September 2014 Promotional Calendar Ideas [CONVERSIONS]

DJI_Dazzle_Sept_september2_cDo you know that 7 – 13 September 2014 is Migraine Awareness Week? Now, before you think of a million and one smarmy responses to that revelation, think about he marketing possibilities for such a week. As a solutions provider to your customers, you could put a clever spin on the oft maligned migraine by positioning your marketing efforts to offer relief for your customers’ headaches.

Okay, so maybe that examples a little too easy, but there’s plenty of merit to the idea. Have you ever noticed that nearly every week there’s some calendar event going on, be it a local, national or international holiday, an awareness week, a cultural celebration, or a lead-up to a major sporting event? Have you etover noticed savvy marketers in other businesses and industries seizing upon these calendar events and thought, “Wow, I wish I was that clever?”

Well, in this essay we’re bringing you good news. You don’t have to be a relentless agricultural almanac subscriber to make the most of all the sweet promotional opportunities offered by the calendar. You just need to know all the events and have a few creative ideas for each month.

And we’ve got you covered on both accounts, with a September calendar of events, plus some examples of promotions used by real-world businesses in the recent past. You can borrow from these examples by adapting them to suit your business, or wiping the slate clean and using the events to create your own original promotions.

In any case, the idea here is to drive traffic into your stores (or to your website) and boost conversions in the process. Let’s roll up our sleeves and dive right in.

5 September: Be Late for Something Day

PrintYes, Be Late for Something Day is a real event. This day can work as a promotion in a couple of different ways (but never for your employees, of course!).

The folks over at Mazer Marketing served up an easy to swallow idea for last year’s Be Late for Something Day. Say you own a restaurant. Why not a try a late lunch special on 5 September? This will drive in those afternoon visitors and it’ll be super easy to do it.

Simply advertise with a few posters and handouts to your regular lunch hour customers during the week leading up to Be Late for Something Day. They’ll tell their coworkers who take staggered lunches after them about the promo, and may even opt to take a late lunch themselves – especially if you can tie it to a special menu item or two. (Incidentally, 5 September is also Cheese Pizza Day, so obviously that might be a good option).

The Be Late for Something Day promotion can work for any type of sale, too. You might even consider cleverly timing a sales event to end on 4 September, then extend it through the 5 September, for anyone who is “late” to the party.

If you sell tangible products, it’s pretty simple to see how such a sales event can work for your business. But this can also work for any type of service. In the USA, hair salon chain Great Clips is known for offering an “early bird” discount on haircuts for those customers who visit between eight and nine in the morning. You’ve probably seen plenty of promotions similarly offering an early bird special of some sort, but what about a “late comers special” on 5 September?

This could be a last hour of the day sale, or even a midnight event, if you’re feeling up to it. The idea here is to have a promotion that bills itself as the inverse of an early bird special.

Incidentally, Great Clips also has a “Late Night Discount” for those people in need of a haircut after eight at night, as well – but they do it every day of the year. Limiting the late night promotion to 5 September makes it appear more exclusive to your customers – and keeps you from having to remain open late all the time!

Do you know that 6 September is Fight Procrastination Day? We’re going to leave that one alone and stand by Be Late for Something Day for the time being, though!

5 September: Lazy Mums Day

Wow, 5 September is a popular choice for holidays (in the USA, Labor Day often falls on the day, to add to the madness). We potentially like Lazy Mums Day even better than Be Late for Something Day.

Lazy Mums Day is a great day to highlight your customers who happen to be mums, but you have to be a little bit clever about it. You see, the idea for Lazy Mums Day is that mum gets to do nothing – no cooking, no cleaning, and probably no shopping. But, if you’re an online retailer, this is where you can let your creativity shine.

Personalizationmall.com offers mums a chance to win a spa day, a gift set, and a snazzy embroidered kimono on Lazy Mums Day.

In the days leading up to, target mums with messages touting a discount – say 10% – on Lazy Mums Day. Make it an online exclusive and mums can stay home and place orders through your website.

For all intents and purposes, Lazy Mums Day is sort of a “Mothers Day Lite” kind of holiday. But if you’ve ever ran a Mothers Day promotion, then you have a pretty good idea of the kind of things that work on Lazy Mums Day.

7 September: Fathers Day (Australia Only)

Fathers Day is commonly celebrated elsewhere in the world, but here in Australia, it’s the first Sunday in September, this year falling on 7 September.

Father Day is one of the best known holidays of the year, and it’s a great time for deals and discounts, as well as showcasing products and services just for dads. Discountsstory.net keeps track of all the promotional sales events going on around Australia, which offers up a handful of good ideas.

One listed there in particular,  Jermyn Street Shirt Company is right in the action, serving up deep discounts for Fathers Day on shirts, ties, and cufflinks. And it’s with good reason, as those kinds of products are Fathers Day staples that dads no doubt prefer to the banality of socks and cards. If you sell any kind of product that is perfect for dad, like consumer electronics, sporting goods, or automotive accessories, you can benefit in the same way Jermyn Street does – by taking advantage of the uptick in sales of such items corresponding to Fathers Day.

Hey Dad, nice shirt! Jermyn Street offers deep discounts in conjunction with Fathers Day.

If you provide services instead of products, you can position your September promotions to take advantage of the holiday too. What better way to show dad some appreciation than by hiring a landscaper, handyman, or pool cleaner to save the old man some hard work for a change?

Fathers Day is one of those holidays that, from a promotional standpoint, is like shooting fish in a barrel, as nearly any business can fit.

21 September: Wife Appreciation Day

The ladies in our lives get lots of love in September it seems. The 16th is Wife Appreciation Day (mark it down now, fellas). Hot on the heels of Lazy Mums Day comes Wife Appreciation Day.

Wife Appreciation Day is an alternative to events like Lazy Mums Day, where the lady in question is a parent. Wife Appreciation Day celebrates wives and life partners just for being significant others, in a nutshell.

Unlike Lazy Mums Day, though, you can get the husbands in on this one by offering promos that remind them of the special day of recognition for the women of the house. This holiday is a bit like “Valentine’s Day Lite,” so gifts and treats are the most effective thing to promote.

27 September: AFL Grand Final Day

Okay, so admittedly, the AFL Grand Final is the day we’re most psyched for in September around Preneur HQ. Each year, the AFL premiership champion is decided the Melbourne Cricket Ground (with which Preneur has a special connection).

The contest’s lead sponsor is Toyota, which is offering up a set of promotional packages to send a few lucky fans to the+e MCG in style. Footy fandom reaches fever pitch, and this presents Australian businesses with one of its best sporting event-related promotional opportunities.

American supermarkets are known for making aisle stack monuments such as this one, celebrating the New England Patriots.

Supermarkets are great at leveraging sporting events in promotions. In the United States, supermarkets make sport out of building giant (American) football-inspired displays out of cases of Coca Cola, Pepsi, or potato chips. Typically such promotional redecorating sprees are accompanied by a sale, or a sweepstakes.

Some time ago, we discussed staging an effective contest or sweepstakes. The AFL Grand Final is a great time to stage a contest or sweepstakes, as your customers are likely to be feeling as hotly competitive as their favourite team. Grand Final week is a great time to get your customers in the game in a way that fits your unique business.

21 – 27 September: Banned Books Week

Who doesn’t love Banned Book Week? If you’ve never experienced the shock of Bret Easton Ellis’ American Psycho, had to look up the phrase “viviparous mothers” while reading Alduous Huxley’s Brave New World, or had the fun of reading Dr. Suess’ Green Eggs and Ham, then you don’t know just how culturally significant banned books can be.

San Francisco’s City Lights Books showcases banned books during the week (as do many libraries). Of course this can be great for you, if you run a bookstore, for obvious reasons. But promotions around Banned Books Week can work for various businesses, like Amazon affiliate sites (linking to copies of the books), private tutoring services, and institutions of higher learning.

Other September Events for Your Creative Amusement

September is packed with so many event ideas that we couldn’t come up with clever uses for all of them, but we thought we’d list some of the more interesting (legit) events for the month. Here goes!

  • National Beheading Day (2 Sept.)
  • Wildlife Day (4 Sept.)
  • International Literacy Day (8 Sept.)
  • Teddy Bear Day (9 Sept.)
  • Wonderful Weirdos Day (9 Sept.)
  • Swap Ideas Day (10 Sept.)
  • Video Games Day (11 Sept.)
  • Positive Thinking Day (13 Sept.)
  • Make a Hat Day (15 Sept.)
  • Time’s Up Day (17 Sept.)
  • Cinnamon Raisin Bread Day (18 Sept.)
  • Talk Like a Pirate Day (19 Sept.)
  • Equinox, 100 Days left in the year (22 Sept.)
  • Elephant Appreciation Day (22 Sept.)
  • World Rhino Day (22 Sept.)
  • Good Neighbour Day (23 Sept.)
  • Lumberjack Day (26 Sept.)
  • Drink Beer Day (28 Sept. – and we thought that was every day?)
  • Ask a Stupid Question Day (29 Sept.)
  • Confucius Day (29 Sept.)
  • International Coffee Day (29 Sept.)
  • Chewing Gum Day (30 Sept.)

We’re not making this stuff up, folks! We would love to hear your creative ideas on how to leverage any of these days in promotions events in our comment spaces below, though!

PS – Need More Ideas?

Taking advantage of the wild and wily calendar of events (some of them more amusing than others) is a great way to drive conversions in your continuing quest to double your profitability, per our 7 Levers of Business framework. For a complete list of all official national and international events, get yourself a copy of the 2014 LEEP Event, Editorial, & Promotional Calendar.

Also, be sure to check back next month for promotional calendar ideas for October.

about-pete
Pete Williams is an entrepreneur, author, and marketer from Melbourne, Australia.

Before being honored “Australia’s Richard Branson” in media publications all over the continent, Pete was just 21 years old when he sold Australia’s version of Yankee Stadium, The Melbourne Cricket Ground For Under $500! Don’t believe it? You will! Check out the story in the FAQ section (it really is our most asked question).

Since then, he’s done some cool stuff like write the international smash hit ‘How to Turn Your Million-Dollar Idea Into a Reality’ (+ the upcoming ‘It’s Not About the Product‘) and he’s created a bunch of companies including Infiniti Telecommunications, On Hold Advertising, Simply Headsets and Preneur Group.

Lots of other people think he’s pretty good too! He’s been announced as the Global Runner-Up in the JCI Creative Young Entrepreneur Awards for 2009, the Southern Region Finalist in the Ernst & Young 2010 Entrepreneur of the Year, and a member of SmartCompany’s Top 30 Under 30.

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