New research from American Express Shop Small has found that adding humour to the marketing mix can help small businesses attract and retain customers in this busy Christmas shopping period.
The research, which seeks to uncover the role of humour in small business marketing, found that eight in ten consumers have spotted funny chalkboards appearing outside pubs, restaurants and shops on their high streets.
Some 64% of people think using humour as a marketing tactic is a clever way of attracting new customers, while two in three would be more likely to return to a small business that puts a smile on their face.
Nearly half of shoppers (48%) have noticed the trend of chalkboards adorned with funny puns appearing outside of small businesses.
Of those ages 18 – 34, 54% said they were more inclined to go into a shop with a funny chalkboard outside while 38% said they would be more likely to buy something.
Some 35% said they would post a picture of a chalkboard online that made them laugh, and would mention or tag the business – making it a cost-effective way for small shops to potentially reach thousands of people through the power of social media.
One in five 18 to 24 year olds admitted that they would go out of their way to visit a shop, just because they saw a picture of its chalkboard on social media.
Dan Edelman, VP marketing at American Express, said: “Small shops and businesses often have limited marketing budget, especially when they’re just starting out. They need to find a way to really stand out, and our research shows humour is a great tool.
“Not only does it increase customer loyalty and word of mouth recommendations, it also has a real business value by encouraging people to spend in-store and post about it on social media channels.”