Saturday, November 21, 2009

Oldie but a goodie - refer a friend campaign

The most exciting thing about a customer is that they know OTHER potential customers - people just like them, thus also very likely to buy the same sorts of things from the same sort of places. This is something many, many companies seem to forget - to their own detriment.
I recently booked some flights through webjet and this week I was sent a "refer a friend" promotion. There were several things I thought were clever and "zero budget" about this marketing idea.
1. Most of webjet's advertising seems to be posters at airports & billboards. For anyone who has ever booked a campaign like that, you know they are VERY expensive. This would have been peanuts in comparison, even if they had to pay for the flights they're giving away.
2. If you notice the Qantas branding on the plane in the creative, I suspect this means that even if they had to pay SOMETHING for the flights, they didn't have to pay the full price. Although I suspect, as webjet likely puts a lot of business Qantas's way, they may even have had the prize flights donated for nix.
Thus, this promotion will only have cost them a bit of a brain power and a bit of design/web work.
Let's say this was $10,000. And let's say they send it to 50,000 people on their dbase. Even if only 10% respond (and they'd likely get more as this is a great incentive sent to a market who've proved they are in the market for flights!) that means 5,000 people respond. If these 5,000 only send to TWO contacts, that means Webjet have reached 10,000 people for a cost of $10,000.
A paltry $1 a "well-targeted" propspect.
I don't know abotu you, but I think a buck is a pretty low introduction fee to someone who's likley to spend hundreds of dollars with you in a single sale.
Don't you?
So webjet, congrats on pulling out this "oldie but goodie". You got me to email my friends. And I'm a cynical marketing type!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Don't be shy - ask for a discount!

I was reminded again the other day of a great "zero budget marketing" mantra:

"If you don't ask, you don't get!"

What inspired this reminder, I hear you ask?

A publisher called to sell me some advertising space in a local area directory for one of the brands I work with. Whilst I don't usually go for advertising, this directory was a good match for the company and it had a direct response element, in the form of a voucher, my personal marketing favorite.

But - the advert was too expensive. The brand has a teeny, tiny budget - like many businesses.

So I cried poor and said that if they had "distressed space" (advertising industry speak for space they can't flog and will slash the price of at the last minute) - and if they could make this distressed space half of the quoted price - we'd take the advert.

And a week later, they called back, saying they really wanted us in the directory. And we got the advertising space for ... half price. Exactly what we'd asked for. So we could advertise and everyone walks away getting something they want.

So, let's say it all together..."If you don't ask, you don't get!"

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

How spending $320 can earn you $43,200

I saw a great "zero budget marketing" tactic in action on the street this morning that has some inspiration there for us all.

I walk past a cafe strip, where there are 6-7 places you can grab lunch or - more importantly for many people - a coffee.

One of these locations is actually a restaurant. And they are also a cafe that does coffee. But to the passerby, it looks MORE like a restaurant, thus people bypass it to go to a "coffee shop".

Obviously the manager cottoned on, and realised they were missing out on the very lucrative morning coffee trade. How lucrative can coffee be, I hear you ask? It has a HUGE profit margin - the average latte costs around 20cents in "materials" to make. A good barista can pump out about 100 in an hour. And an average coffee price in the city is $3.

So that's $300 in revenue in an hour for about $20 in material and $20 staff cost. Around a 750% return. Highly profitable if you can sell a lot of coffee!

So, back to the idea. The restaurant had one of their staff members, with a blackboard and some vouchers, directing people to go and get a FREE coffee.

So clever, so cheap. Being conservative, a regular coffee drinker would buy a cup once a day, 3 days a week (actually, most serious caffeine addicts do 2-3 every day!). And if you like the coffee and one place, and it's a convenient location, you're likely to buy these three coffees every week for the 48 weeks you're working.

This translates to around $432 in revenue in a year - for a promotion that would cost around FORTY CENTS! 20 cents for the coffee and 20 cents worth of staff time.

So again, that's spending 40 cents to get $432 in revenue over 12 months.

Image if they got only 20 new people a day on this promotion and they ran it for 5 days.

The restaurant will have generated $43,200 in revenue from this promotion, which will have cost a few hours a day in staff time (say $300) and $20 in free coffee.

If only we all got that sort of RETURN ON INVESTMENT!

So it's a great little case study that encourages you to think about what you should be giving away, to get customers to try (and hopefully love) your product or service. Not all margins are as healthy as coffee - and luckily not all products are addictive - but even if you get a fraction of the results, this is a hugely successful zero budget marketing tactic.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Yours aren't the only customers out there

I've been working with Parks Victoria lately on an international event they're hosting next year, the Healthy Parks Healthy People Congress. We've just gone live with registrations and in commencing the marketing for the event, I'm reminded of a great zero budget marketing tip.

As this is a first time event, and Parks Victoria don't usually run this sort of event, and because we want to attract people from around the world, we don't have a big database to market the event to. So I've been getting in touch with the many partners and supporters of the event - those that do have databases - and asking them to promote it for us. It's in their interest, as you don't want to partner with an event that's not successful and they also want to be seen by their members/subscribers/customers as being involved in something important. And it's in our interest, the only "cost" is the 10% cheaper registration we're offering to partner organisation members.

So it's the perfect "zero budget marketing" strategy.

Does this apply outside events? Of course. Every business has something they want to promote. Every business wants to be able to reach new prospects with a tailored marketing message. So who would like to talk to YOUR customers. And who's customers would YOU like to talk to.

It's not as hard as you might think to pick up the phone and say "I've got this idea that would work for both of us". I guarantee that in 90% of cases, you'll get a yes if it's an offer that works as well for them as it does for you.