If You’re Going to Do it, Do it Right
If your organization is regularly using what I like to call “Observance Marketing” to promote its brand, then make sure you’re doing it right. There’s a whole host of industry-specific days, weeks and months to observe and celebrate. For instance, while one of April’s national observances is alcohol awareness, May celebrates nurses and skin cancer prevention. June? That’s set aside to promote safety in general. And these observances are only related to healthcare!
The Devil is in the Details
If talking about observances is something your company wants to push, ensure that it isn’t a last-minute effort. Surprisingly, this is so often what happens.
Without reservation I can tell you that if your company’s approach to its branding is this blasé, then you should strongly reconsider promoting observance days. In fact, being known for last-minute Observance Marketing can backfire (see bullets 1 and 5 below).
Without reservation I can tell you that if your company’s approach to its branding is this blasé, then you should strongly reconsider promoting observance days.
For those marketing-forward companies that are serious about their brands, they are also serious about developing a year-long Observance Marketing communications plan.
Five Simple Rules for Observance Marketing
Treat your Observance Marketing as seriously as you would any marketing program. To that end, develop a plan that includes:
A list of each observance you’ll be promoting. It takes thought and time to identify the observances that closely align with your company’s mission. Adding new observances on the fly will lead to brand confusion. As a result, your audience might wonder what, in fact, you really do stand for.
The channels you’ll use to cross-market each observance. Social media is obvious when it comes to these promotions. Equally important to owning this space is mentioning it in internal and external newsletters, emails, online and retail digital ads, and on your website. This lets your audience know you mean business when it comes to your chosen observances.
The dates content for each channel are due. To develop this timeline, back out the due dates to give your team or external contractor (contact me if you need help) enough time to craft the content and design the ads. This means including enough time to review and approve the pieces as well.
The dates content for each channel will go live. There’s writing and designing the pieces, and there’s making the pieces go live. Both take time, and need to be firmly identified in your plan to ensure a seamless launch.
Internal communications. So often forgotten are the people on the front lines, who need to know in advance when important events and communications occur. It’s all about perception, and it looks bad when the interface and voice of your organization doesn’t know what’s going on.
If there’s a solid way to monetize Observance Marketing, then do it! Just be smart about it. Approach it in the same fashion as you do a product launch, an annual event or any other marketing project.
About Jill Collins
Jill Collins at j.comm marketing is a marketing and communications professional who specializes in breathing new life into brands. She is a proven and trusted partner when it comes to understanding an organization and its culture. Her talent lies in marrying a client’s wants and needs with logistics. Give Jill a shot. She won’t let you down.