When it comes to getting the right gift for my dad, I often stink on ice.
He’s picky. And it’s tough to keep up with the various stores and restaurants him and his wife boycott…
For Christmas in 2017, I added a gift card to Steak ‘n Shake. I knew he and his wife visited the burger chain quite frequently.
A month later, they sent it back. The only Steak ‘n Shake near them had gone downhill and they refused to go there anymore.
Ho… Ho… Ho…
Anyway, last December I nailed it.
My father loves to eat. I mean, really loves to eat.
He was raised on a farm with seven brothers and one sister and the food only went around the table once. There were no “seconds.”
(I think he’s making up for lost time…)
But getting food gifts can be dicey. Sometimes the gift company screws it up like Harry & David did one year when they sent out over-ripe, spotty pears in the gift box I ordered for them.
This year, I decided to try again. I found a “Taste of Italy” gourmet gift box from Macy’s and had it sent to them.
Now, I have to share with you the whole “Italian” thing…
My late mother was full-blooded Italian. Her grandparents were those who came to the United States from Italy “on da boat” and landed on Ellis Island. My great-grandparents eventually made their way to Cincinnati, Ohio. Years later, they opened up a family produce business that still is going strong today, servicing a lot of Cincinnati restaurants.
So… my mom came from a strong line of family cooks and my dad was hungry.
Not difficult to see a match in heaven was in the making.
My mom’s family is famous for their sauce, homemade meatballs, and homemade ravioli. We’d only get the full menu a few times a year and Christmas was one of them.
My brother does a pretty good job making the sauce. And since my mother passed in 2007 and my father re-married and moved to Florida, this is one food item he sorely misses.
Anyway… this year, my brother made homemade sauce and meatballs for his family holiday meal. My father was slightly jealous but then my gift arrived.
It was delivered on Christmas Eve and on Christmas Day, my step-mother made the sauce for my dad. She even sent me photos and he looked pretty happy. So I’m happy.
And to keep up the family tradition, even I made homemade sauce on Christmas Day!
Now here are a few lessons that you can apply to your own marketing:
It’s All About POSITIONING
I knew my Dad loved food but he was really in the mood for it when he saw that my brother was making sauce. He was already in a place of yearning for that taste… longing for it… missing it like crazy because he was in Florida and my brother is in Cincinnati.
So when my gift came, he was already PRIMED to receive it in a positive way. His mind was already THINKING about delicious, aromatic, robust and flavorful sauce. A famous “old school” copywriter, Robert Collier, said something wise, “Always enter the conversation already taking place in the customer’s mind.
It’s Also About Knowing Your Audience
What does your audience really want? What would they crawl across broken glass to get? Desire is a very powerful force and if you can connect what you offer to that desire, you’ll be golden. You will instantly earn a special place in the heart of your prospect, client, or customer when you can fulfill a desire they have.
Holidays are known for having special dishes and recipes. It’s why families eagerly anticipate their arrival. They know they’ll get something that only comes around once a year.
These are good lessons to consider when you market your product or service, especially with email marketing. I actually stalk a few businesses because I know that they’ll feature a special offer on Black Friday or a few days before Christmas.
So… I guess you could say I’ve been trained. Conditioned. PRIMED.
How can you prime your own audience? Or… how can you take advantage of your primed prospect?
We went through a major priming season a few months ago. Holiday gift shopping has conditioned everyone to look for a good buy. What’s next?
New Year’s Day was another “priming season” with everyone looking to create fresh resolutions to ensure a great year. It’s another chance to get it right.
Follow the retail stores as they continually benefit from certain holidays and seasons. After Christmas, you’ll see pink hearts and Valentine’s Day products featured in the aisles.
Then there’s St. Patrick’s Day, Easter, Memorial Day, Fourth of July… The kick-off of spring, summer, and then “Back-To-School” sales.
Take advantage of such “priming events.” They are opportunities to enter the conversation already going on in the mind of your prospects, clients, and customers.