There are numerous marketing strategies unique to the summer months. Some businesses opt to partake in festivals, or sponsor events; others take to the streets for experiential marketing campaigns, knowing that the hot weather will push people outdoors; some businesses launch social media campaigns to make use of the summer’s many holidays. Certainly, there’s no one right way to leverage the summer months for marketing purposes, but one that often goes overlooked is the humble parade.

Sure, parades are an “old” form of marketing, having been around for hundreds of years, if not more. They aren’t the new-fangled social media campaigns, but they actually have several advantages over online marketing. This article will explore the advantages of advertising your business through parade participation, looking at three key points: parades reach a wide variety of demographics; parades offer an opportunity to market in other ways, like through branded giveaways; and parades integrate you further within your community.

We’ll start with the first point, that parades have this innate ability to cut across demographic lines. Here in Toronto, the Canada Day parade and Pride parade – to name but a couple – play host to a wide variety of people, young and old, from different walks and stations. Since a parade is free and accessible, the barriers of entry for any demographic are lowered. This doesn’t happen online, nor does it happen at many festivals, which often tend to target a specific demographic.

And, of course, in addition to a mere physical presence (which will be touched on below), participation in a parade opens your business up to other forms of marketing, the most common of which would be branded marketing. Order a bulk order of t-shirts with your logo and/or info here in Toronto from R&P Prints and dispense with them as you make your way down the parade route – not only will that act of gift-giving endear you to onlookers, but those that receive a shirt will probably wear it in the future, giving you ongoing, added exposure. You get a better ROI from your parade participation if you sneak in some branded giveaway marketing.

Your business’ physical presence at a parade is enough to involve it in the community. Parades are a celebratory coming together of community members, and your participation in that automatically ties your business to a celebration of togetherness. That’s good optics, for any business. This isn’t a major marketing move, but more of a subtle impression. A recent poll showed that Canadians are keen to support local businesses, and there is no better expression of locality than communal event participation. While social media campaigns are great for what they do, they can seem cold and distant. A parade is the opposite: lively and present.

Don’t miss the boat on this summer’s parade participation, and make the most of your investment by doubling down on physical marketing, giving away branded apparel and creating unique impressions across various demographics. More importantly, though, have fun walking that route!

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