Marketing – to theme or not to theme?

Does Themed Marketing Work

Can celebrating national events boost business through clever marketing?

With the extensive list of sports events and national celebrations in the UK this summer, it’s not surprising that the amount of marketing and advertising featuring associations to such events has grown significantly. Due to the global increase in marketing in general, and the constant development of new media on which to display it, the public are more discerning than ever about what they see, how they see it and how they let it affect their choices.

So do events such as the Diamond Jubilee, the Euros and the Olympics present a real opportunity for UK businesses to market themselves and generate a decent return on investment?

Jubilant Jubilee generates growth

In the case of the Jubilee we can safely assume that sales of red, white and blue bunting, sausage rolls and union jacks were on the up, but how did the Bank Holiday weekend affect UK business generally?

According to Sky the UK economy was boosted by £700m, and many businesses took advantage of the buoyant mood of consumers by producing one-off marketing pieces carefully planned and produced to persuade the jubilant public to buy their product or service.

For example some of our clients ran special offers to their customer database using jubilee-styled mailshots and website banners, whilst others offered free bunting or other celebratory gifts with orders over a certain amount, as well as other themed promotions. It was a similar tale for the Euros and Wimbledon, with savvy marketers taking advantage of a celebratory public perspective and using our design team to produce engaging promotional materials.

How can small businesses market themselves around the Olympics?

Figures have shown that by creating brand associations with national and international events (within legal guidelines) businesses can reap the rewards of increased sales. Not least the impression of British heritage in the case of the Jubilee, and of support for Team GB or England in the Olympics and Euros respectively, can sway customer loyalty for brands and have a massive effect on consumer choice.

At a time when the majority of people are looking to support the UK economy, and their local businesses in particular, it presents a great opportunity to market the message of patriotic purchasing and drive new sales whilst strengthening existing customer relationships.

Effectively such events act as free promotional tools, and creating unique and valuable campaigns around them is a great way to engage with customers through a shared passion, appealing to their emotional decision-making side.

Although the quantifiable impact of brand association with national events on individual businesses is difficult to determine, national results have shown that such a connection has a positive effect on customer loyalty and allegiance.

And let’s face it – in the larger context of the UK and European economies any boost to the nation’s spirits is good for business.

So what can your business do?

All this is great news but be warned – there are extensive restrictions on how official logos and brand associations can be used within marketing, advertising and promotions (especially in relation to the Olympics).

However there are loads of clever ways to get the same positive results without breaking the rules:

  • Join forces with complementary local businesses and host an event to celebrate. Get the local community involved and spread the word about your business.
  • Run a competition or promotion to raise awareness of your business, products or services. Ensure it is featured on a variety of social media platforms to maximise circulation of the information.
  • Use email marketing, direct mail and social media to spread news of any promotions or offers linked in to national events.
  • Give websites a temporary theme and create a fun environment for visitors. Create a game or fun zone that will get people talking and sharing.
  • Use clever copy-writing and imagery to hint at links to events without breaking the copyright rules and encroaching on sponsors rights.
  • Spread positive, enthusiastic and supportive messages for national teams or events through social media.

However UK businesses choose to get involved with this summer’s national and international events they must remember to have fun with it. Uplifting campaigns and positive messages have been proven to boost staff morale, which can also have an under-rated but beneficial effect on the performance of a business.

We can help

Our design and digital teams have worked on a large number of event-focused marketing campaigns for our clients, helping them produce highly targeted and novel mailers and e-newsletters etc… to drive sales during prime opportunities. We can help develop a whole campaign from initial concepts to final distribution, or simply create a themed web banner or graphic for you to use on your literature. Why not give us a call on 01606 882 999 and see how we can help you add value to your business through focused marketing.