Why is the State Fair Like Your Business?

Posted by Cathy Harms on Wed, Sep 03, 2014 @ 07:31 AM

For the last 12 days the Minnesota State Fair has been going on and with huge success.  This year they set the all-time record for attendance with 1.8 million people attending the fair, an increase of over 5% compared to last year!

According to Brianna Schutte, spokesperson for the State Fair, there were several reasons for the increase in attendance:

  1. Mother nature cooperated - it was not too hot or too wet.  The days were perfect for the fair.
  2. Easier to get to the fair - the new transportation hub made it easier for people to get to the fair on buses
  3. New West End Marketplace added new food items and many retail vendors - so the selection improved.
  4. Great music offerings and at least 4 sold out concert events.
Loyalty, State Fair, Growth
Can any of these growth factors help your business see growth this year?
  1. Mother Nature does have an impact, but use it to your advantage.  You typically are not closed due to weather, so instead look for some special offers that your customers would be interested just because of Mother Nature.  For example rain gear on a wet day.  Get the message to your customers at the right time.
  2. Easy to get to your business?  Why not make it even easier by allowing customers to purchase online and have the products delivered?  Convenience is a key to growth.  Try to make it as easy as possible for customers to find you, stop by to shop or shop online.
  3. New items - keeping your menu fresh or your inventory up to date with the trends is important.  So you don't have anything new?  Feature and highlight some of your specialties because many people may not be familiar with all of the products that you offer.
  4. Sold out concerts - probably not practical for most businesses - but delivering a great customer experience is possible.  The customer experience is a combination of atmosphere, amazing employees, technology, and most importantly the product they are looking for.
The most amazing thing about the fair is the loyalty of their guests and the traditions.  Most people I speak to have been to the fair for many years and have their favorite buildings, activities and of course food to eat.  Our CEO loves the fair so much that he went 6 times!
It's tough to think about getting your customers to love you so much to come back 6 times in 12 days!  Probably not likely, but it is not impossible.  If you connect with customers the way they prefer - email or text - and deliver offers that get them excited, anything is possible.  Although we have not had any customers attempt this - it might be interesting to try.  Pick a time of year when your business is really needed by your customers - holidays are often the time.  What would happen if you had 6 different offers over a 12 day period?  Could you make it appealing enough that some of your customers would actually come back 6 times?  Make the event fun, maybe kick it off with a members only event to introduce the 12 days of specials.  Invite your members to bring guests so that they can join your program and get connected to.  Having a loyalty program gives you the chance to build a database of customers and connect with them.
Building loyalty takes work and Tecmark is here to make it easier.  Using one tool to build your customer database, track purchases, and email/text promotions helps your business grow delivering bottom line returns.  Now is the time to try different ideas before your busy season begins.  The best part, with Simpli you can see what the actual results are; who received the emails and who actually came in and made purchases.
Contact us if you would like to discuss and see a demo.
Only 11 1/2 more months until pronto pups, blueberry shakes, cheese curds, deep fried pickles, mini donuts and Sweet Martha Cookies!
All the best,
Cathy Harms
Cathy Harms
VP Marketing
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Tags: Loyalty Marketing, Customer Experience, Events