Marketing – The Power Of Free
During my 10 years of working in marketing, running $100+ million brands for companies like Kimberly-Clark, ConAgra and SC Johnson, there was one promotional tool that always created tremendous success in getting new customers:
Giving our product away for free!
In that world, it’s called sampling. You do it by hiring people to stand around in store aisles handing out samples to everyone who wants on. (Creating the always popular sport of “Sample Surfing” at Costco and Sams on Friday nights.)
The only problem with in-store sampling is that it’s incredibly expensive to hire those people, pay for the stuff you give away and insuring the entire process in case anything inappropriate happens.
But the Internet has changed all of that, reducing the costs of providing one type of samples (a type that really really works!) to virtually zero.
Here’s a video that delves into the psychology of free and why it works so well. It’s less than 3 minutes long, but we could spend hours talking about the implications and the proof of the three factors I discuss.
Oh, and there’s one other key lesson to learn from this video – make sure you comb your hair before pressing record 🙂
I suspect that you don’t need me to spend hours giving you the rationale behind everything and just skip to the getting things done part.
What can you provide for free that will put dollars onto your bottom line?
My recommendation – information!
No matter what you sell, whether it’s information, a physical product or a service, there is information that your audience wants to know that you already have in your head ready to be communicated, all you need to do is to reveal it to everyone.
Here are three ideas that will apply to any product in any field, that people would love to get information about:
How To Choose:
Everyone wishes that they could just have an expert cut through the hype and just give them the advice they need. This is your opportunity to educate them on how to choose between the different options in your area of expertise. Help them understand (obviously, there are multiple different videos in this list):
- Why you’re better than your competition
- Why this product is better for x usage occasion than a different one
- The right product for different kinds of usage (young mother, business office, college student, traveler, etc.)
- How to avoid getting ripped off
How To Get The Most Out Of Your Product Or Service:
Let me guess, you have a bunch of buttons on your microwave, washing machine and camera that you have not only never pressed but are clueless about what they even do and how to use them. People feel that about everything they buy – they buy the features but have no idea how to get full advantage from what you’re selling them.
So no matter what you sell, you know more about how they can maximize the value out of what you’re selling them then they ever will. Use this to create informational videos about:
- How to get the most out of the product
- How to use the features of the product
- Ideas that show how what you sell can work for different types of situations/buyers
- Examples of people who have gotten the most out of your product/service and how they did it
How To Think About Your Product Or Service:
People tend to get into a rut. Leaders show them how to think differently, kicking them out of their rut. Many times you can change an entire market simply by showing people how to think differently about what you’re providing. Apple did it, so did the Prius, and don’t forget “putting a man on the moon before the end of this decade.” Show them:
- How those who succeed using what’s provided by people like you are thinking and doing differently than those who fail
- Where their thoughts are self-limiting
- Where the huge opportunities are for those who look at the world differently
This is far from an exhaustive list. What other ideas do you have? Share them in the comments below.Â And don’t forget to share, like, tweet and pin this post!
Free is powerful! Make sure you’re using it for your own good!