The Hallmark-ification of Marketing
Published: October 27, 2016
I grew up in a Hallmark store. You remember those cards people used to send by snail mail to show that they “cared the very best”? That was my family’s business. It was exciting as a kid, mainly because there was always a holiday around the corner. And Hallmark loves holidays. Their entire business model was built on seasonal events that triggered consumers. Before we had websites dedicated to naming obscure holidays, Hallmark was promoting these as important events to send your friends and family a card.
And Hallmark loves holidays. Their entire business model was built on seasonal events that triggered consumers. Before we had websites dedicated to naming obscure holidays, Hallmark was promoting these as important events to send your friends and family a card.
It’s true, Hallmark was ahead of its time in the sense that seasons are important for business and we see it in nearly every consumer segment. If you walked into a McDonalds 15 years ago, you saw coffee, regardless of the season, now we have pumpkin spice lattes during the fall, popularized by Starbucks of course. But it doesn’t stop with the Pumpkin Spice Life, it involves a complete shift of menu for the Shamrock shakes, Peppermint lattes, etc. Walk into your local hardware store, you know the one that used to sell the same guaranteed-for-life tools and 2x4s, they are selling pumpkins, scarecrows and have seasonalized their offers not just due to weather, but consumers looking to remodel their house before company comes over.
Why does this impact me as a financial marketer? Sure, we all know that we will have more home mortgages in the spring and more inquiries about end of year financial planning in the beginning of December, but how do you seasonalize your financial marketing?
— First National Bank (@FNBOmaha) October 22, 2016
Create Seasonal events. That’s right, there is no reason to not have your customers stop by and enjoy a pumpkin spice latte or peppermint flavored coffee. It’s likely that you already decorate seasonally, go ahead and add a promotion to your decor….Halloween Costume Contest, Holiday food drive, 12 days of giving (financial advice), Christmas Tree decorating contest, Angel Tree donation site.
Retain Your Audience through seasons. Sometimes we simply work too hard trying to gain new fans. Why is it that we think we have to attract a new following each season? Keep reminding people of your next event season, providing them value that your next events are meaningful. Keep them coming back for more.
Don’t alter your customer’s behavior, join it. Find out what the biggest events of the season are in your area. Whatever that might be, join them. If your communities are excited about football, maybe you want to giveaway a jersey. Do you have a popular holiday parade? Or perhaps your local chamber hosts a night of holiday hours for your local businesses? Get in on the action and let your community know that you are interested in what they’re interested in.
Your calendar doesn’t care which channel. If you have an in-person event that features a time of year, make sure your other channels know that you have that event going on. Remind your staff when they are headed to that chamber golf outing to upload a photo in the mobile app for sharing onto social medial. You already spent money to sponsor the event, get the most out of the reality that some people who care are not at the event.
Show your personality. The holidays are a great time to showcase your personality. Do you have talented singers on staff? Create a short video of them singing Christmas Carols. How about an Ugly Sweater contest? Do you havePinterest-worthy crafters? Perhaps you could have a holiday decoration contest/giveaway.
Join our webinar as we discuss how to take advantage of the Hallmark-ification of marketing by coordinating and scheduling your social, digital and traditional marketing throughout the year.