Every year at Halloween the Great Pumpkin searches for the most sincere pumpkin patch to visit.
However, this year I had trouble finding when and where to watch the grand adventure.
I eagerly await the cartoon "It's the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown". It reminds me of many happy Halloweens past. It's a reaffirmation of childhood and marks the official opening of the pumpkin carving season in our household.
For years, I depended on the trusty TV Guide to alert me to the Great Pumpkin's impending visit. That's back when we still used to get the weekly mini-magazine that listed all television channels, programming, times and plots. There were in-depth articles about special celebrities like Charlie Brown, Linus and the Great Pumpkin. Then, somehow, TV Guide dropped out of our lives.
Sure, there's an on-screen guide programmed into my tv, but it's not the same. I miss the printed announcement of the Great Pumpkin's return to television. A few years ago I bridged the technology gap by purchasing the Great Pumpkin program on DVD.
No need to peruse times or listings. Just pop in the DVD and it was pumpkin-carving time. Unfortunately, the DVD pulled a Great Pumpkin on me. It went missing.
That's why this year I was having trouble determining when sincere pumpkin patches would be visited. I went online with the question. There I reconnected with a lost friend. According to TV Guide, “ It's the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown” will air at 8:00 p.m. on Halloween night.
Finding a lost source online highlights two points. First, I'm not going to wait until Halloween night to start carving pumpkins. Second, we limit ourselves and/or our customers when we make assumptions concerning how they search for information.
In recent years, there has been a massive push toward online marketing. It's a push with appeal.
Online marketing has many benefits and expands opportunities for reaching new customers/clients. But there are down sides to moving all your pumpkins to a new patch. Depending upon the nature of your business or profession, you might leave people scratching their heads , wondering where you went and how or where they can find you.
Successful marketing depends upon a wide-range of tools used in concert to reach identified targeted audiences. As you venture online, make sure current customers/clients remain in the loop. Provide guideposts to steer current and potential customers/clients from one medium to others you are using. Integrate promotional materials and advertising to keep targeted audiences pointed in your direction.
Change is constant in business. Staying in touch is an absolute. It is absolutely critical that target audiences know where they can find more information and how they can maintain contacts. Those left behind when changes are made may not come looking. They may find someone else.
All businesses benefit from communication/promotion plans that embrace multiple media such as websites, Facebook and other online marketing tools. Use them wisely to complement – but not replace – public relations, media relations, print advertising or broadcast media. Continue special events, sponsorships and networking.
Before switching message delivery systems, consult with your target audiences. Use focus groups and surveys to confirm how they receive and process information. Solicit input on which media they use and trust. Their insights can boost your bottom line. Bet on their feedback before making major message delivery switches that might leave them behind.
You can bet that I'll be watching television Halloween night. I want to see who has the most sincere pumpkin patch, the patch the Great Pumpkin will visit.
My money's on Linus.
Stacy Cornay is the owner of Communication Concepts Public Relations & Advertising.
Visit www.comm-concepts.com or call 303-651-6612.