Home' micenet eMag : micenet August 2017 Contents MARKETING | MALCOLM AULD
y teenage daughter, like all
teenage daughters, has
become more headstrong
as she gets older. A couple
of years ago she started to up the ante on
me to get a puppy. She regularly reminded
both my bride and I, that we had dogs when
we were growing up. “It’s not fair dad, you
and mum both had dogs and you had two at
the same time dad”, or words to that effect.
But my daughter didn’t want just any dog.
She wanted a French Bulldog. Now if you
don’t know what a French Bulldog looks like,
just check Instagram. They are the K9
equivalent of the Kardashians when it comes
to followers. Though unlike the Kardashians,
these pups reek of cuteness and are
They also happen to cost a small fortune.
You could move to France, rent a farm and
raise your own litter of pups for what you pay
for one of these bundles of joy in Australia.
But I digress.
In her quest to convince me, my daughter
bought me a French Bulldog coffee cup, a
pug calendar (pugs are almost as cute), even
a French Bulldog phone cover. But I stood
strong and didn’t wilt under the onslaught,
having never been a fan of house dogs.
Then at the end of first term in 2016 my
daughter failed her maths subject terribly –
despite my tuition. I think she has her
mother’s maths genes – she believes buying
something on sale saves you money, versus
not buying it at all.
So I gave my daughter an incentive. “If you
end up with a score of more than 75 per cent
at year end, we can get the puppy”. I
reckoned I was on a good thing, but you’ve
A GOOD INCENTIVE
WILL ALWAYS PAY
probably already guessed the outcome to this story, dear reader.
Near the end of final term last year, a text message appeared on my phone: we’re getting a
dog, we’re getting a dog, we’re getting a dog, accompanied by emojis of cute puppy faces and
a copy of my daughter’s maths results. She hadn’t just scored more than 75 per cent, she’d
topped the class.
So now we have a seven month old puppy that believes every piece of furniture is a chew toy.
But she’s sooo cute...
The point of this story is to highlight the power of a good incentive. If you want someone to do
what you want them to do, when you want them to do it – which is what your marketing
messages are usually trying to do – then offering an incentive to do so, will always improve results.
The power of a free drink
I once created a simple incentive for the events manager at The Observatory Hotel in Sydney –
now The Langham. It was a smartly printed survey that stated “share your unique observations
with us and we’ll treat you to a unique experience”. It was given to delegates of selected
corporate events/conferences held at the hotel. As well as rating the hotel, the delegates were
asked two key questions: “who organises your corporate events?” and “who books your
accommodation?” The incentive to complete the survey was simple – hand in the survey at the
bar and get a free drink.
Most delegates would take up the offer, get their free drink and then buy another. More
importantly they provided a high quality database of contacts to sell events and accommodation
to, using the ratings on the survey as support. The hotel’s sales person could ring the prospect
“Hi Josephine Prospect, Ted Bloke from your company attended a seminar at our hotel last
week and loved the hotel’s services. He gave me your name as the decision-maker for events.
Would you like to join me for lunch at the hotel and see what we have to offer?” The close rate
for appointments was massive.
I showed this example at an event in NZ years ago and The George Hotel in Christchurch
copied it, with great success too. You can even test incentives to see which works best.
When pocket calculators were all the rage as the latest technology, we tested two different
headlines to generate an appointment. One was “FREE calculator when you book an
appointment...” The other was “Your bonus for taking the initiative...”
In the next issue I’ll let you know which headline worked best. Oh, by the way, my daughter
just topped her maths class again. She had the gall to try for a second puppy. I said her request
was like a second marriage – a triumph of hope over experience. m
Check out Malcolm’s blog www.themalcolmauldblog.com.
EDITOR’S COMMENT: Our family recently minded a friend’s French Bulldog for 10 days, Malcolm, and I
can remember not sleeping for much of that time when they told me how much he cost. I was forever
fearful he would escape from our place never to be seen again and I would have to max out the old
credit card to pay them back. But he was a lovely pup!
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