My favorite quote is, “If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll get what you’ve always gotten,” by unknown. I often apply it to marketing, particularly when I see a constant cycle of seasonal and tactical campaigns churning year over year. Yes, most of them produce the expected sales return -- but what if you could be the next Zhu Zhu Pet or L.O.L. Doll by doing something you’ve never done?
Here are six marketing tactics proven to drive sales but often overlooked by brands.
Zoom parties: The most powerful way to market toys has always been creating situations where multiple children discover the fun of a toy together. It creates the desire to own the toy and reassures Mom that the toy won’t end up at the bottom of a closet.
We recently engaged with mom influencers and their children to host toy parties with 10 of their friends. The parties included product favor bags that were delivered by the host to driveways of virtual guests. Unboxing activities allowed all the virtual guests to participate in the excitement of product reveals.
Together the kids were able to build and share in real time. The parties created great social content that was posted by both mom and child.
Sidewalk-sharing: It’s difficult to sample products in the middle of a pandemic, but not if you do it differently. Influencers have influence offline as well as online. Send toy samples to moms and ask them to share them with friends and neighbors, just as you ask them to share your content online. It gets product into hands and starts the buzz among kids.
Reviews: Ninety percent of moms read a review before buying a product, yet very few marketing plans include reviews. Now that online purchases have surged, it’s more important than ever to make sure you have plenty of great reviews available when moms go searching. The off-holiday season is the best time to focus on building an inventory of reviews. But remember, NEVER purchase reviews. Authenticity is key.
Clubhouse rooms discussions: Clubhouse is the perfect platform to establish your expertise in the world of play. Crayola can host a room about developing creativity and inspire moms to try new products. It’s a free forum to develop a deeper relationship with your customer moms.
Pinterest pinning parties: Pinterest is the social platform most overlooked by brands and marketing. Few realize that it’s a search engine where millennial moms go to find solutions. When they need to entertain their toddler for three hours, they search “toys that entertain for endless hours,” or if they are buying for a birthday they search “best boy birthday toys.” Pinning parties engage with mom influencers to help build your exposure on this very important platform.
Remote playdates: Last year, faced with shutdowns, a toy company executed its annual customer playdate event remotely. Hundreds of families took part in remote playdates united through technology and online content. The event generated millions of online impressions and thousands of socially shared images of families enjoying the event. I call this tactic MommyParties -- and it was these small but scalable gatherings of toys and kids that launched a best-selling toy. Today they still prove to be effective.
Thinking outside of your toy’s box will allow you to discover new results -- ones that exceed your expectations.