March – What a month …

By · Filed in Marketing - General

No not just because Wales staged a comeback of the century in the Six Nations – oh did I mention they won it! Not because St David’s Day falls on the 1st and most definitely not because of the weather (had to mention it, after all we are British) but because March presents us as business owners with opportunities to increase revenues.

If you missed out on using March to your advantage, all is not lost

March, the name comes from the Latin Martius and was named for Mars, the Roman god of war. Mars was also regarded as a guardian of agriculture. His month Martius was the beginning of the season for both farming and warfare. As late as 153 BC, Martius remained the first month of the Roman calendar and several religious observances in the first half of the month were originally new year’s celebrations.

But hang on a minute why does this make March a great month for us as business owners? Well quite simply because March is piled high with Events … and here are just a few:

  • St David’s Day (1st)
  • World Maths Day (second Wednesday in March)
  • International Women’s Day (8th)
  • St Patrick’s Day (17th)
  • World Water Day (22nd)
  • Mother’s Day (fourth Sunday in Lent)

If you’re looking for sporting events then:

  • Six Nations Rugby (of course! :-))
  • The Australian Grand Prix opens the Formula One season

In addition Easter may fall in March and March is of course the first month of Spring in the Northern Hemisphere.

Everyone one of these events gives us a good reason to :

  • be in touch with our customers, clients, patients and
  • promote a product or service to them and
  • offer a “special” promotion to them

Keeping in Touch + Promoting an Offer = More Sales = More Revenue (well if done properly)

Events offer us an ideal opportunity to hang our marketing campaigns around in a natural and mostly fun way that are eagerly welcomed by our clients and prospects.

What’s a Marketing Campaign?

A marketing campaign is a coordinated series of steps designed to promote a product or business.

If you haven’t got your marketing campaigns scheduled out for the rest of the year now is the time to get your Wall Planner out and schedule out some.

Get creative, you can use all kinds of events as drivers such as:

  • Business Related Events e.g. Seasonal, annual or legislative occurrences that affect your clients & your business including your business anniversary.
  • News Related Events e.g. adhoc news events especially ones that affect your local area
  • Local Events e.g. sporting, art or cultural events happening in your area
  • Client Specific Events – the most powerful events you can use e.g. birthdays, visit follow ups and anniversaries of doing business with you.

The benefit of using a date driven event is that it imposes a deadline to your marketing campaign, normally the event date itself.

For each campaign you want to give yourself enough time to plan, execute and follow-up. We recommend you give yourself 2 -4 weeks to plan and prepare the campaign, this includes preparing all the marketing collateral such as emails, website content, direct mail pieces and of course the offer itself. You may be planning on running additional marketing activities such as newspaper advertising so you need to factor this into your planning.

Don’t make this mistake

The biggest reason most business owners marketing fails is lack of follow-up. One email, one letter, one phone call is never going to get great results for most. You must plan on contacting people at least 3 times over the course of the campaign. You also want to consider using different media types e.g. emails, direct mail, phone. Vary it up and see what people repsond to.

You want to plan on distributing your marketing content over a period of 2 – 4 weeks. Allow yourself time to adjust your content based on the feedback you get.

Finally, schedule at least 1 week to wind down your campaign and get out some communication after the event. You can use this time to thank people, recognise participants, recognise winners if you ran an associated competition.  And of course, you will want to schedule time for measuring and analysing your results to create an even better campaign the next time.

The first quarter of 2013 is over – make the next 3 quarters count even more and get busy creating your campaigns.

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