Yesterday I was happy to partner with a local Chamber of Commerce to offer a business marketing workshop. Specifically, the Ashland Chamber invited me to join them in presenting an hour-long conversation on Smart & Green Parade marketing.

image courtesy of Graham Lewis

image courtesy of Graham Lewis

Getting business and organizational entity folks to get rid of the candy & flyer handout mentality is curious. Some are on board immediately or already. Yet others balk. They know it litters, that they transfer the onus of the proper care and feeding (and recycling) of these items to the spectator though as the progenitor of these items, they feel people “want” them.

Why? Previous pattern is all. That’s not a good or sufficient reason to shirk responsibility. It’s a bad excuse, not a valid reason.

Some may enjoy the random piece of candy flung at them and it’s still an irresponsible practice to continue by parade entrants. The street department has to clean up of stickiness from the pavement and the rivers and streams suffer due to the stuff that gets washed down the sewer drains. This isn’t Halloween. And really, who needs more candy!!??

The crux of the issue is that smart and effective marketing will never be accomplished by handing out flyers or candy. It’s accomplished by making an experience happen. Be creating a parade entry – and all other marketing opportunities – memorable. Evoking emotion, making people feel something, and wanting to share that forward is what sticks. Help people feel, smell, laugh, smile, cry, and celebrate.

Long after the candy has landed wherever, your brand needs to resurface in the mind of the spectator and client. Planning and forethought on the best effort you can put forward will accomplish all of this and more (team building, TOMA, stronger brand and so forth).

If you’d like a copy of the outline of the presentation I delivered, email me here and I’ll send it along to you.

Marketing is communication. Smart communication then requires thoughtfulness, creativity and constancy to brand message, not candy and flyers.