Marketing Ideas: Attracting the Senior Market

By Erin Verbeck

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Even the big guys with the huge marketing budgets are moving to social media to accomplish their sales goals and implement their marketing ideas. Just this week in Brandweek, Macy’s and Sears talked about their social marketing plans to attract prom dress shoppers. Sears has a dedicated microsite for prom goers where they can take a quiz to find their prom dress personality, get hair and make up tips and learn the top 10 hottest trends in prom fashion this year.  What’s important to note about these plans is that these big mass market retailers are attempting to move from only a provider of prom dresses to a partner in making the perfect dress selection. By giving hair and make up tips, trend advice and more, they are positioning themselves as experts in all things prom! As small business owners, what can we take away from this?

First, one thing that high school students are never short on is time. So this senior portrait season as you’re trying to attract high school seniors to choose you for their senior portraits, why not partner with a local clothing boutique, make up artist, hair salon and accessories store for a ‘Make Your Senior Year Your Best Ever’ event. Use your senior model ambassadors to spread the word, run facebook ads, if you want to charge a small fee then donate the proceeds for the event to local schools. The event should be an educational event, teaching seniors what colors, hair styles and clothing options look best for senior portraits. It’s not about selling, it’s about giving advice. Serve refreshments, hire a dj or at least have a rockin itunes playlist made by someone who knows what is hip right now. Give away prizes from each of the sponsors. The possibilities are endless! And remember, it doesn’t have to be expensive. It just has to be cool!


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