One of the more highly promoted sales days is coming up, and we’re here to help you prepare for small business success. The first weekend in February will see two American football teams meeting on the gridiron in New Jersey to determine the world football championship. Millions watch the game and host a football party, and the commercials have become almost as discussed and dissected as the big game itself. But the sales revenue is not limited to those multi-million dollar commercials. Small businesses can one in the win column by preparing for game day!
Penalty Flags — Before you plan and advertise your promotion, you should be aware that it is illegal to say the words “super” and “bowl” together in an advertisement. Those two words along with “NFL” and “Super Sunday” are owned by the National Football League. They actually pay firms to keep a lookout for illegal uses of the terms, particularly during this time of the year. When I worked for a leading computer manufacturer, we said something about a “bowl that is super” in an ad and swiftly received a cease and desist order. In other words, they’re pretty picky and over protective of the phrase, so just get creative with how you refer to the championship pigskin game, avoid using those two words together, and you won’t have any game-losing errors.
Blocking and Tackling — Like the players on the field, the best way to ensure a win is to get the basics right: promotion, product, price and placement. Determine the best play by calculating your real gross profit margin. This will allow you to make your very best offer and still be profitable.
Fill Out Your Roster — Get everything in place to succeed. Are your products stocked at an adequate inventory level, and is enough staff scheduled to work the sale? Is all the right technology in place and working? If you’re selling a service as opposed to a product, do you have a plan in place to keep everything organized so services are scheduled in a way to complete them in a timely manner and not have anything fall between the cracks?
Call the Play — If you’ve covered all of the above, it’s time to advertise your super marketing promotion in all the right places. Getting the word out to your customers and prospects might require an email campaign, direct mail postcards, flyers, yard signs and in-store vinyl banners. Depending on your advertising budget, you might want to place newspaper, radio or TV advertisements. If you can, look back at previous promotions to see what works best for your market. If this kind of a promotion is a first for you, set goals and track the entire campaign so you have good data to use when developing the next big promotion.
Bring Home a Win — Coaches all across America, and the world, will tell you that it all comes down to the execution. Those hours of practice (in your case experience in your industry and preparation for this promotion), all come down to executing on the plan and keeping your head in the game. If you have a good product or service that people want, and you’ve come up with a good promotion that benefits both the customer and you, and you’ve gotten the word out, execution can be pretty easy. Just let your customers know your differentiators and sales will follow.
The Big Game Gamification — As an added bonus, here’s an idea to get you thinking. Have you heard of gamification? This refers to making customers’ interactions with your company pay off like it’s a game. Think rewards cards or loyalty cards. Every time a customer purchases from you, they get a new stamp on their loyalty card. Once they have the qualifying number of stamp marks, they earn themselves something: a free meal, a discount, whatever you want it to be. For the big game, another way to “gamify” your promotion might be to create a contest where people either “vote” for their favorite team or maybe predict the score. The winner then receives a coveted prize on top of the promotion you’re offering. And all of those who enter the contest, but don’t win, could be sent a follow-up campaign with an offer for a future purchase.
In a few days, 123Print.com will begin running a “Sitewide Super Sale,” and on January 29 we start our “Big Game Clickoff” Facebook contest. Feel free to cheer on your favorite team and see what you can win!
Do you have Big Game Day marketing plans for the first weekend in February? Have you run successful football Sunday promotions in the past? Our readers love to hear about small business successes. Share your ideas and wins by leaving a comment below, or write on our 123Print Facebook wall or Google+ page. You can always tweet us a comment or link, too, if you prefer.