Let’s talk about holidays…

And no, I’m not telling you to get ready for Christmas — even though we’re already in the downhill slide…

First, a bit of housekeeping.

Next week, I’m taking a “family week” to wrap up the summer.  That means that next Monday through Friday, there will be no new Breakthrough Marketing Secrets content.

Then I’ll be back in full swing on Monday, July 30th.

On to today’s topic…

Amazon’s “Prime Day” has me thinking about holidays — and marketing…

Now this is an interesting phenomenon.

There’s no holiday to it.  In fact, Amazon runs this sale as we approach “the dog days of summer” — where everybody notoriously slows down before ramping back up in the fall (think “back to school”).

They created this day out of whole cloth.

In 2014, there was no such thing as Prime Day.

In 2015, Amazon launched it as their internal “holiday” — and an excuse to run sales in the middle of July, in an attempt to get another one-day sales spike, similar to Black Friday.

Now, three years later, rumors are that they’ve beat their previous one-day sales record, yet again.

Not only that, others have joined the fray.  Target, as an example, ran a bunch of online sales to compete with Amazon.  And they saw their “biggest online sales day this year.”

Maybe you saw an uptick in online sales leading up to this past Monday?

This is an incredible case study in the power of creativity in marketing…

John E. Kennedy introduced us to the concept of “Reason Why” marketing.  That is, if you give your prospect a reason why they should do something, or believe something, they’re more likely to do or believe it.

So, for example, you make a promise, and you have to give a reason why you can fulfill it.

This is at the core of great copywriting.

Legend has it that John E. Kennedy was also the originator of defining advertising as “salesmanship in print,” the definition Claude Hopkins later made famous.

Well, holidays have traditionally been very effective as a “reason why” for running a sale.

Christmas shopping is the biggest shopping season of the year — because of the deadline and holiday of Christmas.

From that came Black Friday and Cyber Monday — two days at the beginning of the Christmas shopping season, dedicated to getting a jump on grabbing Christmas deals.

But that’s not the only ones.  Labor Day sales.  Memorial Day sales.  4th of July sales.  President’s Day sales.  And so on, and so on.

It’s kind of lazy, yes.  But it works.  So that’s why you see so many retailers offer some kind of exclusive deals around holidays.

It can also work if you use more obscure holidays…

Search Google for a holiday calendar, and you can find options as limited as a list of federal holidays, and as all-encompassing as calendars that reveal things like the fact that today, July 19th, is Get To Know Your Customers Day.  Oh yeah, and Tuesday was World Emoji Day.  Next Friday?  Talk In An Elevator Day.  I could go on…

But here’s where it gets really crazy — you can make up holidays.

July 15th is Prime Day.  A holiday created by Amazon.  Why?  Because they say so.

And now it’s even being adopted by internet retailers all over the place — in their quest to try to catch up.  (Hint: They will never overtake Amazon by celebrating Amazon holidays.)

Four years in, Amazon’s Prime Day has taken over July 15th.  Plus the week leading up to it, and now days after.

Talk about powerful…

But what about you — can you make up holidays?

After all, you’re not the world’s largest online retailer.  Even if you’re working for a pretty big-sized client, it’s unlikely that they’re Amazon.

And let’s be real — you probably won’t create your own Prime Day, where others in your industry are following you into it.

But you don’t have to.

It all comes back to the reason why.

If you have a good enough reason why to run a single sale or promotion around a specific day — a reason judged “good enough” by your customer’s gut reaction — you can have your own holiday.

Do you want to celebrate your birthday by running a sale?

Want to celebrate the International Day of Friendship on July 30th?

Do you have a valid reason that National Relaxation Day on August 15th calls for a sale for you?

Or do you want to make up a day that you can begin celebrating every year, to the advantage of your customers and clients?

If you abuse it, it won’t work as well.  If Amazon made the 15th of EVERY month Prime Day, it would quickly lose its effectiveness (in fact, they may train buyers to wait for the monthly deal, eating into their total sales).

But if you bring it out from time to time — and make it relevant and believable why you’ve chosen to celebrate that holiday (whatever it is, real or made up) — it can be an incredibly effective marketing tool.

Now I’m thinking about my birthday, coming at the end of September…

Yours for bigger breakthroughs,

Roy Furr