Business branding and promotion has now entered the 21st century and what the 21st century market demands is more often than not free gifts, cut price costs and cheaper deals. The advent of the Internet has meant that when someone goes on line looking for a product or service, they expect and demand that they get it at the best prices or very often in fact, completely free. You see this happening more and more, TV adverts promoting cost comparison websites, cost comparison websites not only promising to save customers money but also offering free gifts to get people to their sites in the first place.
Companies offering price promises, ‘find it cheaper anywhere else and we will match it’ type deals. So many businesses and suppliers are beginning to realize that the best way of securing a paying customer is to offer them something of value at the initiation of their relationship with no charge, there is no easier deal to be struck than selling a free gift; this is especially true for online businesses.
How this works is that, firstly and foremost, it allows the potential customer to enjoy the free gift, there should be no expectations beyond that. But if the potential customer finds the free gift to be truly valuable they will begin to trust and promote the supplier e.g. saying ‘they gave me a free gift and it was great’ to friends, colleagues and family is the first line of promotion you will receive from a happy customer. Should the supplier then go on to offer additional services, products or upgrades, the customer is more likely to accept the suggestion that they are getting a good product at a good price and consequently make a purchase.
If that expectation is further fulfilled the trust is compounded and built upon and the supplier begins to earn the respect of the customer. The consequence of that is that the customer can potentially go from accepting a free gift, to making an initial purchase and then on to become a regular customer and valued client.For many businesses this poses a little bit of a dilemma i.e. what can you offer as a free gift and where do you get it from. It has to be said, it’s all well and good saying offer a free gift, but free gifts are not necessarily free for the supplier.
Someone needs to pay either with time or money to pull a free gift together that has any tangible value. Yes the benefits are potentially there but there is still a balanced decision to be made of cost versus benefits. Enter the viral marketing tools, how about products that can be given away free, can be branded to market your business, offer real value to a customer and every time they use it they are reminded of where it came from. These types of tools come in many forms, for example a well constructed and detailed eBook, video training modules, news letters, the list goes on.
Now we have dilemma number two, producing these kinds of materials takes time, skill and effort. Many businesses online or offline don’t have the necessary skills required or simply don’t have the time. This generally leads to a question that needs to be answered. You have to ask yourself if its worth making an investment in a product or products that solve these dilemmas and allows you to participate in a 21st century marketing strategy that is rapidly becoming normal practice.
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