Thanksgiving and Planning Marketing – The Common Ground

Long-time readers or people who know me know that November is my favorite month. There are many reasons for this, but they can all fit into the theme of the month’s most famous holiday – Thanksgiving. And in addition to Thanksgiving offering us an opportunity to take stock of what we’re grateful for, it also gives us a good framework for discussing planning marketing

On the surface, what could marketing and Thanksgiving have in common? More than you think!

Both creative processes end with a product meant to reach a specific audience in a particular way. How’s that for a hors d’oeuvre? Let’s dig in!

Planning Makes Pleasing – Planning Marketing and Thanksgiving

As the primary cook at my family’s Thanksgiving, I’ve developed certain skills and found ways to do things better. For one thing, I always plan out my week so that I got the make-ahead items done at the right time. Last year, I realized I could save myself some by taking notes instead of reinventing the wheel each year.

So here’s how my schedule looks the week before the big Thursday:

  • Saturday – Begin Brining
  • Sunday – Grill Bread, Make Stock 
  • Monday – Saute Stuffing Ingredients, Make Butter for turkey
  • Tuesday – Rinse Turkey, Prep Shrooms, Tear Bread, Start Gravy
  • Wednesday –Prep Brussels, Assemble Stuffing, Cook Shrooms
  • Thursday Turkey, Gravy

I also have notes about temperatures and fixes for potential problems typed up so I don’t have to remember mid-cooking! Here’s an example:

“Turkeys are sometimes sold without necks. Ask! You will need for Stock.”

It may seem extreme, but knowing what I need allows me to enjoy the week and the holiday itself. 

Similarly, having a marketing plan that includes your goals and prioritizing what matters most to you and your company will make your marketing work better and feel less stressful to you. 

Multi-Course? All at Once? How Does it Fit Together? 

Whether you’re a gourmet chef who considers every detail and plans each meal with a theme, or you prefer an eclectic potluck, the way dishes complement each other matters – even if their differences are the point!

Similarly, with planning marketing, branding is key. You may market differently on LinkedIn than on Instagram, but everything should stay within your brand standards. 

So, like a potluck Thanksgiving, if you have different employees working on your marketing, they must follow the company plan. A curse word on a family-friendly page is like bringing peanut soup when someone’s allergic!

Leaving It to the Experts

Planning marketing, like cooking, is a process of creation. And while Ratatouille may have taught us that anyone can cook, it also taught us that some people are better and happier when running the front of the house on roller skates. 

If you love marketing, you’re terrific at it, and you have the time, go for it! If one of those things isn’t true, but you don’t have a budget to hire someone, follow the recipe to the T. But if you can, hire a marketing agency. 

Being You, But Considering Others When Planning Marketing (Or Dinner!)

At Thanksgiving, and hopefully, when cooking in general, you’re creating something with your love and talent for others to consume. For many home chefs, the cooking experience is a meaningful way to share part of themselves. 

Similarly, when planning marketing for your company, especially through social media marketing, you should always authentically share yourself and your company, as I described in last month’s social media blog

At the same time, you know your audience at Thanksgiving dinner, and if you’re dealing with primarily picky eaters, you’re probably not going to try something new and creative, no matter how much you might enjoy it.

Similarly, if your audience on social is looking for something warm and comforting, it’s not the place to share a blue joke or meme.

A Moment of Gratitude

I started a tradition of using my November blog to express my gratitude to those who make my business successful. While I took most of this blog to offer you some tips through the playful frame of Thanksgiving on how to run your marketing more successfully, I want to continue that tradition.

Firstly, I’m thankful that I was able to hire some part-time help this year in the great and good Aaron Baldwin. He does sales, administrative work, and general support. He’s also a sympathetic ear on a bad day – a good dude with a degree in business from my alma mater, Roanoke College; my clients and I are lucky to work with him. 

Next, I’m grateful for the accolades I got this year. How exciting to be recognized by the Better Business Bureau and as a valuable contributor to the Roanoke business community. Is this a backdoor flex? Kind of, but it’s also sincere. 

I couldn’t have a business without my clients. I’m grateful to my current ones, such as the newcomer, Old Dominion Veterinary Clinic, and the ones who’ve stuck with me for so long, like tree care experts NRV Tree Guy or IT company RCI Business Technology. I’m also thankful for my relationship with local publications, the Roanoker and Cave Spring, and Hidden Valley Neighbors.

And I’m thankful to my former clients, who I learned much from when I was new to this business and still finding my sea legs. I may have undercharged, but it was an education, and I’m glad we both got something valuable!

Finally, there would be no POP without my amazing wife, Felicia. She supports me daily, and though she’s not on the payroll, we’re a team. Since the day she came up with the name POP and told me that one bad client experience shouldn’t discourage me from doing this for a living, her support has been the beating heart of POP and before that of me. 

Gratitude is an essential element of our lives. Not only does it help those we care about to know that they matter to us, but it reminds us to enjoy what we’re doing. So, I encourage you to do the same, especially if you’re a business owner. 

It may make you more successful, and will undoubtedly make your work more enjoyable, which is a success in itself!

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