Giving Something for Nothing as a Marketing Strategy
We all love Free Stuff, and are attracted to something for nothing. In fact we find it difficult to compete with all the Free Stuff out there, particular if we offer advice. After all, the internet knows everything. Even if you provide products, you have to compete with the Free Stuff.
An example of this is when Hewlett Packard once offered me $500 printers to give away at my discretion, if I posted a video from them on my blog. (I received no consideration other than to offer this to my subscribers.) I set up a competition on my blog for the best comment. Once I had selected the winners, I thought it would be nice to get the winners to post a thank you comment for HP on the blog. HP didn’t ask me to do this, I just thought it would be a way of showing gratitude for a very generous promotion. It took me a lot of chasing to get the comments, with one winner not responding at all. The others didn’t even mention HP, so they couldn’t even use the comments for testimonials. I found the whole experience, which I expected to be a lot of fun, quite disappointing.
The problem with Free Stuff is lack of gratitude.
Another example in the services sector, is government small business advisor services- Free Stuff for small business owners. The advisors are generally retired business people with large amounts of valuable experience, but the feedback I get is that their ‘clients’ implement very little of what they learn and often don’t even complete the sessions provided.
The problem with Free Stuff is that it’s not valued.
However, there is value in each of these examples for the provider. The value for HP would have been exposure for their new product on social media, which I was happy to provide, and the true cost probably wasn’t that high if the winners used HP cartridges which is where HP makes most of its money anyway.
The value for government is to be able to say they are doing something for small business, even if it’s not that effective. (That seems to be the way many government programs operate.)
So if you provide Free Stuff there must be another benefit for you than just gratitude of the recipient. A longer term strategy that builds a relationship and creates Top of Mind awareness. Something that connects to your marketing funnel directing people into your Sales Pipeline.
Free Stuff can be a successful tactic to attract people’s attention, but only if connects to your overall strategy, and its results can be measured.
How are you using Free Stuff in your business?
All you need to do now is to Empower yourself and take action …
May Your Business Be – As You Plan It.
Dr Greg Chapman – The Profit Whisperer
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