We’ve had a pretty rough winter so far all over the United States. Those who live in the Northeast know that within 24-hours of a big storm, store shelves are emptied of bread, milk and snacks. It’s a drill that people who reside elsewhere have learned over the past couple of months.
What sets it all off? Word of Mouth Marketing. It’s fueled first by a gaggle of meteorologists and weather presenters who warn ominously of impending white stuff for days in advance.
People talk…wonder if the forecast is accurate…and then they act. “Well shouldn’t be too busy at the store on the way home….”
Add in a dose of Facebook, Twitter, and other social media. Seeing the pictures from where a storm has already been increases the exodus. More people head to the stores.
Just hours before a storm was ready to hit, a national retailer sent me a personalized and targeted email. After chuckling over the “Stock up on the essentials” I noticed the email was framed by pictures of milk, water and diapers. When I clicked on a box marked “emergency checklist.” I was amazed.
It opened to a “must-have” list….featuring all you might need in a storm, both at home and outside. From food to paper plates…shovels to ice melt…first aid kits to flashlights and more. They hadn’t left out the most important items—all of which coincidentally could be found at their stores. Just print the list…or call it up on the smartphone and go shopping!
For those who might fear going out in winter weather the list ended by saying: “Your safety is important to us. Please drive carefully!”
The moment I finished reading it, I had to tell someone. I picked up my tablet and showed it to a co-worker. He wondered if they’d included a coupon to reduce the price of milk….
Two aspects of marketing worked together on this one: Targeted E-mail and Word-Of-Mouth marketing. Neither takes extra money from the ad budget.
Why not try it? Start with the e-mails. Focus on something that people are thinking about. When they tie-in with Word-Of-Mouth you’ve got a one-two punch.
Maybe there’s a storm coming your way. Send an e-mail a day in advance reminding people of your mobile apps, internet or telephone access…and any other products that allow banking from the comfort of home. Don’t forget to follow up with Twitter and Facebook too. And keep your website current with information on during the bad weather.
You stand to gain business and a lot of good will. It shows you care for those you serve on the sunniest of days as well. Best of all, you don’t have to go outdoors and face the storm to accomplish it.
Written by: Tom Picciano, YMC Copywriter