Six Fun Ideas to Bring into Your Marketing

The purpose of marketing is, in part, about creating relationships with customers and prospects. While traditional advertising is a standard way of letting prospects know more about you, it’s not always the most creative way to connect. 

To spice up your marketing, let’s explore six unusual ways to connect with customers.

Celebrate an obscure or fun holiday. 

For example, August 27 was National Just Because Day.  It’s a day to do random things, which in most cases, can be pretty easily tied to whatever your service or product is.  There are many other obscure/fun holidays like this one that you can tie to your business for that “feel good” factor or even just to get people engaged on your social media pages.

Get creative with it and scale it as big or small as you are comfortable with! Do something as small as sending an email to your customer list, or as big as hosting a live event on the holiday you choose.    

Feature a customer or staff member.

A great way for customers to get to know your team and for your team to get to know your customers is to feature them in a short writeup that you post or send out. 

Make this fun by sharing things like favorite ice cream, activity they would love to do, country they want to visit most, most fun responsibility they have at work, favorite purchase from you, and more. 

Highlight community work.

Does your organization have a favorite charity?  If so, share experiences with your customers.  Many customers value and prefer to support businesses that make community contributions.

Go as far as holding a volunteer day or do as little as a writeup for donations in your newsletter. 

Take a survey.

When is the last time you’ve been asked a “deep” question?  Send a survey that asks your colleagues and customers a question like what inspires them.  Then share the results, with their permission, of course. 

This type of activity can lead to meaningful conversations and a deeper connection with your customers.  It may also provide great insight into how you can connect with what’s important to your clients. 

Provide a gift guide.

Is it close to Christmas or another holiday where gifts are exchanged?  If so, your customer might benefit from a gift guide you can put together.

You don’t have to own a retail store to benefit from this idea.  Service organizations can provide gift certificate and other ideas in their gift guides.  And you don’t always have to list only your own items. Add your customers’ and suppliers’ items and make it one big “business family” affair. 

Tell people a story.

Do you remember your first sale?  Write a story about your first sale, the first day you opened your new location, your first hire, or another fun business milestone. 

People love hearing stories about how others got started.  Don’t be so private that you miss out on this wonderful way to connect with clients. 

Storytelling can captivate customers, influence your audience and transform your business!

Try these six fresh marketing ideas to create a meaningful connection with your customers and prospects, and watch your relationships blossom. 

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CARES Act: Charitable Giving Changes Due to COVID-19

COVID-19 has presented unique opportunities for charitable giving for the 2020 tax year, which has been addressed in the new Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act.

Under the new guidelines, which apply to the 2020 tax year only, taxpayers can donate 100 percent of their adjusted gross income to charity and have it fully offset their taxable income.  Previously, this deduction was capped at 60 percent of adjusted gross income. 

For example, a taxpayer has $100,000 of taxable income and wants to make a $100,000 donation to a qualified charity in 2020.  The taxpayer will have reduced their taxable income to zero and won’t owe any taxes on their income.  In prior years under the 60 percent rule, using the same income and charitable contribution amount, a taxpayer would have only been able to reduce their taxable income by $60,000.

What happens if you donate more than 100 percent of your adjusted gross income?

If a taxpayer wants to donate more than 100 percent of their adjusted gross income, they can do so without the fear of losing out on the deduction.  Any charitable contribution that exceeds their adjusted gross income can be carried forward for the next five years, but will be subject to the 60 percent AGI limit in subsequent years.

Consider this:  a taxpayer has $100,000 of taxable income and wants to make a $300,000 donation to a qualified charity in 2020.  Not only will their taxable income for the current tax year have been reduced to zero, but they will have a $200,000 charitable contribution carryforward available, subject to the 60 percent AGI limit, to offset their income for the next five years. 

What happens if I don’t itemize my deductions?

To incentivize taxpayers to make contributions to qualified charitable organizations, Congress included a notable provision in the CARES Act that applies to taxpayers who claim the standard deduction, rather than itemizing their deductions, on their tax return. For the 2020 tax year, donors can take a deduction for up to $300 in charitable contributions even if they claim the standard deduction. 

Other ways to harness the CARES Act charitable giving provision

If a taxpayer is in the position to make a sizeable charitable contribution, with the goal of fully offsetting their taxable income, this could be the perfect opportunity to consider other ways of increasing their adjusted gross income.  This can be accomplished by selling an asset that has significantly increased in value and will be subject to either ordinary income taxes or capital gains taxes, or they could initiate a Roth IRA conversion.  This can be an effective tax planning strategy for someone who is actively trying to reduce their tax burden through philanthropic means.

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