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Turn the “Polar Vortex” into a Marketing Win

Polar Vortex

Image: A computer model projection for January 6th, depicting differences between expected and average temperatures for the Continental U.S. Credit: WeatherBELL Analytics via Climate Central via AP.

If you live anywhere in the central or eastern United States, you’re currently experiencing a frigid Polar Vortex. For many types of businesses, this is also going to be a cold day at the registers; people are going to stay indoors where it’s warm.

However, there are many ways to take advantage of the cold weather and make it work for you. The key is getting creative and, depending on your product or service, that maybe easier for some companies than others (Dairy Queen might be a tough sell).

Fortunately, many businesses and industries are perfectly positioned to take advantage of the deep freeze; some simply because more people are going to be at their computers for longer periods during the cold blast, others because the cold is a problem (hey! it’s cold) that can be leveraged into sales – especially via an email campaign.

Here are 8 examples:

Clothing Retailers – Special “BRRR Sales”:
My hands get cold easily. I mean, really cold. So this year I bought myself a pair of Battery Heated Glove Liners from . Expensive? Yes, but for me it was well worth it. Retailers should advertise the warm clothing they have available during their post-holiday mark down sales. Plus, take an extra percent off “today, only.” If I hadn’t already bought my heated gloves, you bet I would today.

Travel Agencies – Sell Them Someplace Warm:
Hey baby, it’s cold outside. I want some fun in the sun and warm myself up. If you don’t think people are thinking about being someplace warm, you’re wrong. Fire off those emails with tropical specials that you can book today.

Restaurants – Sell Them Something Warm (and Deliver it):
When it gets this cold, people want warm food and drink. Run a special such as a warm pizza or other comfort foods. But you’d better deliver it (for FREE). People want to stay in. Plus, add an extra percent off for every degree below zero.

Shopping Malls – The Cure for Cabin Fever:
When people are forced to stay indoors, many just want to get out, even if it’s cold. Run a Warm Me Up Sale. Get people to visit your warm mall where they can move around, have some fun and do some post-holiday shopping.

Healthcare – Recognize Frostbite:
Many people don’t know what frostbite is or how to treat it. Serve your community by letting people know how to recognize the symptoms and where to get treatment.

Gyms and Spas – For Those Who Can’t Travel:
Most people just can’t get up and go somewhere warm. If so, let them know how they can make themselves warm with a good workout or feel the warmth of a good massage (I love those lava rocks). Run membership specials for the gym and massage packages.

Dairy Queen – Yes, The DQ!:
Did I say that DQ was out of luck in the cold? Actually, they’re not. Many of  the stores that stay open during the winter serve steaming hot hamburgers and other warm dishes. I didn’t even realize this until I was researching this post. And if I didn’t know, neither do a lot of people. Get the word out and warm those tummies.

Write a Blog Post About Recognizing Marketing Opportunities:
Just did.

How are you taking advantage of the cold to market your products or services? Let me know in the comments.

About the Author

Neal WiserHi, I’m Neal Wiser, President of Neal Wiser Consulting. I have 15+ years experience in the Interactive Marketing, Technology and Entertainment industries. My consulting practice is focused on maximizing results for both large and small clients ranging from Government and the Fortune 500 to small, “Mom & Pop” businesses. My clients have included Comcast, USPS, Hyundai, DreamWorks Studios, MLB, 20+ pharmaceutical brands & NASA. Click About Me to learn more. You can also connect with me via on LinkedIn, Twitter, Google+ and Facebook). And please don’t forget to subscribe to my Newsletter (Click Here).View all posts by Neal Wiser →

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