small businesses gear up for the annual Small Business Saturday this holiday season, The UPS Store is hoping to boost its sales with a new “Closer” campaign.
Last year, some 112 million shoppers bought something at a small business and spent $15.4 billion, according to American Express, which launched the event back in 2011. The UPS Store campaign hopes to make it easier for local businesses to sell more, offering new strategies and printing services.
“We thought we’d like to help these small-business owners be prepared, and we don’t believe anyone else has done anything like this,” says Karen Kelly, director of advertising. “It’s not enough to just be open for business. You’ve got to close the deal.”
The campaign uses a series of videos starring Mr. Closer, who gives advice to two real business owners. (One is in Detroit, and the other in Plymouth, Mich., near Doner, the ad agency behind the project.)
The campaign is built on the insight, gleaned from its Small Biz Buzz community of some 400 small-business owners around the U.S., that what small businesses do best is explain their unique products and services. But when it’s crowded, delivering that kind of one-on-one sales pitch is next to impossible. So the campaign suggests strategies like “come back” discount cards, specialized business cards and merchandise rack cards that help share stores’ special stories.
“We are about a lot more than shipping,” she tells Marketing Daily, “and we have a growing print business. This is a way for us to leverage that.”
The San Diego, Calif.-based company, which is owned by UPS, says the multi-media campaign includes digital display, preroll video and social media, and is also being tagged in some of its cable ads.
And while some forecasters are predicting a downturn in Black Friday and holiday weekend shopping as consumers shake off retail’s rigid holiday calendar, Kelly thinks participation in Small Business Saturday will continue to rise. “It’s become a feel-good, community event with a lot of momentum,” she says. “People love to shop locally.”