Brands should make marketing a year-round affair
Today is (statistically-speaking) supposed to be the most miserable day of the year for us Brits. Every year on this day, newspapers are filled with features on ‘Blue Monday’. Then inevitably, brands hop on the bandwagon; offering special deals, discounts or freebies to help us get through the day.
However what isn’t made clear each year is that the day and its name were actually coined by Sky Travel over seven years ago as part of a wider marketing campaign designed to get Britons booking their summer holidays as early as possible. What’s more, the science behind the ‘equation’ used to come to this conclusion has been widely quashed – as has its creator, Dr Cliff Arnall.
Putting the bogus nature of the day (which Dr Arnall himself even admitted to) aside, why do brands save their special marketing efforts for designated days like this?
Capitalising on the big day
Brands like Starbucks, Halifax and Innocent have all done something special to bounce off the back of Blue Monday – and January in general, which is often referred to as an especially depressing month in Britain. This will likely result in their sales and engagement numbers soaring during the days before and after Blue Monday; perhaps even throughout the remainder of January. However what of the months following?
Instead, marketers need to be thinking about the long-term and the follow-ups to event-driven campaigns. Why reserve freebies just for these big days? Often, people are at work anyway and can’t get out of the office to take advantage of these or any related discounts.
No-one is saying that you shouldn’t be using these big days to get some more interest in your brand – you should – it’s just that the same investment should be made all year round.
Do something unexpected
Brands, listen up. Firstly, you should be putting as much effort into your marketing on a random Wednesday in June as you are on February 14th. Although you will likely reap great engagement from a one-off drive, the important thing is to keep these levels up and make them deliver a return – be it a conversion or even just opening up the conversation ahead of a sale. Just think of it as giving your new prospects a long, snuggly cuddle instead of a short, not-really-fussed hug.
Secondly, step away from following the crowd and do something unexpected. Instead of focusing on a big Valentine’s Day drive, why not launch a ‘just because it’s March/Thursday/the weekend’ campaign instead? This will provide something a little different from the norm for your prospects and help you stand out from your competitors.
Lastly, do remember to follow up on any big day-driven campaigns. If you’ve created something great off the back of Blue Monday, then do something equally brilliant four weeks later. Grab some quotes from your prospects on how your freebies or deals helped them break the monotony of January, or launch a special hashtag in February along the lines of ‘#HowIBeatBlueMonday’, inviting your audience to complete the statement and RT.