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TJ Tedesco

View from Mount Olympus

By TJ Tedesco

About TJ

T.J. is team leader of Grow Sales, Inc., a marketing and social media services company operating at the intersection of compelling content, clear vision and quality communication practices. In this blog, fire is a metaphor for print. Hang on, this ride will be weird...

Prometheus crept into Mt. Olympus, stole fire, returned to the lowlands, ran from house to house distributing it, got caught, was chained to a rock, lost his liver to a huge ugly bird and was rescued by Hercules. Leveraging his fame, Prometheus started Fire Enterprises Inc.  (FEI). Since fire was the hottest technology of the time, company success came fast and furious. Two generations later, fire isn't such an easy sale. Now led by Prometheus' grandson Org, FEI's growth is non-existent, competitors are pounding and prices are in the toilet.

Use Low-Cost, High-Value Giveaways to Create Sales Opportunities (Part I)

Last week, Fire Enterprises (FEI) marketing whiz Marka showed savvy salesperson Zoot how mass-customized-letter campaigns can help FEI secure new business. This week, Marka tells Zoot how offering inexpensive giveaways in FEI’s direct marketing promotions can lead to new sales opportunities. Remember, fire = print.

One bitterly cold January morning, FEI’s daily marketing meeting was about to start. Zoot and Marka sat across from each other at the conference table, looking over their notes.

“I have an idea for a postcard mailer that will help us wrangle up some new clients,” Zoot said. “Last night I sketched out a rough comp—what do you think?”

Marka looked at Zoot’s drawing. “Don’t quit your day job to become a designer! Actually, the concept’s not bad—but it’s missing an offer. Ever heard of the 40/40/20 rule? Forty percent of our effort and resources should go towards creating a kick-butt offer. Otherwise, why would anyone take time to read our promotions—or look forward to them in the future?”

“Coming up with a good offer is hard,” Zoot complained. “We can’t offer a discount. That only works for shops that have built a discount into their prices, like Pyro.”

“Who says our offer has to be a discount?” Marka asked. “If it gets enough of our customers to take action, then it’s a good offer.”

“How about giving everyone who responds an O-Pad2?” Zoot suggests.

“Our customers certainly would appreciate that,” Marka said. “But let’s try to come up with a giveaway that provides value without breaking the bank.”

“Hmm.” Zoot rubbed his chin.

“Let’s ask ourselves ‘what do our customers value? How do we want them to perceive FEI?’” Marka said helpfully. “Answering these questions will help us come up with our giveaway.”

“That’s easy,” Zoot said. “Our customers value speed, excellent service, and quality, among other things. But they also value useful information. We can provide value by offering information that helps them do their job better—or just avoid headaches. And the second answer pretty much follows from the first. We want to be known as the company that solves problems.”

“Right on,” Marka said. “Now why don’t you put on your thinking cap and brainstorm some creative offer ideas?”

To Marka’s surprise, Zoot pulled out a lavishly-ornamented gold crown and stuck it on his head. On the crown, the initials ‘TC’ were spelled out in emeralds.

 “What?” he asked. “This is my Thinking Cap.”
Next week: Marka and Zoot conclude their discussion of using creative giveaways to drive sales. 

Today’s FIRE! Point

Use inexpensive giveaways to drive responses and create sales opportunities in your direct marketing campaigns.

FIRE! In Action: Invivodata Increase Lead Generation Using Inexpensive Giveaway
The technology marketer held a raffle at its trade-show booth. The winner received a $500 gas card. This relatively inexpensive but high-value giveaway led to a 10 percent increase in leads as compared with the year before.

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