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Unlike Christmas, Halloween and Valentine's Day, Groundhog Day is not often considered a big sales holiday. That's too bad, because the second day of February comes at a time when the holidays transition to memory and customers turn hopeful minds to thoughts of spring. With new beginnings on the horizon, what better time to begin pitching your products than Groundhog Day?
Many small businesses mistakenly assume that in order to successfully market on Groundhog Day (or any holiday, for that matter), they have to first know what customers buy on Groundhog Day. The problem with that philosophy is that customers buy everything on Groundhog Day: There are no obligatory purchases, so your prospects are poised to simply go about their day-to-day business.
Sure, a few might buy Groundhog Day-related merchandise, such as T-shirts, but novelties and gimmicks are reserved for few. Your customers have no more incentive to buy anything additional on Groundhog Day as they do any other day of the week - but they also have no less incentive to buy. That's why you have to answer the question: Why do customers buy on Groundhog Day?
The answer is simple: Customers buy on Groundhog Day for the same reasons they buy any other day of the year. They buy because a product or service solves a problem or fulfills a desire, because it is packaged as a great offer, and because they're aware of this offer.
This means that you have to first know who your target customer is - walk in their shoes and live their lives so you can identify their problems and their dreams. Then, you can position your products and services to solve the former and deliver the latter.
The next thing you have to do is craft your offer. Brainstorm ways in which you can package your goods so that they're impossible to pass up. Discounts, freebies and other incentives sweeten the deal and make it more palatable for your customers.
Last but not least, you have to make your customers aware of your offer. This is marketing, and it is critical that you do it right. Your message should demonstrate that you understand your customer, that now is the best time to buy, and that you're the best company to buy it from.
Once you've fine-tuned your message with an attention-grabbing headline, incredible offer, features and benefits, and a compelling call to action - and wrapped it all up in a great design - it's time to distribute your message to the people. Repetition and branding are important, so strive for a multi-front plan of attack by diversifying your marketing efforts.
Print direct-mail postcards to send directly to your customers (those on a highly-targeted mailing list, of course). Place posters and banners in strategic traffic areas. Mail catalogs and calendars, and put your street team (or yourself) to work distributing door hangers and flyers. Your brochures and rack cards should be on counter tops anywhere your customers visit, and your table tents should be pitched atop restaurants where your customers eat. Make sure you print all of your marketing materials on high-quality paper from a reliable printing company with affordable printing prices for the highest return on investment.
Groundhog Day marketing is not about how to sell a specific type of product or service - it's about how to sell your products and services. Stay true to established and successful marketing tenets, and you're bound to have a profitable - if not early - spring this year.