Today is Thanksgiving, and it’s one of my favorite holidays – not because of family, food or shopping on Black Friday, but because it always reminds me of how much is necessary to make the experience amazing and how closely this aligns with getting your marketing to generate leads.
Marketers can draw inspiration from the Thanksgiving tradition to create campaigns that leave a lasting impression. Much like the art of preparing a delicious Thanksgiving meal, successful marketing involves a careful blend of ingredients, a dash of creativity and a pinch of strategic planning.
In this article, we’ll explore the parallels between a well-executed marketing strategy and a bountiful Thanksgiving feast.
Creating an amazing Thanksgiving experience requires a ton of planning, and some people start working on this days in advance. It’s just like the complexity associated with spinning up marketing that generates leads and helps your company grow.
Let’s look at this in more detail.
Just as a chef meticulously plans a Thanksgiving menu, marketers must start with a well-thought-out strategy. Define your goals, identify your target audience, create detailed persona profiles, agree on investment criteria, build your Big Story, select the right tactics, design the campaigns, leverage technology and hit the go button.
Similar to balancing flavors in a meal, a marketing strategy should balance various elements to create a harmonious experience. Unfortunately, so many companies skip this step and jump right to the tactics. Without the strategy, the tactics almost always underperform.
Finally, a couple of other items should be part of your planning exercises. To design a marketing and sales execution strategy that turns visitors into leads, sales opportunities and new customers, you’ll need the following items:
The turkey is the centerpiece of any Thanksgiving feast, and similarly, your website should take center stage in your marketing efforts. Make it the highlight, showcasing your company and what makes it remarkable.
Just like the turkey is the focal point of your meal, your website is the focal point of your marketing efforts. Almost all your marketing campaign efforts should be directing people to your website for more information and to convert them from anonymous visitors into identified leads.
Your turkey has to look amazing, and so does your website. People eat with their eyes, and your prospects are deciding if they want to stick around and learn more based on how they initially feel when they land on your site.
Then, of course, the turkey has to taste amazing. This means your website needs great educational content and an amazing experience. If you can deliver this, you should have people coming back again and again to get more, just like when people ask for seconds because they love the food.
A Thanksgiving meal isn’t complete without delicious sides and accompaniments. In marketing, these are your supporting educational content. Whether it’s informative blog posts, engaging social media content or entertaining videos, these elements complement your prospects’ experiences and help them feel safe.
This content is your opportunity to go deep into your thought leadership, your perspective and your opinion. The more disruptive, the more engaging the content. It has to make a point and take a stand. It needs to be bold and compelling. It must compel your prospects to want to act.
Your content has to be created in a way that allows your prospects to easily consume it, remember it and want to come back for more.
Finally, it has to be deployed properly. It has to be placed on the right pages of your website. It needs to be used properly in lead nurturing, in email campaigns, on social media and in the sales process.
If you waited to serve your sides until right after dessert, people would be surprised and maybe even a little upset. Don’t make the same mistake with your content. Know when you need which pieces and deploy them correctly.
This is also why having your buyer journey mapped and documented is so important. As you create this buyer journey map, you’ll also see the questions prospects are asking, and your content must be designed to answer them.
This is the secret to content that drives leads and new customers.
Just as a beautifully presented Thanksgiving table adds to the overall experience, effective design and branding enhance the visual appeal of your marketing materials. Invest in a cohesive and attractive visual identity that resonates with your audience, creating a memorable and aesthetically pleasing experience.
Thanksgiving is a time for family and community, and similarly, marketing success relies on building strong relationships with your audience. Engage with your customers on social media, respond to their feedback and create a sense of community around your brand. Just as sharing a meal fosters connection, fostering a sense of community builds brand loyalty.
Many of the smartest marketers know that creating a community is one of the secrets to generating leads today. At Square 2, we have a community of people who are interested in eliminating hit-or-miss marketing. These people get a weekly email that helps them take a more strategic approach to their marketing execution.
Offering prospects the chance to be part of a community where they’ll get real value is a much better approach than asking them to sign up for a demo, sales meeting or free consultation. Instead of asking them to give you their time – time that you’ll likely use to try and sell them something – you are offering them an opportunity to get smarter. Which would you prefer?
Thanksgiving is a time to express gratitude, and the same goes for your customers. It’s important to recognize that you have to turn your customers into advocates – people who publicly supports or recommend a product, service or idea.
Advocates work to promote, defend or argue for something or someone. They may speak on behalf of a group, lobby for a particular issue or actively support a specific viewpoint. In short, they are outwardly vocal because they are passionate.
You want your customers to be advocates for your company and its products or services. You want them to tell everyone why they should purchase from you.
There are several ways to get this activation started, but acknowledging the role your customers play in your success makes them feel valued. Giving them a platform to advocate for you and encouraging them to tell their story also contributes to this idea of activation.
But the real secret here is giving them such a remarkable experience that they feel passionate about telling everyone.
This can also be done regarding your sales process. If your sales process is remarkable, new customers will encourage others to reach out to you so that they can have a similar experience.
This should be part of your marketing execution, just like showing appreciation is part of your Thanksgiving meal.
After Thanksgiving, leftovers are repurposed into creative new dishes. Similarly, recycle and repurpose your successful marketing content. Turn popular blog posts into podcasts, transform webinar content into infographics and leverage the value of your existing materials to extend their reach.
One of the best ways to double down on your content is to make sure that the sales team is also using marketing content that you’re creating.
Not everyone is going to download all the content offered on your website, so the sales reps can and should help prospects by offering them content in context to the conversations they’re having with them.
The other way is to blend various media types across content offerings. For example, you record a video, turn it into a podcast, transcribe it into a blog article, cut snippets from it to post on social media and promote the content (in its various formats) in your email campaigns and on your website.
Now you’re leveraging one piece of content across multiple platforms and creating content in a highly efficient and scalable manner. This is what content marketing looks like in 2024.
As you sit down to enjoy your Thanksgiving feast, consider the lessons it holds for creating a successful marketing strategy. From careful planning to the artful presentation and the importance of building meaningful relationships, the parallels between a delectable Thanksgiving meal and a well-executed marketing campaign are undeniable.
By incorporating these principles, marketers can create campaigns that leave their audience not only satisfied but eagerly anticipating the next serving.