Contests, events and media feeds offer three stimulating methods of on-site marketing, with the goal of getting customers and prospects through your doors. Throwing a party or giving away discounts on the premises will entice customers to visit your business while injecting fun into your marketing.
Everyone loves to win something. Create a contest that attracts customers and prospects to your business in order to play.
In the spring or summer, for example, you could have an on-site golf game. Get everyone involved. Ask staff to dress up in golf gear. Decorate your store or lobby with golf tees and bags. Set up a putting green in your lobby along with three or four holes. Use felt for the green and sideways cups as the holes. Place discount numbers inside each cup, but not readily viewable by the customer. You may want to put the highest discount inside the cup that's hardest to reach. Give each customer a putter and a golf ball and give him a chance to "putt for your discount!"
This kind of contest encourages fun for everyone but also promotes products and your company. You could offer a 5 percent discount on any item in the store, or $10 off on particular items. You could also use corporate merchandise with a game like this. Instead of offering discounts, label the cups "T-shirt" or "Mouse Pad," for instance. Other contest theme ideas include holiday contests, pop culture contests, era contests and sports contests.
On-site parties and seminars help to attract customers and educate them about your business. Select some of your top customers, along with a wish list of prospects, and invite them to a business after-hours at your company. Promote the event as a great way to network and mingle. Provide plenty of brochures, flyers and other material to promote your company during the party. Invite employees to meet with customers, but steer clear of the hard sell. You can also send hand-written thank-you notes to the attendees a few days after the event to keep the communication channels open.
Many companies hold educational seminars as a way to promote their business. Invite a local expert to present material on topics that would interest your customers or target audience. For example, if you're marketing a bank, you could hold an educational seminar on first-time home buying. Open the seminar to the public so that prospects can attend. Offer mortgage information during the discussion and have a loan officer on hand to answer questions. This gives you another opportunity to make follow-up phone calls, so be sure you have a phone number, email and home address for each attendee.
Radio and Media Remotes
Promote your business live on radio or TV with a media remote. Invite local news media to your business to deliver the weather, for instance, or to broadcast during a charity event. Send press releases to the local TV and radio stations telling them why you're holding the event, in addition to when and where.
For example, to promote a bank, hold a shred day. On that day, offer to shred customers' (and usually the public's) sensitive documents. Invite the local media to cover it.
You could also have a live radio remote on-site during a special promotion. Invite local radio personalities to interact with your employees and customers in order to generate excitement and publicity.
Gina Ragusa has made a career out of writing for the past 15 years, with an emphasis on financial institution writing. Ragusa has written for Consumer Lending News, Deposit and Loan Growth Strategies and Community Bank President. She earned her Bachelor of Arts from Michigan State University.