Sounds cynical, greedy, or selfish, doesn’t it?

But at one time or another, we’ve all thought or said the same thing, at least when we’ve received some kind of pitch in the mail. XYZ Company wants to show you how to save oodles on this or that, and all they want is “a few minutes” of your time. No cost, no obligation, right?

However, your time isn’t free. You have other things to do. So aside from some super-duper discount, what’s in it for you?

In other words, what’s the offer?

Yes, saving money is cool. Yet the only way you can save is if you spend, and that still impacts your wallet.

Enter dimensional marketing…and how too many advertisers drop the proverbial ball in trying to land a face-to-face with a prospective customer.

Again, it’s called the offer, and even the biggest corporate names screw up here. Goodness, I can’t count the number of letters I’ve received from a major insurance company, for example, that tout lower rates but offer me nothing except the opportunity to carve out time to be sold.

Hey, I like saving money as much as you do. But if I’m going to make time to listen to some in-person sales pitch, I want more than promises. A free and value-perceived gift helps. It may not land you the sale, but it’ll get you in the door…at least more often than just a “let me show you” will.

I mean, people are people. They like stuff, and they especially like free stuff. Your words and brochures may go in one ear and out the other end, but a tangible advertising item will hang around. And if it’s something really neat…well, you’re a people. You may throw out a flyer, but even a common coffee cup? You keep it.

Over my more than 20 years, I’ve seen far too many businesses implement a dimensional marketing program, yet pay no attention to the offer.   Then they wonder why their push failed.

Well, duh! Offer the target something they might want, and a one-time discount ain’t it. Yeah, a special price reduction is nice. But if you want to get facetime with a prospect, offer them more than just the chance to save money. Put a logo’d promo product in their hands. They may forget you and your flyers, but that dimensional whatever will hang around.

The key here is to make ‘em an offer they can’t refuse. Might be practical, like that coffee mug, or it might be whimsical, like some unusual toy. And hey, people do like toys, by the way. There’s a kid in everyone, and that kid likes to have fun. They may not like you or your company or your products, but a free yo-yo? Hmmmmmm.

You also need to remember that people are personal. It’s one thing to tell a marketing director you can help him/her make marketing dollars work. But add to that a personal freebie for the chance to meet? Different story. Or don’t you like free personal stuff?

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