Step Right Up Folks

I’d put money down on the likelihood that you’ve seen (and probably participated) in a promotion like this: Guess the Weight of the Giant Pumpkin. But perhaps it wasn’t a pumpkin. Maybe you guessed how many jellybeans were inside a large bowl. Whatever it was, it wasn’t rocket science was it? No, I imagine not. Yet, these simple promotions can be very successful for businesses with the foresight to plan for them.

The example we’re sharing here is from Backroads Family Farm Market – a local, family-owned farmers market. Every year they display a giant pumpkin in their parking lot, placing it there intentionally of course, so it can be seen from the road. Everything around it is decorated for the season, and they even give the pumpkin a name. This year, it’s Doug. It’s a huge hit every year and attracts tons of attention as people line up to get a selfie and try to guess just how much this year’s giant pumpkin weighs.

There will be a winner of course, a few of them. The owner, Alicia, has built relationships with other locally owned and operated businesses and secures prizes with their donated gift cards. (Likely, Alicia gave them gift cards to use in their business in return.) A great win-win, providing more awareness for all businesses involved.

With this promotion, Alicia (with Doug’s help) creates a unique and memorable WOW experience for her customers, builds community and adds new intrigue to vegetable shopping. Check out their Instagram post here with all the details.

If Alicia was a Royalty Rewards® merchant, we would help her extract as much marketing content from Doug as possible, incorporating a Sales Boost direct mail campaign, an email sequence, several timed social media posts and mobile app reminders.

So why are we sharing this story with you one month after Halloween? The key takeaway is that this promotion wouldn’t be happening if Alicia didn’t plan for it WELL in advance. Doug the pumpkin doesn’t grow overnight.

As a Business Owner, you wear many hats. And although self-proclaimed, professional procrastinators (myself included) might fight tooth and nail to prove that many tasks can be done, and done well, at the last minute, HOWEVER, planning your marketing calendar is NOT one of them.

Every year you will likely hear us quoting an old Chinese proverb that really says it all, ‘Dig the well before you thirst’. And take Doug for example. Is this a promotion that fits for your business? If so, you’ll need to get working to secure your giant pumpkin order well in advance.

So…what are YOU going to plan next?

backroadsmarket🎃🎃GUESS WHO’S BACK?!?! Our GIANT PUMPKIN DOUG has arrived home to Backroads! 🎃🎃 Doug seems to have gained a few pounds compared to last year…. You aren’t alone Doug, we feel ya! 🎃🎃🎃🎃 HOW MUCH DOES DOUG WEIGH?!?! If you guess the correct weight, you will win
🏆🏆GRAND PRIZE of a $100 gift card to WHITESPOT ✨1st runner up a $50 BOCA GRANDE DONUTS Gift card ✨2nd runner up a $50 COOKIES ICE CREAM Gift card!

Evolution Of A Marketing Calendar

Just like Doug, it you want something to grow, you must start with a seed. That’s why we’ve sent you your 2023 Cash Creator Calendar™. A gift to show thanks for your partnership with Royalty Rewards®. And now it’s time to give YOURSELF a gift. With your Coach’s help, you can reduce stress, plan ahead, and set yourself up for success with a 2023 Marketing Calendar. Here’s a sneak peek at the process your Coach will help you through as we build for 2023.

The #1 Rule Of A Great Marketing Plan? Make marketing decisions based on facts and data not feeling and emotions, which can lead to poor marketing decisions.

Time Period

We can tackle your marketing plan in whatever manageable chunks of time work best for you. If it’s your first time, you might start with one month. If you ask us? We recommend one quarter at a time. This provides good visibility, extracts ideal value from the time you commit to the task and provides flexibility to adapt as opportunities arise.

Look Back

Identify Sales Peaks & Valleys: Review the previous year’s monthly sales in the time period you are planning for. For months with a high marketing volume, you may choose to review weekly sales as well. Then, identify sales peaks and valleys and set goals for the upcoming period.

If March is particularly strong for you, and you EXPECT that to recur, you can limit additional marketing based on what your business can handle operationally. On the other hand, if you expect a sales slump in January, you can amp up your initiatives and ensure your business doesn’t grind to a halt unnecessarily.

Learn From Past Successes And Failures: Review the initiatives you ran in the previous time period, the results and any other variables that might impact your decision to repeat. From there, begin to fill in the initiatives that are a go. For Alicia at Backroads, she has run this Pumpkin contest annually for a few years because it’s successful. There is no shame in duplicating from the past. In many cases, these will become campaigns and events that your customers will come to look forward to and include as part of their own traditions.


Start With The Obvious. Included in your Cash Creator Calendar™ is a list of just about every holiday and special event you might want to celebrate in any given month. Use this to determine which occasions are a fit for your business.

Holidays: The big ones like Valentines, Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas
Seasonal: Like the giant pumpkin, it relates to fall and the harvest season
Current Events: A national election, Superbowl, tax season
National Days: Ice cream day, car care month, Veteran’s Day, small business Saturday, etc.

Don’t Forget About Community. What we can’t do for you is list special events or occasions that are unique to your business and your community that you want to participate in. There’s a special place in the calendar for you to do just that.
Community Events: Local Festivals, Local Elections, Fairs, Parades, Celebrations, Markets, etc.
Fundraisers: Is there a specific charity you support? Breast cancer awareness or a local family in need of support?
Business Milestones: Business Anniversary, Staff Tenure Milestones, Your Birthday, etc.

Mine The Diamonds In Your Database. Your customer database is one of the most powerful tools at your disposal. With it, you have customer visit frequency, spending and interest groups at your fingertips. Be sure to incorporate special member targeting where you have holes. This might be targeting Lost Customers, creating and fostering VIP Programs, or working to increase spending by customer segment.


Who Are You Targeting? For initiatives that don’t apply to your entire database, set the target market and create messaging and content that appeals to them specifically. What motivates them? How can you best speak to them? Reach them? Are you going to focus a direct mail campaign on your top customers? Or customers who are lost? In a certain geography? Or perhaps customers who responded to the same campaign last year? Are you focusing your social media posts on turning followers into paying customers by getting them to sign up for your Rewards Program?


Now begin to detail the steps to implement each initiative, one at a time. Remember, you can keep these as simple or as elaborate as you want. Simple? Send an email to bring focus to the initiative. Elaborate? Have your Coach set up a multimedia communication sequence leading up to the event. Create signage for your business. Decorate. Partner with other local businesses to build awareness.

Communications: We are proponents of using every type of media available to you – printed material, emails, texts, posters or table tents, washroom signage, digital channels and social media posts. Not everyone will react to every type of media – the more channels you use to get your message out, the higher your results will be because more people will see your message.

What Is Needed For Success And Who Is Involved: Let’s use the giant pumpkin as an example. You need a pumpkin, prizes and decor. You need to set the dates of the event, determine what your staff needs to know, the display needs to be set up, marketing needs to be written. Contest entries need to be printed and a collection box created. Staff need to be trained and in the loop. Delegate tasks and assign deadlines!


Set Goals. Hold your marketing accountable with clear goals for each campaign. These could be sales-based, redemption based, but they could also have some other goal, like increasing your Active Members, or increasing average spend.

The Final Step: Measuring the success of your marketing is CRITICAL to ensure your marketing dollars are efficient (The KEY is ensuring that all campaigns are tracked properly so the results are accurate and your decisions are informed.)

Royalty Rewards® and your Coach are here to help. With an effective marketing plan in place, you’ll be able to execute marketing tasks with ease, eliminate frustration and meet new goals. The secret is to plan ahead and stay focused on your objectives. Don’t wait until the last minute – start planning today!