On May 5, 1862, the underdog Mexican army bested the powerful French forces in the Battle of Puebla. Despite being outnumbered by the French, who had about 8,000 men to the Mexicans’ 4,000, the Mexicans crushed a French Army that was considered the best in the world at the time and which had not been defeated in nearly 50 years. This victory has been a source of pride for the Mexican people ever since. These days, the celebration of that victory on Cinco de Mayo takes place only in Puebla, Mexico, but it has earned a significant spot in the US Holidays Calendar.
Why should your business consider celebrating Cinco de Mayo?
The holiday’s theme (celebrating Mexican courage and heritage) and cultural appeal (food, drinks and colorful costumes with huge “sombreros” and mariachis) has universal appeal and resonates across cultures. Latinos of Mexican origin today are estimated to be the largest group of US Hispanics with 41.6 million, according to the Claritas AMD 2020 Report.
With so many participating in the holiday in the US, there’s ample opportunity for your business to be a part of it as well. The key to effectively marketing for Cinco de Mayo is to incorporate tactics into your marketing strategy that resonates with your audience in a fun way. Here are FIVE ideas to leverage Cinco de Mayo towards your marketing objectives.
1) Spanish code words for discounts and promos
Use Spanish words for your holiday promotions. Advertise the discount code on your website and social media. Encourage clients to share it. Some ideas: “Celebremos” (Let’s celebrate), “Guacamole,” “Viva Mexico,” or “Para ti” (for you).
2) Use the number 5 as much as possible
Menus or promotions can benefit by playing with the number 5 around meals, items, discounts, games. By focusing on number 5, you will not only play with the Cinco de Mayo date, but also with a number very dear to customers in general. Any business can use Cinco de Mayo to drive sales and traffic, regardless of industry. Many businesses make use of Mexican culture, stories, and items to create content for their campaigns on Cinco de Mayo. You can bring your entire focus on the number five by incorporating into your strategy 5% off, or $5 discounts, or 5 items promos, etc.
3) Start celebrating early
There are no rules for starting early and finishing late. You can gain a head start by offering discounts and product deals a few days early to entice customers to your company’s website. National fast-food chains or Mexican brands tend to launch Cinco de Mayo campaigns a few days early to promote their newest options, new channels, and meal kits, adjusting their marketing strategies appropriately for the current pandemic. Similarly, you can engage your customers by offering promotions before, during and even a bit after Cinco de Mayo.
4) Offer new options
This is a great opportunity to offer new Cinco de Mayo related options to your current list of items (menus, packages, gift packages, new products, etc.)
5) Hats, hats and more hats
Derby Day also falls on Cinco de Mayo and both occasions are related to hats. Fancy hats at the Derby and Sombreros as an iconic part of Mexican costumes. You can play with the “hat” theme online (adding a virtual photo booth with hat images to your online experience or offline, by gifting small “sombreritos” to decorate the table or drinks at home. This idea has been fab for many businesses!
Lastly, diversify your ideas to separate your brand from the others by using the most appropriate for your business. Plan ahead, work on some ideas, prepare in advance all the assets you will need to make them happen and have fun with it. Regardless of the type of business you run, Cinco de Mayo is, as with all other holidays, a great opportunity to engage with your customers.