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Cinco de Mayo presents fabulous opportunities for just about any business to generate free publicity, build brand recognition and enhance customer loyalty. While your competitors simply run advertisements with a Mexican theme, you can draw hundreds to your events with a bit of PR savvy.
Here are a few off-the-wall Cinco de Mayo marketing strategies you can use to boost business this May:
Attempts to break world records earn free media coverage, which is far better than simple paid advertising. Search the Guinness World Records website for world records that are both relevant to your business and to the Cinco de Mayo holiday - and that you have a shot at breaking. If you can't find something that works, make up your own world record to break and localize it such as a record number of people simultaneously wearing sombreros in St. Paul, Minnesota. A bit of humor can really go a long way here.
Once you've established the record you're going to try to break, market your event by printing and distributing posters, banners, flyers and rack cards to your customers. Send direct-mail postcards to likely attendees (who should come straight from your target audience) and alert local (and national, if applicable) newspapers, magazines, radio stations, televisions stations, online news venues ,and bloggers. Offer prizes to attendees for an extra incentive to participate.
On the big day of your event, set up a booth and deploy a street team to distribute flyers, brochures, and catalogs. Hold side contests and other events with prizes - such as T-shirts emblazoned with your logo - to up the ante. Keep crowds engaged with fun and entertainment, and your event will be a hit whether you set the record or not.
Cinco de Mayo has become a traditional party day in the United States, so host your own to bring out loyal customers and potential customers. If you're a large consumer business, have an outdoor cookout complete with traditional Mexican dishes, games and beer. Hire a mariachi band for entertainment, and have challenges and prizes for those who compete in said challenges. Engage your participants and be active in the crowd to increase customer loyalty and make new customers feel comfortable doing business with you.
If you cater to a smaller crowd, perhaps you could hold a private tasting of Mexican entrees or beverages. Make your customers feel like exclusive VIPs, and you'll be handsomely rewarded both in the short term and the long run.
Many people don't know that Cinco de Mayo was originally a celebration of Mexico's successful defense against the French at the Battle of Puebla. You can enlighten and entertain customers and the media by staging a battle re-enactment. Enlist the help of a local theater group to write a script and recruit actors for your event, and market via printed posters, postcards, banners, flyers and the media. If you pull it off right, you can create an annual event that eventually attracts thousands of potential customers. Don't let anyone leave without a brochure!