As a made-up marketing event, Black Friday has become a punch line for everything crazy. Crazy people in line. Crazy people rushing doors. And possible crazy deals. But you know what’s crazy? Black Friday follows the rules of any other marketing campaign you have created for your company. Only it does it on a scale that is out of reach to everyone except the NFL and its Super Bowl and the NCAA with its March Madness.
On any other day of the year, you can see Apple marketing must-shop days. You see credit card companies marketing must-shop days. And the Internet itself seems to have a marketing department that has created its own must-shop day we all know as Cyber Monday.
Are you creating must-shop days? Do you offer opportunities where customers can feel special? Do you introduce something that they can’t get anywhere else? And do you shout that loud and clear? Do you give them a crazy incentive to buy? Do you do it enough to create an experience they’ll wait for (and avoid buying from your competition)?
If I asked you those questions 20 years ago, you’d say they’re the basics of any direct mail campaign. So what’s so new about Black Friday? I could talk on and on about the degenerating intersection of gross materialism and a lazy media that has to sensationalize the obvious. But I won’t.
I say nothing’s new the day after Thanksgiving except some pretty good marketing going on. Hey, it worked on me right there on North Michigan Avenue. Thank you, Bloomingdale’s, for letting me “experience” the feeling of you giving me money to spend in your store with every purchase. Best marketing ever. And I didn’t even see it coming.