My Mantra

Inspiring better marketing to help
your world changing ideas succeed.

Archive for July, 2011

Could You Sell A Pumpkin In August?

IMB_pumpkins There is a moment when everyone does the same thing. Right around the 4th of July, most people will buy fireworks. And April 15th is one of the universally dreaded days of the year in the US, where millions of Americans seek help to file their taxes. And in the days before Halloween, everyone buys a pumpkin. The point is, many purchase behaviours are ruled by the principle of peak moments which define our activities.

As small business owners, chances are you have figured out the peak behaviours for your customers and are doing the same things that many of your competitors are doing. Whether that means staying open late around the winter holiday season or creating seasonal promotions, marketing to customers at a peak moment is a necessity of business – and most of us have a plan for it.

How much are you doing, however, to actively focus on marketing to your customers during off-peak moments? Today you can purchase washing machines with timers so they will wash your clothes during the night when water costs are lower – but few other aspects of our lives allow us to appreciate the potential of off-peak activities. In general, we live in a world where the power of off-peak activities are under-appreciated.

What if you owned the nightclub that only opened at midnight and stayed open until 6AM? Or the only movie theater to have breakfast film showings – at 7am?  Or you had the only dentistry with evening office hours? This is not only about timing either.

Thinking off peak means more than selling a Turkey during Thanksgiving. How about focusing on selling tickets for holiday packages the day after a long weekend so you can target all those customers who saw their friends go away for the weekend and wished they had as well? Or promoting a house to sell during a relatively unpopular buying time during the school year?

As more and more small businesses feel the pinch to conserve their marketing dollars, your competitors are more likely than ever to only have a marketing strategy focused on the peak moments for your industry. As a result, thinking off peak can not only help you reach customers and potential customers in unexpected ways, it can also help you to focus more marketing effort on a moment that your competitors are ignoring completely.

Toyota Venza Reminds Us Of The Dangers Of Evangelism

If there is one universal truth that almost no one in the world of technology or social media has figured out, it might be this: everyone hates evangelists. No matter what they are "evangelizing" – the world view anyone who claims this title for themselves usually has is that the product, service or idea that they have to share with…Read More >>

The Wingtip Vortex

The Wingtip Vortex

Anyone who has ever taken flight lessons knows about a problem called the wingtip vortex. Described online as “the twin tornadoes formed by the difference between the pressure on the upper and lower surfaces of an airplane’s wing” – the wingtip vortex actually creates quite a dangerous situation for any plane because if you fly too close to a plane…Read More >>

Why The Best Global Ideas Might Be "Proudly Found Elsewhere"

Why The Best Global Ideas Might Be "Proudly Found Elsewhere"

A few weeks ago, the Cannes Creative Festival brought together thousands of practitioners in every discipline of marketing and advertising to honor the best communications campaigns and thinking from the previous year.  As a marketing writer and strategist, I spend a lot of time thinking about original examples of great marketing. Good ideas are inspirations. In particular, I love to…Read More >>

4 Easy Ways To Share Your Expertise Online

Expertise is a beautiful thing when you are a small business. If you are in the right business, you have probably spent a long time building your expertise in whatever your industry happens to be. Whether you provide consultative services for your customers, or use your expertise to help sell retail products – the expertise can be what sets your…Read More >>

The Marketing Truth Which Surprised Mark Zuckerberg

The Marketing Truth Which Surprised Mark Zuckerberg

The first time that brands were ever allowed on Facebook, the only way they could advertise was by offering a specific promotion. No brand awareness campaigns or focus on engagement … just a simple offer. It was a symbol of how Facebook (and Mark Zuckerberg in particular) saw brands entering into the previously sacred space of the Facebook social network…Read More >>

How a Drum Shop Uses Social Media To Sell Cymbals

I remember a time when I used to spend hours listening to the sounds that different cymbals made when hit in different locations. If you aren’t a drummer, chances are this moment will be a tougher one to relate to – but trust me when I tell you that the decision to buy a cymbal is a very personal one….Read More >>

How "Case Study Blindness" Can Kill Innovation

How "Case Study Blindness" Can Kill Innovation

Last month while working on a strategy for a large client, we had a brilliant idea. This was not the kind of idea that agencies come up with all the time while sitting in a room by themselves drawing pictures on a whiteboard. No, this was the kind of game changing idea that could solve a client challenge and completely…Read More >>