Click to Print

Season's Greetings

Using the retail calendar as a promotional tool
May 1, 1999

For many businesses, the calendar that reads "January, February, March . . ." isn't nearly as important as the one that reads, "Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Valentine's Day, St. Patrick's Day" and so on. The latter is the retail calendar, and as its name implies, it's the marketing tool of choice for many merchants.

"We pretty much live and die by the retail calendar," says Jennifer St. Jean, 23, co-owner and manager of Celebrations Unlimited, a Grand Junction, Colorado, party supply store. "From Valentine's Day and graduations to Halloween, Hanukkah and Christmas, we're always looking ahead to the next holiday."

Sure, that's great for a party supply store. But how does it apply toyour business? The retail calendar can offer opportunities for many businesses to create innovative and effective promotions. The following steps will help you look at this marketing tool in a new light:

Gwen Moran is president of Moran Marketing Associates, a public relations and marketing communications agency in Ocean, New Jersey. She is currently completing a marketing workbook titled Promote Your Business. E-mail her at

It's A Date

Can't think of a date-related promotion? Here are some ideas for particular businesses:

Accounting firm: Offer a "tax break" to your customers. Send a small tax relief package in late March or early April. You might include aspirin, flavored coffee and a couple of pencils for figuring out returns.

Landscaping business: As the calendar progresses, issue an "It's time to . . ." list to your customers. Use the change of seasons to remind your clients how your services can be used to keep their yards and gardens in top condition all year long.

Software development or training company: Create a celebration around Clean Out Your Computer Day (Feb. 8), High Tech Month (January), or International Shareware Day (December 12). Hold a seminar or send a unique promotional item.

Restaurant: Search for the best mom in time for Mother's Day or for the all-American family around Independence Day. Inviting your patrons to vote for their favorite candidate may encourage entrants to send their family and friends your way.

Contact Source

Celebrations Unlimited, (970) 256-7901.