Popcorn & Ice Cream is a marketing consulting firm based in Washington, DC. As a result, we come across as many political opinions as we do small businesses. Which we love! You know what we also love? Open dialogue among those with different perspectives about everything from balancing the federal budget to the best way to grow a budding startup.

That’s why we LOVE this new ad from Heineken. It’s simply great marketing – on brand, promoting conversation, and building bridges. The ad connects with existing customers, engages new ones, and is building awareness – about the company, its values, and, indirectly, its product. Plus, it does far more to find common ground than our friends down the road and up on the Hill seem to be managing.

While most of our shoutouts are for small businesses, this time, we’re thrilled to take lessons from a big, global business and pass them along. No – we don’t think small businesses have the budget to produce a campaign of this nature. But here are a few things we can learn and adopt:

  • Join the Conversation: Appropriately anyway. All too often we read about newsjacking fails. But when your company’s values align with the daily dialogue, you can chime in the conversation with email campaigns, as well as social media, and customer engagement.
  • Get Beyond Your Product: Not every marketing endeavor needs to be about sales. Even when every sale makes a world of difference. Take time to build relationships with your customers by providing valuable content, building community, giving back, or creating opportunities to connect through shared ideas.
  • Cross-Promote Campaigns: If you’re taking the time to develop content, attend an event, run a sale, or execute any other campaign, make sure your customers and prospects know about it. Promote your event participation through social media and email, create in-store signs that highlight your hashtags and encourage online engagement, or invite the media to participate in or write about your noteworthy corporate philanthropy programs.

Cheers, Heineken.

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