March 14th is Pi Day. Maybe you knew that or maybe you did not. I do not remember Pi Day being a “thing” when I was growing up but it seems to be a “thing” now. It was an especially big “thing” this year as it was 2015 so Pi Day was on 3/14/15. Pi Day fans were pretty excited and became even more excited at 9:26 a.m. (and p.m.) (Editor’s note: The first eight digits of pi are 3.1415926.)
March 14, 2015 was a Saturday. I got up early just to make sure I got to the Riverhead Farmer’s Market to make sure they did not run out of pie. The vendors at this farmer’s market are pretty savvy with their marketing. I am not being facetious. They glom onto whatever holiday and celebration day occurs and use that in their on-site marketing. The market itself has an active Facebook page, as you all know from my carrot cake column, and its sole goal is to get people to come down to the market on Saturday. So, armed with the local dairy’s empty glass milk bottles from last week’s market, I grabbed Tom and headed excitedly to the market.
Right inside the door was the “carrot cake” lady. No pie was there. What?
“Oh, I did not even know it was Pi Day,” she said. “I guess I should have brought some pies.” You think? Over to the other bakery stall. There was still no pie. Seriously? Do bakers not have a calendar? How do you not even have a pie available for sale on Pi Day? Passed the bread guy who conveniently sells what I would have called for the day pizza “pies.” Did he? No. Quickly over to the Greek Restaurant guy who always has people standing in line for his spanakopita for a good reason. It is unbelievably delicious. It is yummy spinach pie. Is he in on the whole pi/pie thing? Nope. Took the empty milk bottles back to the dairy booth. What goes better with pie than anything else? Milk. This milk is so good that we have started bringing milk to parties instead of wine because weeks later people are still talking about the milk and I do not remember a single time ever when people were talking for weeks about a particular bottle of wine. Does the dairy lady have any signage addressing the “got pie, get milk” or anything to that effect? No.
Awareness is key
Major marketing fail at the Farmer’s Market for Pi Day. Off to the fish market down the road where we bought a lovely piece of salmon and….a clam pie. I told the girl at the counter, “You know it is Pi Day, right?” Of course she did not but I was pretty happy that I had finally gotten a pie for Pi Day even though it was a huge disappointment from a marketing standpoint.
Your turn. What days, celebrations or “things” are you missing out on? I saw on Facebook recently that it was National Sibling Day. I know of several O&P practices that are owned by siblings. You know who you are. This is a great opportunity to get a little extra publicity, especially when in this day and age you do not even need a newspaper story to have something go viral. So, get busy researching “Pi Day-esque” things and see how you can use that to your marketing advantage and next year “Remember the Alamo(de)!
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Elizabeth Mansfield is the president of Outsource Marketing Solutions. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.