By Anne Holland, President
Chances are you'll be in a brainstorming meeting this month for the big fall campaign. "What should we offer?" your team will wonder.
You'll begin to fret that the marketplace will be inundated with offers from your competitors -- you know how crazy the fourth quarter can get. You may also fret that offers for your actual product are, well, a bit boring. Who really wants yet another coupon, shipping offer or white paper? Blah, blah, blah.
Shouldn't you position your brand as new-exciting-innovative-attention-grabbing by offering something completely different?
It's a mistake I've made. It's a mistake I've seen a whole lot of marketers make. No one's alone.
So, I was delighted to get a note last week from the marketing folks at Meade Lexus in Southfield, MI, about an offer test they ran in May for their service center.
As you'll see from the photo in the link at the end of this
column, Meade built their service brand around being extremely creative and innovative. How? Well, the waiting room in the service center is ultra-luxurious with leather chairs, potted ferns, flat-screen TVs, an espresso bar and a fireplace complete with crackling fire.
Meade had 3,390 past customers and opt-in prospects to email. Naturally, they decided to feature a photo of their lovely waiting room in the email. But, what should the offer be?
Should it be something boring such as a 10% off service coupon, or should it be something innovative and classy such as a wine set? In the end, they decided to test both. You can guess from the tone of this blog which offer won.
But, my gosh, the amount of the difference in response was astonishing. 271 email recipients scheduled service because they wanted that 10% offer. Only 20 scheduled asking for their wine set.
Lesson -- the offer that relates *directly* to your product or service is nearly always the one that will win any test. Here's a sample of Meade's campaign so you can see for yourself:
P.S. Completely off subject but I've gotten a lot of Sherpa Reader letters and wanted to respond. ... Yes, we've switched the format of our newsletters and are testing what works best -- left column vs right column. I'll let you know what wins in a few weeks.
In addition, after *months* of site redesign hell (if you've ever led a site revamp you know what I mean), we've just launched Stage One of the http://www.marketingsherpa.com
overhaul. It's a bit buggy yet, plus it's still a project in process (you have no idea the delights we've dreamed up for you!) But, huge-sigh-of-relief, at least the first part is launched.
#1. Way, way, way better search engine for Sherpa so now you can find what you're looking for much more easily. (My thanks to WebSideStory Search for their help with this.)
#2. Now you can post your comments and feedback directly on stories! Click on any story below to go online to try it out.
In the meantime, please do contact me directly with comments and suggestions -- we're building this site for you after all!