A Marketing Passport is a highly effective, low cost way to drive traffic to a group of businesses. The concept is simple yet very compelling to your target audience. Here is an example:
Local small businesses are always competing with big box stores and national chains for shoppers’ dollars, and the big guys have the advertising budgets to grab the attention of customers. So the objectives for the small business owners were first, get their customers’ attention, next to protect their own customer base, then find a way to use their combined customer base to bring in additional customers and have a successful weekend. They banded together and came up with a great idea.
The solution was to hand out “Our Town” Business District Passports to shoppers beginning several weeks ahead of the promotion date, in this case Small Business Saturday.
Each merchant came up with a compelling promotion, and in some cases a free give away, some had a small refreshment, promotional product, or food item.
Then they had Passports printed that included each merchants’ promotion and a space for verifying that the shopper visited each merchant’s establishment. A rubber stamp works great for this.
Passports were handed out for several weeks prior to the event, and shoppers were invited to attend.
On the day of the event, shoppers filled in their contact information on the passport, then visited each merchant to have their Passport stamped. Completed passports were entered into a drawing to receive the big prize for the day. In this case a 50 inch TV.
The results: As a result of the Passport promotion, the merchants generated a lot of excitement in their small business district. Each merchant saw a big increase in shopper traffic over the same period in the previous year. Most merchants had a double digit sales increase over the same period in the previous year. Finally, the shoppers’ contact information was compiled and shared with all participating merchants to use in future marketing campaigns.
The cost: All the merchants shared equally in the printing and design cost, as well as in the cost of the 50" TV; so each one spent only a fraction of what they would have spent by doing it alone. In fact, an individual merchant would have had a very difficult time justifying the total investment.
The Passport promotion was deemed a huge success, and is being planned for a repeat this year.
This same concept could be planned around any kind of holiday or seasonal event, a car cruise, community festival, a restaurant tasting, or even as a fund raising event for a non-profit organization. You can probably even come up with more applications. It'a all about creating excitement.
Any group that can find some commonality with each other has a perfect basis on which to design a Marketing Passport Program.