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Memorial Day, otherwise known as the unofficial start of summer, is a day of reflection, remembrance, gratitude and reinvigoration. It's a time when eager customers look forward to enjoying longer days, warmer temperatures, and fun with friends and family. It's also a great time to break out of your marketing mold and try something unique and cool. If you're ready to make a splash, try one of these off-the-wall Memorial Day marketing strategies - each practically guaranteed to earn plenty of free press and word-of-mouth advertising.
Customers come out in droves over Memorial Day weekend, so what better way to kick off summer than with a fun contest? The key to holding a successful contest that earns sales for you is to make it relevant to your business. Thus, if you operate a grocery store then a hot dog eating contest might be right up your alley. If you run a hardware store, try a lawnmower demolition derby. If you're in the web services industry, hold a computer hacking contest or best web design contest. If you're in hospitality and run a hotel, hold a pool volleyball contest. As long as your contest is fun and engaging to your target audience, you can drum up plenty of business (don't forget to hand out brochures and coupons or to collect names and other demographic data!).
Placing flowers on the memorials of service veterans is a Memorial Day tradition. In many communities local groups such as the Boy Scouts ensure that each veteran has a flower or flag. If your community does not already have a designated group to do this, you can take charge of this yourself. Recruit like-minded volunteers and work with the media to get the word out so relatives can request that their veterans' memorials receive a flag or flower. Your altruistic maneuver will help establish your brand name and win the hearts of your community - plus you'll enjoy the benefit of free press.
Cookouts are another Memorial Day tradition, but not everyone has a cookout to attend over this weekend of celebration. You can host a community cookout complete with grilled food, family games and other activities. Do it right, and you can create an annual event that brings hundreds or even thousands of attendees out. One idea is to have a family Olympics in which families compete against each other in games such as tug of war, sack races, trivia and other activities. The winner, of course, gets a prize relevant to your business.
If you're going to try one of these awesome Memorial Day publicity stunts, don't forget to have plenty of marketing materials on-hand or to collect important information from attendees. Moreover, remember that not only will you have to market your product or service at the event - you'll have to market the event itself. You can do this through media, brochures, postcards, posters and other print marketing materials delivered to your target audience.