Welcome to sum-, sum-, Summertime!
As summer arrived, the marketing gods dished up a treasure trove of real life lessons.
NYC Votes: Marketing Goes Political
Today is Primary Election Day in New York City where we’re electing the candidates for mayor and other city offices. If you haven’t voted early or by mail, today’s the day to go to your assigned voting location in-person across the 5 boroughs.
Before you think that this is an easy task, realize that voters have the choice of 15 candidates, 13 Democrats and 2 Republicans.
In this election, the city is testing ranked voting. Registered Democrats get to vote for their top 5 choices and then the votes get redistributed based on which candidates got the most votes.
Like a good corporate marketer, the Board of Elections sent multiple flyers explaining the process and the look of the ballots.
Also many not-for-profit organizations concerned about voting provided education to guide voters through the new ballots. It’s the local government equivalent of influencer marketing since these groups want to sway their audiences’ choices.
To guide voters through the process, the Board of Elections trained citizens to help at each step. From a marketing perspective, this is the equivalent of onboarding customers. They knew what to do and made the process easy.
But, as any good marketer will tell you, you can’t give people too many choices or they don’t know what to do.
And that’s what’s happened in this case.
As a registered voter, it was my legal responsibility and right as a US citizen to vote in this election.
But watching the many candidates “debate” on television didn’t help my decision. On stage, they all held on to their podiums for dear life. Each was coached on several hot button issues. Yet they blurred together as each spent precious time attacking the last person to speak.
Now think about your customers and employees faced with the non-stop messaging bombarding them.
“What does this mean for my business’s ability to grab attention for my marketing message?”
If it does get through, will it sway potential buyers to action or will it extend the decision process?
Actionable Marketing Lesson
- Limit the options for your customer. The “Don’t Make Me Think” urge is strong, especially given the amount of information around them. It’ll save your customer time and shorten the buying process.
Prime Day: How Amazon Wins Big
Historically retail sales slump during the summer after the power of July Fourth promotions. To counter this, Amazon created its own shopping holiday with deep discounts to encourage even the most tight-fisted buyer to part with their hard earned cash.
Amazon brilliantly created a major “Christmas in July” sale with their original Prime Day to celebrate their 15th Anniversary on July 15, 2015. Prime Day now extends over multiple days and continues to break previous records.
In 2020, when people were already flocking to Amazon and its related shopping options such as Whole Foods on a regular basis, there was no need to hold their annual July 15th, Prime Day Sale. So they quietly postponed Prime Day until October.
At first glance, it may have appeared to be an unusual move. Instead it generated early Christmas shopping. During the sale Amazon reduced the prices on its own products that provided on-ramps to their other business lines. This included Amazon Prime membership, Alexa voice-first devices, Prime TV, Kindle and others.
This year, even though people are starting to go back to retail stores, Amazon moved their Prime Day Sale again to June 21st and 22nd, timing it to beat the Summer travel surge and July 4th sales.
What does this mean for your marketing?
Amazon may be building an iron grip on your prospect.
This translates to problems getting your marketing to be seen and heard because Amazon owns the customer experience. BTW, Amazon is the #3 digital advertising platform after Google and Facebook.
Over 30% of Prime Members buy at least once a week from Amazon!
Holidays and History Change: Juneteenth
If you’re like me, you studied history when you were in school. While I was taught how to use a library (in the pre-Internet days) and do my own research, my teachers instilled in me the sense that history happened in the past and never changed. As I’ve learned over time, this isn’t always true.
Because history depends on the person who owns the facts and the story they use to make them memorable, who the story was written for, and who was in charge of the content creation process or is paying for it.
As marketers, we need to be vigilant and to check our facts to ensure that our content is trustworthy.
The history lesson we learned this week was about Juneteenth, our brand-spanking new national holiday. It was signed into law by President Biden on Friday, June 18, 2021. It recognizes that slavery didn’t end with the Emancipation Proclamation as many historians previously claimed.
At the end of the Civil War slave owners left the south and headed west to Texas where they could keep their slaves enslaved. At least until Union General Gordon Granger issued General Order No. 3 on June 19, 1865, almost 2 years after the original proclamation and the formal end to the War.
Regardless of your views about this holiday or your political perspective, Juneteenth holds key lessons for marketers and your legacy.
The most important marketing lesson:
Even with the best digital tools, allow enough time to plan your promotions because timing is the most important factor marketing success. For example, the US Postal Service found it impossible to stop service due to the lack of adequate notice.
Actionable Marketing Lessons:
- Consider how your existing and potential customers view your business over time.
- Fact check your content. Content marketing isn’t an excuse for just throwing information against the screen. I’m amazed at how much content online, even articles surfaced in Google searches lack facts, have sorely out of date information or rely on questionable research. It’s another case where your audience can’t be sure of what to believe.
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Featured Article: Summer Content Marketing Tips
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