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Consumer marketers, especially in retail, are quite versed in taking advantages of seasonal promotional opportunities. Many of these programs are advertising oriented. We have all received circulars for Valentine’s Day, Back to School, Christmas, etc.
On a judicious basis, business to business marketers can also consider seasonal opportunities as a way to extend publicity efforts.
The following example from when I worked at another agency might illustrate the possibilities.
EDS, an IT consulting firm, wanted "to keep our name out there" during the normally quiet business news period of the December holiday season. To meet this challenge, we took EDS' expertise in cyber security and built a publicity program about precautions shoppers should take to avoid identity theft when making online holiday purchases. The interest from the media far exceeded expectations, with coverage in all media forms: national and local broadcast, newspapers and consumer magazines.
Who would have thought that EDS, a company without one consumer product, would be featured in holiday stories!
Seasonal promotions are different than traditional B2B publicity efforts. The emphasis is no longer on "news," such as new product launches, executive promotions, or major contract announcements. Instead, a different point of view is needed.
1. As with all good publicity, the seasonal promotion needs to be relevant and appropriate. Here, however, relevance means relevant to a consumer, not a corporate buyer.
2. Again, as with all good publicity, the promotion needs to be timely. Timeliness is different for seasonal promotions as the lead times are much longer, sometimes up to six months.
3. The media targeted will be different not industry oriented, but consumer ones. A different pitch, of course, is needed.
4. The media have much broader audiences. The story needs be structured to appeal to many different market segments as possible.
While somewhat unusual, a seasonal story for a B2B company can help fill in non-traditional publicity times, as well as be fun to execute.