Over the past few days you probably have enjoyed Independence Day fireworks. Millions of Americans gather to watch and enjoy fireworks and celebrate. I have had the pleasure of being in some amazing places to watch fireworks including Washington DC, Boston, New York City and the United States Military Academy (West Point, New York). One year I was flying home from a trip on the 4th of July and could see dozens of shows take place at the same time. It was amazing to see so many shows taking place in small towns and cities across America from above.
Here are three quick marketing lessons we take away from these pyrotechnic displays:
Every fireworks show requires planning. Some of the more complex shows such as the ones done in Boston, Washington DC and New York require months of planning and preparation for shows that will last for the most part less than an hour. This is a significant investment in time, energy and money. From a marketing perspective, planning is critical for campaigns and ongoing efforts.
When seeking to grow business through marketing, planning is also an important part of the process. My mission continues to be to get small business people focused on their marketing and to have them create business and personal plans. A plan can be developed quickly but it should be done in a thoughtful way. The goal of marketing is to attract attention and the interest of prospects. An effective marketing campaign just like a well thought-out fireworks display will capture and keep attention. Prospects who are engaged will transition into clients and customers.
We have to remember that behind the beauty, fireworks are dangerous. Every year we hear about accidents. It is important that all safety protocols are followed and plans are in place to manage any potential accident or malfunction. In marketing we have to be prepared if something goes wrong. For example a pre-scheduled social media post that hits during a breaking news story about a tragedy can cause problems and certainly projects insensitivity. Crisis situations can happen for any number of reasons; some could be the fault of the business or employee or others come out of the blue. When time and effort are being invested in marketing it is important to take some additional time to discuss possible problems and devise strategies for working through them. On a larger scale, every business needs to have an emergency plan in place to communicate with customers, staff and vendors. From a public relations perspective procedures and policies need to be in place in order to manage the situation. Management and staff need to know who is permitted to speak with the media and how to respond to calls from the media. This is a blog that I wrote on the topic of emergency preparedness and communications for business. The inspiration behind this blog were the two hurricanes that hit Long two years in a row.
Creativity and Experiences
Why do we love fireworks? The loud explosions and the spectacular colors are part of the reason. The best shows are very creative and use all different kinds and sizes of fireworks. These displays are often masterfully choreographed with patriotic music. Boston’s fireworks are remarkable and when you watch them with the Boston Pops Orchestra playing along it creates a memorable experience. The patriotic exuberance can be felt among the crowd in Boston. I continue to this day to tell people about my experience in Boston over a 4th of July weekend because of the memorable experience. Below are some images of my Boston 4th of July visit. Creativity is more important today than ever before. With so much competition for time and attention, creativity the key to attracting and keeping audiences. Sales focused, boring content with no purpose or passion will be overlooked or forgotten.
Experiences are an important part of marketing and interacting with customers. Whether it is in a retail shop, on Facebook or at a trade show, the experiences you create with your audience allows them to get to know you (employees or staff), your product or services. It is through remarkable experiences and interactions that connections are made and memories created. Good experiences are remembered, but great experiences are talked about and shared. The same is true for negative experiences, except people are much more likely to share and comment to friends and online about bad experiences. If you’re disappointed by a fireworks show would you talk about it and would you think twice about going to that show next year? Everyone has choices and if you do not deliver exceptional customer experiences every time they will look elsewhere.
Planning, safety, creativity and offering memorable experiences are all important in business. Like a spectacular fireworks display we have the ability to wow our audiences, create memorable experiences and thrive. However, planning is critical for success and we must always be prepared to address challenges.