marketing to the promotional calendar The Idea of mass spend during key holiday periods can lead to disappointment. Too many brands search for the holy grail of sales growth but only see minimal comparable increase.

In 450 BC Confucius said “I hear and I forget, I see and I remember, I experience and I understand”. As marketeers, we know that consumers are more likely to trial a brand or product or buy it again if you have broken the mould of normality and caused them to stop and engage with you, giving them something else to form a comparison against. With Valentines day and Easter just around the corner many brands are looking to sell more products and gain more long term customers. But how is this possible, if more and more brands are competing in the same space at the same time? Does the value of your activity become eroded?

With a huge number of brands entering the marketplace each year and research suggesting that people get exposed to over 5000 brand messages a day – it is little wonder that brands need new approaches to get heard. Like Confucius said, you need to experience to understand, so how can you do this to maximise your spend during this period? Do you…

Engage more people at/near store in the hope your message will stand out in-store?
Trial your product or engage your audience pre-promotional period?
Spend more money in-store doing it bigger and better than your competitors?!

It is important to know why people are buying your products during these times. Are they existing customers who are buying more, new customers buying because of price promotion or simply just buying because you had a bigger window display or signage than anyone else?

The emergence of reality based media has forced upon marketeers the glaringly obvious fact that customers need more than pretty pictures and brand messages to adopt your product over your competitors. They need experiences to help them make decisions. They need to know your product is as great as you say it is.

Many brands are realising that experiences form the core base of consumer marketing activity, that more traditional mass marketing should be used to amplify. This is bucking the trend of the majority of brands that still rely on mass marketing channels as the core base on which to communicate – while using experiences to support the message. Last year, Nissan dramatically increased its experiential marketing spend to up to 40% of their entire budget, demonstrating a positive strategy shift from traditional advertising by the Japanese car firm.

There are many ways to maximise your overall spend using the promotional calendar as a way to engage your audience and cut through the clutter, but it requires a mix of experience and know-how to bring the right methods together. Targeted marketing is becoming more of a powerful medium for driving long term results – we must be aware of the old proverb “a rolling stone gathers more moss”. Consistency is key.

Use the promotional calendar activity differently to generate higher valued responses and seek methods for reconnecting with those customers you have engaged with. This will build ongoing relationships, drive word of mouth, and ultimately increase your consumer base.

For your new year resolutions, commit to discovering better ways to reach you audience and maximise your sales and loyalty.

For more information on how experiential marketing can help your brand break through the clutter of the promotional calendar contact us.

We are discussing this topic right now in our LinkedIn group – come and join us! You can also sign up to our monthly newsletter for more information on how to break through the promotional clutter throughout 2011.

Hotcow is a multi-award winning brand engagement agency specialising in experiential marketing. Our mission is simple: to help brands understand the awesome power of “experience-based marketing” and offer expertise in how to develop, plan and execute campaigns in the right way to get the right results, while showing that every pound spent is measurable. Visit for more information.

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