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Why marketers need to give Hallmark holidays a rest

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Why marketers need to give Hallmark holidays a rest

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For those of us who have been targeted by recent gift guides, yes, I’m talking about ones for Mother’s Day. A day honouring mothers and their influence, which this year was held on Sunday 9th May here in Australia. While the international date differs country to country, it remains one of the most leveraged days for marketing campaigns. And rightly so, mothers – or more broadly speaking – women, drive 70-80 percent of all consumer purchasing.

Don’t get me wrong, I love a Hallmark holiday just like the next marketer. It’s a convenient way to get a gift guide feature, launch a promo, theme content, etc. 

Brands profit big time from all the momentum – some making the lion’s share from just a few key dates in the year. On a more personal note, as a mum I’m a sucker for any excuse to celebrate the people in my life and totally buy into the hype of Mother’s Day.

What I’m not a big fan of is marketing departments piggybacking these dates and using a majority of their resources all while neglecting their so-called VIPs for the remainder of the year. Sharing compelling stories shouldn’t be limited to just one date.

Teams are leaving big, fat, blank periods of the calendar open for opportunity while nosediving and competing for eyeballs on hyped up dates. If brands want to blow people’s minds with their marketing campaigns and truly disrupt the landscape, they need to realise that you don’t need to play by consumer expectations.

You can indeed celebrate your community on other days too. And that goes for all the other commercial holidays. Shocking, I know.

  1. Tell your story on your time. Rather than contributing to the noise on the day, marketers have 364 days of the year to plan and execute a well thought out strategy and stand on their own merit. Look at quieter periods to share your brand moments.
  2. Balance your marketing schedule with a series of campaigns. Extend beyond the typical greeting card holiday with mini activations across the year to test and learn what’s worked well and what hasn’t. It also allows you to easily adapt to rapidly changing trends, economical landscapes and consumer behaviours. 
  3. Be inclusive when strategising. Bring in talent during strategy development, not once a brief has been developed. You’ll be offered a diverse perspective outside of your usual team and an idea that closely aligns with the talent’s values. It’s a win-win.

So this Mother’s Day let me challenge you, how can you acknowledge women on the other days of the year?

Clarissa Harris is the managing director of True Tribe.

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