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Newsletter #812: The “Celebrate the Holidays” Issue

[Welcome back to the Damn, I Wish I Thought of That! newsletter. This is text of the great issue all of our email subscribers just received. Sign yourself up using the handy form on the right.]

‘Tis the season for great food, good times with friends and family, and lots of great marketing ideas. Here’s how a few smart companies are getting in on the festivities:

1> Keep the doors open
2> Give away something helpful
3> Test something new
4> Check it out: Vintage Ad Browser

1> Keep the doors open

Sometimes increasing sales can be more obvious than you think. Restaurants, for example, have found that simply keeping the doors open on Thanksgiving can be a big boost. Cracker Barrel considers it one of their busiest days — citing the more than 10% of Americans who dine out on the holiday. And because it’s an event where the whole family comes together, the customers who do show up are bringing lots of people with them.

The lesson: When everyone else is winding down for the holidays, you’ve got an opportunity to do big things with less competition.

Learn more: Suffolk News-Herald

2> Give away something helpful

Giving great gifts during the holidays isn’t just something for your customers to do — you can get it on the holiday spirit too. Google is doing it by giving away Wi-Fi on AirTran, Delta, and Virgin America flights throughout the holiday season. Airlines love the partnership, passengers are loving the bonus of internet access, and Google gets a great, friendly way to encourage folks to try out their new web browser.

The lesson: Forget the lame holiday baskets this season. Instead, try a gift that puts something useful in the hands of a prospective customer.

Learn more: Google

3> Test something new

This is the time of year when marketers get to try out new web designs, new sales offers, and new clever marketing techniques. Costco and Target, for example, are pioneering online sales of live Christmas trees. It’s not only a great, timely offer for the holidays, but it’s also a fantastic little experiment that could open the door down the road for bigger innovations.

The lesson: The holiday season can be an especially good time for innovative marketing. This is your chance to try something new, big, weird, strange, or stretchy (and have some fun, too).

Learn more: Minneapolis Star Tribune

4> Vintage Ad Browser

For a look at how marketing messages have evolved over time (and in some ways, remained the same) check out Vintage Ad Browser. Here you can cruise through more than 100,000 ads from the past in categories like airlines, cars, and music.

Check it out: Vintage Ad Browser

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