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BFS Capital Blog

8 Mother’s Day Marketing Tips for Small Businesses

April 15, 2015

If it weren’t for your mom, you’d have frozen to death. At least, like, 15 times.

Because if nobody had been around to remind you that you were going to be chilly, and to put on a jacket, you’d have no doubt caught pneumonia and died by now. At least, like, 15 times.

And to celebrate all those life-saving measures, a Mother’s Day holiday was created and it’s right around the corner on May 10th. Now, Americans spend between $18-20 billion annually on Mother’s Day, a small price to pay for not catching pneumonia really. And while mothers always insist that they’ll be fine, and not to worry about them, people still want to do something special for her. As a business owner, you want your customers to think of your business first when they are doing something special for their mothers.

If you’re a florist, then Mother’s Day is a no-brainer – you’re bound to get a spike in business as this holiday approaches. But for other small business owners, you might need some marketing tips on how you can promote your business on Mother’s Day and make your mom proud. Here are 8 Mother’s Day marketing tips for small businesses that should have moms everywhere talking about how nice you are.

Create a Children’s Event before Mother’s Day

Not that your average 8-year-old has the disposable income to really put your business in the black, but getting them in the store with a clown making balloon animals, a children’s book reading or free chicken fingers means somebody is going to have to come with them. And that person might conveniently see your Mother’s Day gift display, realize the holiday is only a few weeks away, and pick something up.

Recognize Clients or Customers You Know are Mothers

Be careful here. There is nothing worse than asking a woman when she’s due and a REALLY awkward silence following. However, if you have regular customers or clients who have talked about their children with you, give them an unannounced discount or a card when you see them before Mother’s Day. Will it make you money on the spot? No. Will it ensure they forge a relationship with you and continue to give you business the rest of the year? Yes. Yes it will.

Throwback Mother’s Day Contest

Most moms love nostalgia in a “bands were so much better when I was your age” kind of way. And while social media contests are a given for any holiday, a #TBMD (that’s “Throwback Mothers Day” if you’re not so big on the hashtags) will get people digging through old photos to post on their Instagram, Facebook and Twitter profiles. Tell customers to mention your business in the post – or create a special hashtag – and have your business’ social media followers vote on the best throwback picture. Then give a Mother’s Day gift package, brunch or bottle of good wine to the winner.

Find Out What Women Want

The men reading this are probably thinking “Yeah, ok. Is your next tip “Determine the origins of the universe, then?” Because unless you’re a weirdly psychic Mel Gibson, nobody really knows the answer to this. But for the weeks leading up to Mother’s Day, poll your female clientele to see what kind of gifts – products and services that your business offers – might appeal to them. Offer an incentive for taking the poll – perhaps a discount on Mother’s Day-related products – then take that data and put together some offers that will really appeal to your female customers.

Offer a Father’s Day Discount with a Mother’s Day Purchase

Father’s Day is only a few months away. Yeah. Time flies. So if your spa business offers up a Mother’s Day spa day, include a discount for 15% off a massage for dad if you come back and buy it within a month. Same goes for retail stores, or restaurants offering a free entrée for dad with a receipt from Mother’s Day brunch. See where we’re going with this?

Partner with Businesses that Cater to Men

On average, 2/3 of the people buying Mother’s Day presents are male. And if you run a beauty salon or women’s clothing store, chances are you don’t have a lot of guys randomly walking through the door. However, if you talk to your local sports bar or men’s clothier and say, “Hey, we’d like to cross-promote Mother’s Day with you and sell some packages via your store. When Father’s Day rolls around, we’ll be happy to return the favor”, then you may find yourself in a very mutually-beneficial relationship.

Mommy’s Time Out Happy Hour

What mom doesn’t appreciate a little time away from her family with her best friends, Cabernet and Pinot? If you’re a bar or restaurant, this is a pretty easy Mother’s Day promotion. Simply offer your own “Early Mother’s Day special” the week prior to the holiday to any mom who comes in and wants a drink. But even if your business is not a bar or restaurant, offering up free wine to moms who come into the store, salon, or office will probably get more than a few through the door. And a few glasses later, they might feel like spending some money.

Market to Specific Moms

A nice package of lotions and bubble bath is great if you have a mom who’s into that sort of thing. But not all moms are. Some might appreciate a gift basket of wines, or some spiffy new clothes. Or auto parts. If your business has the versatility to offer up different packages to different moms, having one for the “Party Mom” and one for the “Handy Mom” and one for the “Quiet Mom” will not only let you be a little more creative, but will get customers a lot more interested in what your small business is doing.

Most of all, take a step back and think about what your business can do to make Mother’s Day extra special. Get creative and brainstorm with your employees or, better yet, other moms you know. Be sure to set up your Mother’s Day marketing promotions in advance, so that your business is ready to go once the holiday rolls around. And remember, this day isn’t about your small business, it is about celebrating all the moms out there and everything that they do!