Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Play hard - but not impossible - to get if you wish to engage your consumers

I´m reading Dan Ariely´s book "The upside of irrationality" at the moment in which I get reminded about all the studies showing that people who are under huge pressure most likely will fail.

If you are under no pressure at all you´ll be lazy, and íf it´s too much you get all tense and stressed and mess up. The ideal is mid-weight pushing. When you need to focus to win, but still are in the magical space of feeling that you will manage - you have faith - you will succeed and perform your best.

When handling staff this means that you need to keep them alert but not terrified. When entering a relationship it means giving some love but not giving it all away too soon. When marketing it means engaging consumers by asking for something in return but not overloading them with duties. For example, don´t ask dudes to collect codes from 5 cases of beer that they will send it to maybe win a key ring. I´ve heard so many guys get frustrated and arrogant when it comes to silly promotional offers, and I´m super careful of creating promo strategies. Entering a promotional campaign has to be easy, give something valuable and have a graceful after life. Only nerds wear caps with beer brands on. Only desperate people spend hours to enter a competition where they might win something – no matter how huge. Only classy gadgets will be kept around, spreading the message again and again...
I´d love to find out how many entries a normal contest get. Do you know? I see posters everywhere, enticing me with trips to tropical islands or fancy toys – but who enters? Is there statistics around that?
My theory is that brands do the promotional campaigns out of habit. It´s just a part of the marketing mix that you can´t do without and it probably puts the product in the centre for a little while. Don´t spend more time figuring out which prizes to give away than figuring out the psychological mechanisms behind. Be clever!
Or am I wrong? Are the promotional shout-outs carefully crafted? I´m willing to be wowed.  

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