Super Snowy Saturday generates excitement in the Desert Southwest – A marketing guest post
Whether it’s word of mouth, social media initiatives, or creative events, marketing a shopping center can go a long way in helping to build awareness and drive foot traffic for local retailers. To share with us some of the more imaginative ways centers in our portfolio are attracting shoppers and fostering community initiatives, Ana Lewis of Co-Op Web, Inc., a BLEND Marketing team member, has penned a guest post for our blog about the work they’re doing at Kimco’s Mesa Riverview in Mesa, Arizona. Here’s what she had to say.
Snow in the low desert? What a rarity. Snow is such an uncommon occurrence in the Valley of the Sun that it has been compared to hell freezing over. Unless, of course, you count the last two winters at Mesa Riverview, where we created a true winter wonderland, complete with mounds upon mounds of real snow.
BLEND Marketing conceptualized a winter event appropriate for the Mesa community, which, according to the City of Mesa, is comprised of 65% families. For the past two years, we coordinated with corporate and local team members from Cinemark Theatres to help create a winter-themed affair that was reminiscent of hit children’s movies. This year, the event was inspired by Penguins of the Madagascar, and in 2013, Frozen. By working with local vendors we were able to develop a white winter scene at the center that would be timely with the holiday season and be enjoyable for children and parents alike.
Throughout the day children could play in the snow, visit shops, enjoy carriage rides, meet their favorite movie characters, and even dance with Santa. Take a look at what went on throughout the day:
To promote the event we used in-center signage, movie slides on screen at all of the 16 area Cinemark Theatres, event listings on the Mesa Riverview website, posts on social media networks including Facebook and Twitter, and email marketing blasts on a recurring schedule. Many Mesa Riverview merchants, community members, and even the Mesa Visitor’s bureau joined in on the promotional efforts, retweeting and sharing content to their own networks.
Leading up to the event, the excitement throughout the community was tremendous. Many families arrived three hours early on the day of the event and stood in line to receive movie passes, carriage rides, and of course to run around in the much anticipated snow. The first 100 children in attendance were awarded a free movie pass, and the next 200 children were gifted a free popcorn or soda.
Santa made a special appearance, and movie characters were also present for photos, dancing, and hugs with the crowd. In addition, many Mesa Riverview merchants contributed to the festivities, including: Cricket Wireless, Sports Clips, Chick-fil-A, Hubbard Family Swim School, Jester’Z Improv Comedy, and even the City of Mesa Parks and Recreation.
By imagining something unique and seasonal that would be attractive to area families, the team at BLEND Marketing was able to help friends and neighbors connect in fun new ways at our local shopping center, and to drive visibility for local merchants.
Looking for marketing ideas for your neighborhood shopping center? Check back here for more tips and ideas from our marketing pros.
Ana Lewis founded Co-Op Web, Inc. in 1998, but began her career in the Internet in 1994. Her back ground includes over 25 years of design experience – currently on the Web and previously in the clothing industry. Ana is a certified Master Project Manager (MPM) and Project Manager for E-Business (PME) and is available for consultations and to help companies build their online business vision. Ana has been the Project Manager for more than 500 online business projects, including such services as: web presences, ecommerce, email marketing, social media, and online communities.