Tag Archives: Marketing

Link Friday: The NFL Edition

Posted on Friday, September 7, 2012 by Alan

Are you ready for some football? We are. As the NFL season gets in gear, football fans are engaging with the game. Here’s how the NFL and marketing go hand-in-hand.

Go Pack go!

Christmas is Coming?

Posted on Monday, August 13, 2012 by Tyler

When it comes to marketing your business, spur-of-the-moment decisions should be a rarity. Planning ahead saves time, money, headaches and lost opportunities. Planning ahead also provides you with more choices and gives you far better bargaining power when buying ad space.

In marketing, on-the-fly decision making is the equivalent of playing defense—necessary at times, but what we really want to be doing is playing offense. Planning helps to overcome the human tendency to overemphasize the importance of what’s happening right now and allows us to focus on making decisions that can have the best possible effect on your bottom line.

So, how far ahead should you plan? In terms of your overall marketing strategy, every business, large or small, should also have a year-long marketing strategy. And in terms of ad placement, you should have your advertising schedule set up at least one season ahead.

That means as you’re reading this, your fall advertising should have been placed several weeks ago and ready to roll. And right now, you should now be lining up your pre-Christmas marketing schedule.

Many business owners like the freedom of marketing on-the-fly. The problem is that decisions made on-the-fly often diverge from the overall marketing strategy. And last-minute decisions are often not really decisions at all, but reactions. These reactions are greatly influenced by emotions, highly-pressured ad salespeople, last-minute advertising “bargains” and other inducements that don’t necessarily promote rationality.

If you’ve been in business more than a year, you know when your busiest seasons occur and what parts of the year will be slow. For example, for many retail businesses, summer is slow and Christmas is a blur of activity.

It just makes sense for a retailer to take advantage of the slower paces of the summer months to create the best pre-Christmas marketing plan possible. By the same token, a business owner might want to spend the doldrums of late-winter/early-spring designing ways to boost the traditionally slow summer months.

Living for today is a wonderful attitude to have in life. But, in business, proper planning is crucial. Not making your ad buys at least a season ahead is like cramming for a final exam—it rarely works in school and it really doesn’t work in marketing.

Look ahead. Have a strategy. Be proactive. They are simple things, but all involve action. And that’s the bottom line—take more action and spend less time reacting. Christmas is coming—don’t let it surprise you.

Link Friday: Back to School Edition

Posted on Friday, August 10, 2012 by Alan

It’s mid-August, and that means if you’re a parent, you’re being hassled about back-to-school shopping. According to the National Retail Foundation, the back-to-school sales period comes in as the second-highest sales event after holidays. So how does this affect the marketing industry?

  •  For marketers, that means it’s time to take advantage of families’ willingness to buy! Here’s how.
  • How early is too early to market to the back-to-school crowds? For incoming college freshmen, the conversation begins in March!
  • The market for school preparation is huge. Nearly $70 billion is spent each year. More stats here.
  • And for all the Moms and Dads out there, here are five ways to save on back-to-school shopping.

Good luck weathering the back-to-school madness!

Link Friday: The Innovation Edition

Posted on Friday, June 8, 2012 by Alan

This week’s Link Friday is focused on new innovations and how they are changing our lives, the marketing industry and the world.

That’s all for today from P&B HQ. Enjoy your weekend!

Link Friday: The Infographic Edition

Posted on Friday, May 25, 2012 by Alan

After the recent popularity of our infographic about Rhinelander’s famed Hodag, this week’s Link Friday will focus on how infographics have become a common and useful marketing tool.

That’s all from us. Have a good holiday weekend, everybody!

Link Friday: The Madison edition

Posted on Friday, April 27, 2012 by Alan

No, not the city (though we have to say, that’s pretty awesome, too).

This week’s Link Friday was assembled by P&B’s very own social media intern, Madison — and she found some great stuff for our readers today. To wit:

That’s all for us this week. Have a great weekend, everybody!

Link Friday: The Intern Edition

Posted on Friday, April 20, 2012 by Alan

I want to send a shout out to our interns today: Sam (web) and Lindsey (photo), who have been around for a few weeks, and Madison (social media), who started today.  We’re excited to have you all on board at P&BHQ.

(And I promise I’ll stop asking you all to go get me coffee.)

Anyway, here are a few links to share on this gloomy Friday afternoon in Wisconsin’s capital city:

That’s all for us. Have a good weekend, everybody!

Link Friday: The Why-Aren’t-You-Watching-College-Basketball? edition

Posted on Friday, March 16, 2012 by Alan

Well, you’re probably not watching college basketball because it’s like 75 degrees in March in Madison, which is just downright freaky.

So, I’ll keep Link Friday short and sweet today so you can get outside and enjoy the weather. Since this is Wisconsin, it just might snow next week.

On with the links…

That’s all for us. Stop reading! Get outside and enjoy the weather!

Winter Is Here—Now What?

Posted on Monday, January 9, 2012 by Tyler

In destination marketing, the term “shoulder season” stands for those times of the year when nobody seems to want to travel. Occupancy rates are down at lodging establishments, restaurants are below capacity, attendance at attractions is down and retailers see fewer customers walk through their doors.

In many places in the northern United States, winter is the shoulder season. In Wisconsin, the post holiday shopping phase of winter is the ultimate shoulder season. And springtime in Wisconsin, with its unpredictable weather, can also be excruciatingly slow for the state’s travel industry.

Shoulder seasons are a challenge. But as any business owner knows, the most constructive way to deal with a challenge is with thoughtful action. So, here are several tried-and-true methods for increasing business during Wisconsin’s often long, generally unpredictable winter travel shoulder season:

Create an event. Mid-winter festivals, open houses, trunk shows, live entertainment—nearly any out-of-the-ordinary happening can be used to drum up business during the long winter months. Though it’s hard to lure people out of their warm homes, there is such a thing as cabin fever. Give people exciting reasons to travel, promote it properly and you’re on your way to injecting some warmth into frozen winter sales numbers.

Target winter enthusiasts. Just who are these folks who love winter? Snowmobilers, cross-country skiers, snowshoers, ice anglers, geocachers and downhill skiers. Target these niche markets with products or services that are significant or timely to them and you might find a new area for sales growth during the winter. Targeting might be as simple as putting a sign outside your business that says, “Welcome Cross-Country Skiers.”

Be big and bold with your sales pitch. Winter is no time to be a shrinking violet. Use big signage and bold sales language. Big, Big, BIG and hot, hot, HOT is what we’re talking about. It takes a bit more muscle to move consumers during the mid-winter months.

Valentine’s Day and Saint Patrick’s Day. Face it—winter can be very long in Wisconsin. You need to use any excuse possible to create some excitement and interest. Mid-winter holidays like Valentine’s Day and St. Patrick’s Day—or any holiday, real or made up—can serve as the basis for some type of promotion.

Overnight packages. During late winter and early spring, travelers in Wisconsin tend to be short-term planners. Offering overnight packages or other special package deals can entice these last-minute trip takers.

Cross-promote and partner. Work with other businesses and local allies to help one another increase customers. Strategic partnerships between restaurants, lodging and retailers can help to boost everyone’s mid-winter sales numbers.

Thoughtful action is the only way to counteract the inevitable shoulder seasons that come around each year. Make plans this year to have your best winter ever.

Where do travelers spend their money?

Posted on Wednesday, November 9, 2011 by Tyler

Travelers spend approximately $12 billion each year in Wisconsin. More than half of these expenditures are spent on shopping and dining—over $7 billion.

According to the state’s most recent report on traveler spending, nearly $4 billion is spent on shopping and $3.4 billion on food each year. The next highest item on the traveler expenditure list is recreation at nearly $3 billion, which consists of an amalgam of items, from gambling and liquor to fishing licenses and event tickets. The remaining segment is lodging at $1.6 billion.

Despite those numbers, there is a lingering belief even within the industry that travel revenue goes to lodging and recreation-related businesses. The reality is that these are the two smallest pieces of the pie.

Although the majority of travel expenditures go to shopping and dining, they are not the reasons travelers give for selecting a travel destination. In a 2003 study, the Wisconsin Department of Tourism found that for people traveling to urban areas, shopping ranked fourth on the list of reasons why they traveled. Dining didn’t even make the top 10. When they looked at people headed to rural destinations, shopping was ranked seventh and dining ninth.

The top reasons people gave for choosing a destination were:

  • visiting friends
  • festivals
  • outdoor activities
  • scenery/natural beauty

People choose their destinations based on fun, recreation and socializing. It is the trails, available leisure activities, festivals and other recreational assets that help travelers make their decisions about traveling to a destination. But it appears that nearly all travelers, no matter their recreational interest, enjoy shopping and dining when on vacation.

When you consider how people live today, this makes sense. Shopping and dining are entertainment for many people. When people aren’t traveling, they spend much of their leisure time shopping and dining. There is a joke in Wisconsin that when people aren’t eating, they are busy talking about where they’re going to eat next. The same goes for shopping: think of how much of our conversation time and mental effort goes into deciding what to buy and where to buy it.

What does this all mean? For businesses—particularly restaurants and retailers—it means that you should be aware that a good number of your customers are probably people who have come to your area to visit friends, use the trails, enjoy the scenery and attend events. To better serve the needs of these customers, you might consider offering WiFi and visitor guides. Your staff should be ready to give basic driving directions and suggestions about places to visit in the area. Most importantly, know that visiting your dining or retail establishment is an extremely important part of their travel experience.