Although a minor holiday in Mexico, Cinco de Mayo is a full-blown day of celebration in the United States. The holiday, originally meant to commemorate an important battle that occured in Mexico during the late 1800s, has evolved over the years to honor Mexican culture and heritage, especially in cities with large Mexican-American populations. On this day, many people join in on the festivities by hanging out at bars, eating at Mexican restaurants, and attending local events filled with live music, drinks, and parades.
Like other holidays, Cinco de Mayo presents a vast number of marketing opportunities for all businesses. With a clever marketing strategy that joins in on the celebration, your business can generate extra publicity, increase brand awareness, and encourage loyalty among customers (and even gain newer ones!). While some business owners may believe restaurants, bars, and similar spots have the upperhand in marketing for this holiday, the truth is that any business can rely on Cinco de Mayo to drive sales and traffic, regardless of industry.
The key trick to effectively marketing for Cinco de Mayo is to incorporate themes and tactics into your marketing strategy so that it resonates with your intended audience. Here are a few ways you can leverage a holiday like Cinco de Mayo to reach your marketing objectives.
1. Start celebrating early.
Cinco de Mayo is only one day a year, but there are no rules for starting early and finishing late. You can gain a headstart by offering discounts and product deals a few days early to entice customers to your company’s website. Taco Bell and Chipotle, for example, both launched Cinco de Mayo campaigns a few days early to promote their newest delivery options, mobile channels and meal kits, adjusting their strategies appropriately for the current pandemic. Similarly, you can engage your customers by offering promotions throughout the day and even the entire week—we promise you won’t be penalized for extending the holiday beyond one day. You also have the options of providing extensive discounts on May 5 or sending coupons via email that motivate customers to return and buy a product or service from your business.
2. Take advantage of the theme.
According to a survey taken from National Today, at least 70% of people in the United States are planning to celebrate Cinco de Mayo. These numbers should motivate business owners as the holiday can be used to their advantage. Of course, you don’t need to focus too much on the specific origins of Cinco de Mayo, especially since the holiday has long transformed into a day of Mexican pride. Whether it’s about the Mexican Independence Day or an important battle, either piece of history, can present you with a few ideas for your marketing campaigns. For instance, you can leverage on a theme about triumph and rising above all odds to enhance the celebratory tone throughout campaigns across all platforms.
3. Add more options.
In the United States, most Cinco de Mayo celebrations involve Mexican food and alcohol. Most Americans prefer to go out to their local Mexican restaurants to order their favorites off a typical Mexican cuisine like tacos and quesadillas. Some of these people also enjoy drinking tequila and margarita. This year, however Cinco de Mayo falls on a Monday, and while many Americans are working remotely, there’s a chance they might not want alcohol-based drinks. If you own a restaurant business, you may need to switch up the type of food and beverages you offer to gain an advantage over other restaurants. Try offering Cinco de Mayo-themed drinks that do not contain alcohol and other types of beverages that are native to Mexico.
4. Play on the number five.
Many businesses make use of Mexican culture, stories, and items to create content for their campaigns on Cinco de Mayo. It’s not uncommon to see advertisements with Chihuahuas, sombreros, and typical Mexican cuisine to promote products and service. While you certainly can use these images for your own marketing ideas, it isn’t the only way to cash in on this holiday. Another alternative you can use is to bring your entire focus on the number five while brainstorming marketing ideas. Some of the specials you can incorporate into your strategy include $5 discounts on a specific price, $5 off an item, and more!
5. Use Spanish to your advantage.
Don’t be afraid to incorporate a little Spanish into your marketing campaigns and other promotional items. You can use Spanish words as codes for discounts that you can promote on social media and on your website. Spanish words can also be implemented into advertisements, as long as they’re appropriately themed. To create an atmosphere of fun and celebration, you can also play a Spanish-language music playlist at your establishment, particularly popular Mexican singers.
Whether you own a restaurant, online business, or another type of establishment, you’re always welcome to celebrate Cinco de Mayo. As with all other holidays, you must be able to diversify your ideas to separate your brand from the others while engaging your target audience. Remember to be original but be appropriate so that your marketing ideas aren’t too out-of-the-box for your own business. With Cinco de Mayo upon us, be sure to use the holiday to celebrate with others, and drive the sales numbers you’re looking for!