|The Inside Scoop|
Opening Your Doors to Presidential and Other Commemorative Sales Opportunities
Today, the third Monday in February, the American people are encouraged to commemorate the U.S. presidents, specifically George Washington, but also some combination of his successors, depending on your state and socio-political affiliation. The official acknowledgement of this federal holiday, while ubiquitous among many government institutions, varies widely among private organizations, however. For example, while none of us will be receiving mail from the U.S. Postal Service today, the more ambitious UPS and Fedex have both delivered packages to my doorstep. While I sit here composing this blog post, my husband, who works for a large fragrance and beauty conglomerate that closed its offices for observance, gets to hang out in his man cave, air-brushing tiny war-game figurines and watching on-demand episodes of "Archer."
If you're a self-storage operator, chances are your doors are open to customers today. Why? Because self-storage is a retail business, and holidays like Presidents Day have principally been reduced to little more than a sales opportunity. It's what consumers now expect from retail establishments, and many storage facilities are making the most of it, posting discounts and specials on their Facebook pages, Twitter feeds, blogs and websites. Businesses like Presidential Storage in Virginia and U-Stor George Washington have a unique advantage on this of all days.
The big buzz in the news is a tongue-in-cheek promotion posted by Groupon, in which the deal-of-the-day website announced a Presidents Day weekend discount of $10 off $40, in honor of "President Alexander Hamilton—undeniably one of our greatest presidents and most widely recognized for establishing the country's financial system." The supposed blunder (Hamilton was never actually president) has caused dozens of news outlets to speculate whether the declaration was an actual gaffe or a publicity stunt. Does it matter? It certainly caught everyone's attention, even if the Groupon writers are in dire need of a history refresher.
So, what have you done to capture a bit of holiday business? If you missed this chance, there are more in store. Consider Mardi Gras (March 4), St. Patrick's Day, Tax Day, Easter (April 20) and Cinco de Mayo, all of which take place in the next few months. These provide a excuse to reach out to current and prospective customers with offers regarding unit rentals, retail product, truck rental and any other ancillary services you offer.
Spring is just around the corner, which is traditionally a busy time for storage facilities. But just because folks will be cleaning out their houses, moving into new residences or planning their pleasant-weather renovation projects—all situations that can inspire a need for storage space—doesn't mean you can sit back and wait for the business to roll in. You'll want to remind prospects that you exist and can readily meet their needs. A holiday postcard, e-mail, newsletter or social media message is the perfect way to stay on their radar.
If you want ideas on how to use special occasions to enhance and propel your facility marketing messages, consider these resources:
- Inside Self-Storage Marketing Guidebook 2014, a publication designed to help you determine the best marketing techniques for your facility, covering community marketing, Web marketing, mobile marketing, social media, print ads and more
- "Community Marketing for Self-Storage," a seminar at the upcoming Inside Self-Storage World Expo, taught by Shari Sutton, owner, and Heather Saldaña, marketing executive, for Sutton Watkins Advertising & Marketing
- "Grassroots Marketing for Self-Storage: Building Business Through Community," a manager-training course created by the Self-Storage Training Institute and now available on demand through the ISS Store
- "What Community Involvement Can Do for Your Self-Storage Business and Ideas for Getting Started," a video offering from Self-Storage TV featuring management expert Tron Jordheim
Tell me about the specials or promotions you ran during this Presidents Day weekend. Did any of you host a holiday event? Let's hear about your success or ideas for upcoming celebrations. It's time to get presidential with your marketing and make some stuff happen ... literally and figuratively!
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