I wish you a Happy US Thanksgiving.
More importantly, I hope your family and you are healthy and safe.
As my friend, JK Kalinowski’s dad optimistically responded to news that JK’s family wasn’t going to visit for Thanksgiving, “There’s no reason we can’t have Thanksgiving again in June.”
Because, as this year’s holiday season starts, COVID cases across the US keep hitting new highs.
Despite positive signs, like vaccines, front line doctors, nurses, and other medical and support personnel can’t continue to provide the necessary care the extreme and rising number of COVID infections require.
Since the on-going long hours result in physical and mental exhaustion, and/or they catch COVID themselves.
As a result, we have less trained personnel to care for increasing numbers of extremely ill and dying people. And hospital beds especially ICUs (aka: Intensive Care Units) to handle COVID patients are in short supply.
Contrary to what some people think, it’s no longer just old people. Now COVID spreads fastest among college students, Millennials and GenXers.
As new cases of and deaths due to COVID continue to rise across America, it’s EVERYONE’s responsibility to do as much as they can to reduce the spread of the coronavirus to flatten the curve of this next wave of illness.
Unlike people, the COVID virus doesn’t discriminate. COVID only cares about using your body as a host.
While I believe in the democratic rights of the individual, at a time like this, we must put the good of the community first. Now we live in a period where everyone around the world must put the needs of the community above their own needs and wants to save people’s health and lives.
So we must unite. And each one of us must take the necessary actions to combat this deadly virus every day until it loses its power to kill us.
Avoid mass events. This includes getting together with people beyond your nuclear family. So don’t go home for the holidays.
While Thanksgiving and Christmas are at the heart of many important family traditions, life is the most precious thing you have.
The most effective actions to flatten the curve include:
- Wear a mask. This is a HUMAN statement. It says you care about your family, friends and community. I wear a mask EVERY time I step out of my apartment.
- Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Do this multiple times per day and every time you enter your home. Also carry and use hand sanitizer when in public.
- While plastic gloves can protect you you must follow the proper protocol.
- Socially distance. Allow at least 6 feet between you and other people.
Actionable Life Lesson:
- Don’t grumble about missed holiday traditions! Instead, use these COVID constraints to create new ones.
I get that this may be hard to do and, even, depressing for you personally. While suicide rates don’t increase during the holidays, suicide is the 10th leading cause of death for Americans (CDC.) (BTW, if you or someone you knows feels suicidal, please contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-8255!)
If you’re honest with yourself, there is at least one element of Thanksgiving you don’t like. Or even, worse, that gets you upset. It can be getting stuck in traffic, your cranky uncle or other tradition that drives you crazy.
The good news is that this year, you’ve got a“Get-Out-of-Jail-Free card!” Hat tip: Parker Brother’s Monopoly game!
The reality is I’m not telling you this to make you feel better.
Rather I lived through this Thanksgiving challenge when my mother died.
That year, we spent Thanksgiving with a friend of mine and her 90+ year old mother. We went to the movies and then ordered Chinese take-out.
And it didn’t work for me.
Because for most of my life, my mother made Thanksgiving because she was the best cook!
When my parent’s health declined my husband and I cooked in my mother’s kitchen. Even though we used her recipes, my mom sat to keep an eagle eye on us to correct us if necessary.
The truth is that I never was a fan of Thanksgiving!
So I was surprised when I missed Thanksgiving after my mother’s death. Maybe it was an emotional hole in my heart.
In 2018, my husband and I borrowed a Thanksgiving tradition from our friends, Kevin and Theo, namely bucket list travel.
We flew to Europe on a super cheap Thanksgiving flight to visit Amsterdam, Haarlem, Paris, London and Brighton. We visited friends and took advantage of a strong US dollar to shop during Color Week.
On Thanksgiving, we attended an expat potluck party for Knit Night at Stephen & Penelope’s in Amsterdam. Unfortunately, rockstar knitter, Stephen West, didn’t make it due to a cornbread malfunction.
Last year, we took a month long Bucket List trip to Taiwan, Vietnam and Cambodia before COVID hit.
VietJet’s Marketing Lesson
On our short flight from Taipei to Hanoi on VietJet airlines, we got a lesson in marketing.
VietJet’s airfare looked low during the initial purchase step, they added charges for different services travelers assume are included, like luggage and food. As a result, the final cost was much higher. In addition, VietJet staff sold merchandise during the flight.
Actionable Marketing Tips:
- Take advantage of every element of your customer experience (aka: CX) to create profitable sales. This isn’t a new idea. Most airlines offer branded magazine content and catalogs.
- Use customer comments to endorse your product. VietJet included customer comments with old fashioned Polaroid style photos.
Phare Circus’s Marketing Lesson
In Siem Reap, we attended Phare Circus, the Cambodian version of the Cirque Du Soleil. It treated us to another lesson in marketing.
To enter the circus, you must walk through a MoMA quality design store showcasing the best of Cambodian gifts at premium prices.
Outside the store, Phare Circus offers a branded backdrop for selfies. So when you snap and share your photo on social media, you promote the circus.
Established in 2013, the Phare Circus trains young Cambodians in the performing arts. So it’s a not-for-profit (aka: NFP) organization.
After an amazing show, the director explained the show’s history and asked for donations. Then, the ensemble entered the circular performance to pose with the audience for photos.
Actionable Marketing Tips:
- Make it easy for people to create and share branded user-generated content (aka: UGC.)
- Use stories to involve your audience and get them to take action and buy.
2020 Thanksgiving bottomline:
Find new ways to experience the holidays this year.
While we’ve missed vacations and seeing family and friends in 2020, my husband and I take a long view of life. So we willingly make short-term compromises.
Actionable Life Tips:
- Take a long view of life. Learn how to make the most of your abilities since you’re only accountable to yourself.
- Start a journaling practice every morning. Write it by hand without thinking about what you put on the page. It improves your writing and your life. By dumping the toxic thoughts in your head, you’re more productive.
The reality is that changing Thanksgiving traditions isn’t a new idea for Americans! Presidents Abraham Lincoln and Franklin Roosevelt used the Thanksgiving holiday to accomplish political ends.
Since COVID is a once in a century event, you can create whatever new traditions you want and enjoy. It’s YOUR choice. #NoJudgment!
Just do it without extended family!
Thanksgiving History Marketing Lesson
The truth is many of our favorite holiday traditions were created by clever politicians and/or marketers!
The Dutch purchased Manhattan Island for about $24. While a statue at the southern end of Broadway marks the exchange, the Indians believed they were making a peace agreement with the Dutch. Because they didn’t believe in land ownership.
Actionable Marketing Tip:
- Understand the why, how and what of your story. (Hat tip: Simon Sinek) These facts about the Indians are beautifully told in The Island At The Center Of The World. This book tells the history of New York under the Dutch in the 1600s during a period of enlightenment. It reveals a world of change and transformation not dissimilar from our own. Now our world is increasingly powered by voice and AI technology.
Instead of Thanksgiving turkey the Pilgrims ate lobster and venison because that was what was available. Because Benjamin Franklin loved turkeys, Sarah Josepha Hale created these holiday traditions in Godey’s Lady’s’ Book, a top selling magazine in the US of the 1800s.
Actionable Content Marketing Tip:
- Provide “How To” content to help your audience to use your products. In addition to being a type of core content, the addition of recipes to product’s packaging is a tested way to distribute this content and sell more product.
So go back to Thanksgiving’s original meaning
Like the Pilgrims, this year’s Thanksgiving is a milestone of having survived a very difficult year.
What do you have to be thankful for and why?
- I’m thankful for my husband. He’s my rock and my best friend.
- I’m thankful for our health. Since I’ve seen up close how a change in your health can totally alter your life going forward.
- I’m thankful for our close friends and colleagues who are part of our “chosen” family.
Remember that each of us is born with our own set of personal strengths and challenges.
And the key to lifetime success is overcoming challenges that hold you back and/or make you feel bad.
So, breathe, regardless of your current situation, you can handle this!
Community Marketing Lesson
Figure out what your business can do to improve your community.
Because your employees and community expect you to provide the help they need!
Support Your Community Case Study
Toast provides software to restaurants. At the beginning of COVID, they shifted their offering to help restaurants to move from eat-in service to take-out service so these small businesses could survive.
To provide micro-loans to help small businesses cover their short-term bills, Toast created gift cards for restaurant patrons.
Toast ran “Rally for Restaurants” campaign to build visibility for their clients.
Actionable Marketing Tips:
- Figure out what your business can do. Even if you’ve no budget, you can offer your services for free. For example, Orbit Media Studios does this for Chicago Cause.
- Buy local. As Sydni Craig-Hart recommends, “Lead from where you sit.” Diversify your marketing budget.
Social Media Marketing Still Matters!
Want to improve your social media skills?
Because social media is here to stay and you must keep up-to-date with the latest changes.
To do this, you can still access Agorapulse’s Twitter Social Media Summit. It’s free for another 4 weeks so signup now to view the content.
Welcome new subscribers: Minerva, Ashley, Kc, Nicole, Beth, Lisa, Milan, Lara, Oduma, Mehad, Devita and Roger.
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FEATURED ARTICLE: Thanksgiving
It’s also a time to thank those who have supported your business. This includes: your buyers, employees and community.
Here’s a sampling of the Thanksgiving posts I’ve written and updated over the years:
- The Ultimate Guide To Celebrate Your Customers: 100 Ways To Thank Your Customers
- 31 Ways To Thank Your Customers
FEATURED ARTICLE: Content Marketing Pivot
Don’t worry we’ve got you covered with the research, data, examples and tactics you need to meet these evolving needs!
Includes charts and visuals to help you!
FEATURED ARTICLE: Seismic Content Marketing Shift
This article highlights the 3 major global changes that will have an impact on your marketing and your business more broadly now and in the future.
Based on research, it provides you with the data and case studies you need to make the case to your boss for your marketing’s future success.
(BTW, this was part of my 2019 Content Marketing World presentation.)
Heidi Cohen Around The Web
Heidi Cohen was named one of the Top 20 Content Marketing Influencers on Twitter by SEMrush in their 2020 State of Content Marketing.
Along with Content Marketing smarties Jay Acunzo and Jay Baer, Heidi Cohen was featured in Bannerstock’s 11 Marketers Reveal Their Best Tips on Being Creative and Productive During Winter. Hat tip: Amalia Pop
I love this line from Amalia’s article:
“The wintertime brings social jetlag, says chronobiologist Till Roenneberg.”
Welcome Mat Photo via Mabel Amber https://www.pexels.com/photo/jetty-feet-sign-wooden-128299/ cc zero
The fine print:
Unless noted otherwise, all photos are ©2020 by Heidi Cohen
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