What small businesses can learn from Murray mania

Since Mr Murray made history at Wimbledon on Sunday, my inbox has been stuffed full of tennis-related promotions.

Within minutes of his win, the first in a stream of mail landed on my virtual doormat. Restaurant chain Prezzo was first past the post (or should that be over the net?) offering a free glass of fizz with which to toast Andy’s success. The small print made me smile as Scottish licensing laws meant the chain could only offer a complementary soft drink to those living north of the border! Raising a glass of girders isn’t quite the same (no offence, Irn Bru).

Similar PR popped up elsewhere online. Facebook informed me that hungry tennis fans were well-catered for in Manchester thanks to a bar cooking up Murray burgers; beef patty, fried haggis, whisky sauce and ‘nae lettuce’. Inventive, if a little calorific.

Since then I have heard from sports stores, supermarkets and numerous other companies linking their marketing drive to the wonders of Wimbledon. So what can small businesses take from this?

Find a (not too tenuous) link – If there is an event happening in your area (or even nationally/internationally) find a way to connect what you do to that event. Own a bike shop? Why not offer sessions on cycle maintenance during the Tour de France? Run your own catering company? Could you launch downloadable recipe sheets to coincide with the new series of Great British Bake Off? You get the idea. Giving something useful away for free is a great way to attract interest, without spending a fortune.

Timing is everything – What each of the companies that sent me Murray marketing had in common was that their timing was spot on. They knew people would take to Twitter and Facebook the minute the match was over so made sure they did too.

Think in pictures – Lastly, to make sure everyone gets to hear about what you are doing, get creative and give local newspapers, TV stations and bloggers something to show their (and your) audiences. Thinking back to our catering company, a picture of staff tasting the goods, faces smudged with chocolate or flour, would add interest. Inviting local reporters to review and be pictured tasting the food would be even better.

If this has got you thinking about how you could promote your business more creatively but need some help, do give me a call.

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