While the major supermarkets have already jumped the gun on chocolate eggs and Easter bunnies, Australian businesses are missing the up-coming opportunity the holiday season brings.
Traditionally, company owners have seen the Easter holiday as a disruption to business-as-usual and a time when decisions are delayed and projects are stalled. But some smart businesses are now seeing that there is a way to flip the script and take advantage of the lead up to the mental break in work activities.
Below are my top 3 marketing actions that you should be taking when heading towards Easter.
1. Build scarcity
The psychological principle of scarcity has been used for generations to sell more by creating fear of a limited supply. Because of the Easter public holidays, you’ll have the chance to create a limited supply of ‘time’. Particularly useful for service business, or those businesses that sell time.
By ensuring your customers know that there will be downtime across the holiday period you can build the opportunity for them to have projects completed before Easter as a psychological deadline. "Time is short―act now to have your project completed before the Easter break'. This is a great way of ramping up work prior to the break and if you can’t complete the work before the break you can negotiate for having projects to come back to upon your return.
2. Start new traditions
Mental deadlines or catalysts are a great opportunity to create an expectation. The expectation of cards at Christmas time means that our well-meant messages get lost amongst the clutter of all the other greetings leading up until the new year. Perhaps your business could be the one to start a new trend.
Swap your annual Christmas card mail-out for a Easter delivery and cut through the noise. Not many other businesses are giving cards at Easter. You could be the one to stand out from your competitors. Take this opportunity to think more creatively. What else could you do leading up to the Easter holiday that you could start an annual tradition?
You could possibly start something that your customers would come to expect and look forward to at this time of the year. Invite them to an annual Easter dinner, an Easter open day or send them a basket of branded Easter eggs. Almost everyone loves chocolate.
3. Create a seasonal campaign―any excuse
Any excuse for a party is a great excuse, so use the Easter holiday as the reason to celebrate. Create an easter specific offer or an Easter-themed promotion to catch the attention of your customers during this time. Make it fun, engaging and memorable and you’ll increase your campaign’s success.
Studies have shown that having a reason to contact a customer actually increases their likelyhood to receive your message and those same studies showed that the reason did not need to be relevant or even logical.
'I’ve been asked to call because Sally is away ill today', 'I’m sending you this letter because it’s 3 months since your last visit' or 'We’re launching this new product because it’s the boss’s birthday'. No matter the reason, having a reason increases the opportunity for a yes and an opportunity to create more sales. Time to create an EGG-stravaganza!
As I’ve said before, any excuse is a great excuse, and at this time of year, we’ve had Valentine’s Day, so Easter is the next big thing. Time to strap on the bunny ears, slip on the cottontail and cover yourself in chocolate. Easter is a great reason to touch base with your customers and build your pipeline of work at a time when traditionally, business is slow. Buck the trend and find an opportunity to increase your marketing touch points all year round.
By Russell Pearson, www.russellpearson.com.au