No Masking It - Mobile Is Hallo-screen

The yearly Halloween celebration now has us carrying more than a bag of candy. It's that time of year again where we trick-or-treat and attend costume parties. As the date approaches we begin our shopping and go through our checklist, jack-o-lantern, candy, costume, decorations, and now add to that list… mobile.

Halloween is the one holiday that doesn't seem to get lumped in with other "commercial" holidays -- and provides a ripe opportunity for businesses of any size to get creative in their marketing and engage their local audiences. It is also the one holiday you think of as truly “local.” No one ventures too far for trick-or-treating or a costume party. So this year, marketers should look at online and mobile tools for getting the word out and having some fun in their communities.

Killer Deals

Across the country, businesses of all types are offering Halloween deals. With consumers turning to their mobile devices more than ever before to find sales, comparison-shop or simply search for that unique costume, marketers and businesses have a real opportunity to give them just what they are looking for.

According to the NRF 2013 consumer spending survey, the average Halloween reveler is forecast to spend $75.03, and sales are forecast to scare up $2.6 billion for American retailers. It is this opportunity that should have marketers laser-focused on the mobile screen.

Letting consumers know that they will find “50% off at Halloween Xpress” or “Sweet Savings on Candy at Walmart” is where opportunity lies for brand marketers. And you may be surprised to know that Halloween provides even more opportunities for smaller merchants to get local and market Halloween events/parties, food and drink discounts and Halloween items.

In addition, the mobile screen presents a powerful opportunity to showcase costumes. The NRF 2013 Halloween spending survey showcased where people get costume ideas. A majority of the top results in some way or another can be tied back to mobile.

Halloween Tag: Encourage your customers to submit their favorite Halloween pics for a chance to win a gift card, free meal or other offering. Fans can post to Facebook, Instagram or Twitter with suggested hastags or tags.

Check-in for Treat?: 
Host spooky check-in specials where consumers are rewarded with a seasonal drink or treat. Get creative -- the more unique the treat, the more likely that consumer will be to share it online. Ring a bell or make the check-in memorable.

Costume Contest: Encourage customers to come to your location wearing a costume throughout the month. Take photos of the customers and share across all networks and use the photo as the company’s Facebook profile picture for the day. Customers who wear costumes will receive a special Halloween promotional item, which again should be creative or unique enough to encourage them to share the experience through photos or videos with their friends and family.

Hallo-screen Marketing: Look for opportunities to get your message seen by consumers in the area, create an mFlyer to promote your event, Halloween specials or fun activities.

Getting dressed for the big night and grabbing the trick-or-treat bag along with the mobile device is now just the norm. As consumers default to mobile screens around Halloween, don’t miss out on the Hallo-screen opportunity. If you wait, you could be haunted the remainder of the year. Scary thought.

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