With the holiday season coming up next week, I thought this might be a good time to discuss how to market in the holiday season.
I mentioned last week that I don’t see as many holiday show ads in the newspaper. While I agree that print should not be your number one media expenditure I do think it has a place this time of year. Consumers are looking now for holiday gift ideas. If you are going to run print or any form of media this time of the year why not put a tag line in that says “makes a great holiday gift” or something like that. Now you might be saying “duh, this is a no brainer tell us something we don’t know”. Yet, as I scan through the morning newspapers I see ads for all kinds of shows and most don’t say that. For example there is an ad for Stars On Ice in today’s Boston Globe. The show is coming to the TD Banknorth Garden April 5th. The show went on sale today. If you are running an ad today (November 21st) for an April show, would it be so wrong to have a tag in the ad say “Start your holiday shopping here”? I bet there are lots of skating fans that would like to have tickets for the show sitting in the stocking Christmas morning. With all the choices out there for holiday spending, you need to remind people tickets make great gifts.
In the same newspaper section was a full page tab ad for The Hanover Theatre. I am giving them a shout out because I have been impressed with their marketing campaign over the past few months. They are a Worcester, MA theater that has decided to market like a big Boston venue. In today’s ad they have several upcoming shows listed from now through June. They did use the holiday period to their advantage. The tag line in their ad reads: “Give the gift of entertainment. Start your holiday shopping at The Hanover Theatre”. Perfect! They are even promoting a “holiday open house” the day after Thanksgiving (Black Friday). At the open house they are going to sell gift certificates and have a one-day 10% off sale on all shows. They are making an event out of it. Santa is even making an appearance. They are using the holiday to work for them.
If you have a live event during the holiday time period, don’t fight it. Make it work to your advantage. Several years ago I had the privilege of promoting Disney On Ice in Toronto. The show opened at SkyDome the day after Christmas. In Canada, they celebrate Boxing Day (day after Christmas). This has turned into the biggest shopping day of the year for Canadians. The first time we put the show on sale in Toronto, we didn’t know what to expect from Boxing Day. Would they buy for that day? Not only did they buy, but we sold out two performances for that day. Besides, shopping this is the big day to get out of the house and do things. We did a big campaign around buying tickets for the holidays and it paid off. We became a holiday tradition that first year. You can make your events a holiday tradition if you market to the holiday and not against it. One word of advice, don’t try to run a performance on Thanksgiving or Christmas. I was involved once and it failed in a big way!
If I was sports team, I would use this time of the year to push ticket packages. Besides season ticket packages, teams have all kinds of packages to fit different budgets. This would be a great time to work those deals. If you are a team that is currently in season, the holidays should be part of the current campaign. If you are in your off season, this is a great way to keep your ticket sales office busy. Even in this bad economy, this is the time of the year that people will spend discretionary dollars on gifts. Do you want them to spend it on sweaters or on your products?
Have a great weekend!