Most of us live our lives on a fairly regimented schedule – waking up at a certain time each weekday for work, getting the family together for dinner around the same time in the evening, trying to attend a workout class at a certain time on the weekends and preparing for upcoming holidays with planning travel, organizing gatherings and decorating with seasonal flair. Sometimes the same schedule we follow in our personal lives can translate into good business practices. Believe it or not, your personal event schedule can be applied to your cyclical marketing plan.
Most marketing plans are developed on a 12-month schedule. Having an organized plan deters last minute scrambling and panicking and promotes consistent traffic and opportunities. However, once that plan is in place, the individual tactics [including messaging and design] like ads, inserts, direct mailers and promotions need to be developed. Think about planning the themes for these initiatives around the usual calendar events – seasons, holidays, etc.
It’s easy to tie the theme of your ad, insert or direct mailer into an upcoming holiday. Let’s use Thanksgiving as an example. You might consider showing an image of a family around the dinner table and including a headline that touches on both the holiday and what the prospective patient might be missing; e.g. “What’s more memorable…the meal or time with the family?”
What’s powerful about this approach is that your audience is already in that ‘holiday’ mindset so your promotion will be relevant to their needs in that moment. And coupling that with the pain point of ‘missing out’ on family and friend interactions around the holidays is a poignant message.
This same approach can be used for patriotic holidays, changing of seasons and much more! Think about what your prospects will be focused on at a certain time of year. Then, tie your message into their organic thought process at that point in time.
Also, take your 12-month marketing plan one step further by developing a calendar of tactics and messaging focused on upcoming holidays and seasons. This will be the perfect combination of organization and subject matter for successful communication with your prospective patients!
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