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Saturday, October 17, 2009

Pumpkin marketing

Michael Stone, I believe, hits a marketing home run with this suggestion in his recent Markup and Profit Blog posting:

If you ever read the Peanuts comic strip, you’ll remember Charlie Brown and the Great Pumpkin. The Great Pumpkin appears on Halloween and does something (I can’t remember what).

Here is my take on pumpkins and your business. Many of us have small farms nearby selling pumpkins. How about offering the owner a lump sum for 100 – 150 – 200 pumpkins? You figure out what it’s worth and make an offer.

Then send a note to all former and future potential customers telling them they can take their kids or grandkids to the farm, using the coupon you are giving them, and get a free pumpkin. Maybe schedule it for one or two specific days only so you can be there to personally greet each family. In a few special situations, like military families where dad or mom are away serving our country, make sure everyone in the family gets a pumpkin even if you have to buy a few extra. (Don’t do that for business purposes – do it because it’s the right thing to do.)

When you send the note, thank each family for their past business and extend the assurance you will do a great job in the future. Ask if they know anyone who wants to do work on their home or building. Referrals are great things. One new job and you have paid for this whole program, and it’s fun as well.

Might be worth a try. Okay, it’s getting close to Halloween and you’ll have to really move to get it done before the holiday, but is there any special event in your area for Thanksgiving or Christmas? Maybe arrange for a discount on tickets to a show, or a tree lighting event, or for Christmas trees, or holiday candy somewhere, or a free ornament at a local bazaar, or . . . . get the idea?

Little gestures can go a long way -- and don't cost much money. The good will (and resulting repeat and referral) business generated this way will pay off far more than a Yellow Pages ad or invasive and irritating canvassing strategies.

1 comment:

Daniel Smith said...

Actually, there is a realtor here in Ottawa named Liam Swords who gives pumpkins out to anyone in the general public, I've heard his ads on the radio these past weeks and they stood out to me. I wonder how it's working for him...