It's my favorite time of year! The leaves have turned, there is a fresh chill in the air, and there are holidays to celebrate every few weeks until we ring in the New Year. Of those holidays, Thanksgiving is my absolute favorite for many reasons. I love a good excuse to cook seasonal dishes, I'm a sucker for the traditional food of this holiday, and I enjoy seeing loved ones whom I haven't seen in a while. The list goes on—but, wait, isn't this is an Internet marketing blog?
At this point you might be wondering how Thanksgiving recipes relate to Internet marketing. Well, my marketing friends, there is much to be observed, learned, and applied from Thanksgiving traditions. The same steps involved in putting together a memorable Thanksgiving feast are also beneficial in crafting a successful Internet marketing plan. With that being said, below is my Thanksgiving inspired 6-point marketing "reci-P."
Preparation is a must! You can't pull off a holiday dinner without adequately preparing for the big day. Preparation sometimes starts weeks, or even months, ahead of time. The best Thanksgiving meals are never thrown together at the last minute! Similarly, thinking ahead in preparing your marketing plan will show through in your final product.
Poultry is kind of the point. Thanksgiving is called "Turkey Day" for a reason: turkey meat is traditionally the main dish. Though the turkey can't stand alone and tastes best with its complimentary side dishes, it is the main course and Thanksgiving wouldn't be the same without it (at least for my family!). In relation to marketing, consider the "meat" of your message and plan the "side dishes" accordingly. It's the main message that is the most important. Everything else should complement or support that marketing claim.
Presentation is everything. Food is more appealing when it's presented in a beautiful and practical manner. You wouldn't waste your investment of time and money by serving your meal on dishes that don't cater to your party mood or on no dishes at all. Just look at all of the Pinterest boards that exist to inspire Thanksgiving enthusiasts as they decorate their tables and plan their dinner presentation. Taking pride in showing off your well thought out meal (and in creating the perfect atmosphere for your holiday dinner!) is just like creating a website or marketing ad that represents your business well. It's about having a campaign that's aesthetically pleasing, technologically advanced, user friendly, and purposefully executed.
Pace your consumption. Remember to pace yourself as you consume the deliciousness that is Thanksgiving dinner. It's easy to let your eyes be bigger than your stomach—but there's dessert to consider later! It's okay to consider portion size and how stuffed you'll feel later if you don't take it easy at the beginning of the meal. We all know eating too much, too fast does not end well. It's the same with marketing, both from your perspective and the perspective of your potential customers. For example, if you have a website, you should avoid bombarding the visitor with everything they should know about you at the very top of your site. Instead, "pace" your presentation of information and force the visitor to consume that information in a slow and enjoyable manner.
Plan on having dessert. Speaking of pacing yourself during the meal, by all means leave room for pie! Pumpkin pie is my favorite Turkey Day dessert, and I would eat it all year round if I could. Dessert tends to come at the end of the meal as everyone is settling down from the marathon of consuming the best meal of the year. Some people opt out of desert, but I would encourage everyone to take advantage of it because it's one of the best perks of the entire holiday season. Again, don't forget the "desserts" of marketing, which are the sweet results of your well planned campaign efforts. These results should be seen in the analytics of your campaign and in the increase of conversions from your site.
People matter most. This is the final point for a reason because people really do matter most. The holidays shouldn't be solely focused on the food we'll consume or the party vibes we'll create, but on the people who will be attending our events. Thanksgiving in particular is a holiday that creates a space for expressing emotions of gratitude that may not be expressed as often throughout the year. All other points above center around the people you're hosting, as should your Internet marketing campaign. The people who matter most to your business should be your potential customers. If you're not considering their preferences and expectations as you prepare your marketing plan, you're missing the point. If you plan it well, your campaign can also create a place to cater to the emotions of your target audience.
Of course, this is just my take on how Thanksgiving and Internet marketing collide. The possibilities are truly endless and no campaign looks the same—just as not every Thanksgiving looks the same. For example, your family might eat chicken instead of turkey. Whatever your holiday traditions may be, think about how they relate to marketing and find what works best for your business. And happy holidays!