Getting Something From Nothing
By Tom Bryant of MagicPromotions
How many times have we heard the phrase ‘within the current economic climate’? It’s impossible to ignore and is affecting all areas of business. Everyone is looking out for new money making ideas and how to increase revenue so it may seem strange to discuss the idea of giving products and services away for free but surprisingly freebies and money saving vouchers are currently all the rage.
Halving prices or offering giveaways is actually going to prove invaluable to companies with the dreaded recession in full swing. In a recent survey it was found that 60% of consumers had gone on to buy a product after trying out a freebie first so maybe it’s not such a bad idea.
In order to survive the downturn, companies must look at unique ways to not only see them through tougher times, but also to position them for long-term growth. It may be true that you don’t get something for nothing so is giving away stock for free really going to make that much difference?
Following Market Trends
At the moment, getting products out there means making some sacrifices. It’s about thinking in a fresh and abstract way, and perhaps most importantly, it’s about risk-taking — having the conviction to launch a new product or service against the odds.
But it is vital to listen to consumers — reacting to customer and market demands - and review products and services relevant to their needs. For example, in current times customers are more likely to opt for single-product discounts over bulk buying offers; they want their goods at a discounted price, not have to buy more than what they need to save money — freebies and discounts can be the perfect way to meet these demands.
Looking at the constant stream of offers coming from high profile restaurant chains, buy one meal get one free offers are very common but you will never hear them advertising ‘third visit free’ because it is not what the consumer is looking for. At the moment, consumers want as much as possible for the lowest price and listening to customers is vital to the success of any business.
Getting Bums on Seats
As mentioned previously, a new survey conducted by MagicFreebiesUK found that 60% of consumers purchased products or services as a result of trying out a free sample or trial. The results, collected from nearly 6000 users of the site, prove that health and beauty products are the most effective with over 50% naming them as their favourite, followed by 25% selecting entertainment and leisure.
By offering products or services for free or at a discount, businesses can get their name out there without spending a fortune on advertising and other expensive marketing tools. It goes without saying that the majority of consumers will go for the cheaper brand or the one on offer rather than the one with the most attractive packaging and once a product is tried and tested successfully it is always more likely to do well on the market.
A freebie that doesn’t get picked up or doesn’t continue to sell once an offer has ended can also act as a great marketing tool as it tells a company a lot about the success of that product and how well it will be received within the market place before spending their budget on promoting a product that no one really wants.
Building Your Brand Image
Differentiating a brand and communicating how and why a company is different and better is an important element of any company strategy. An organisation’s brand encompasses everything from the profile of the people who work there, the culture and structure of the business.
Market leaders are often recognisable for the way they do things differently, for their innovation and ability to build something that is hard to imitate. Offering freebies and discounts can create a reputation for giving back to customers and rewarding them for loyalty. Creating a brand image with a strong reputation such as this can keep companies ahead of rivals in the market and allow them to continue to grow and take market share.
The Value of a Database
It’s certainly fair to say in most areas of business that it’s not what you know it’s who you know and this is no different with customers. Being aware of who the demographic are is obviously important but knowing who the real customers are is even better.
Through customers requesting freebies or opting to receive vouchers, companies are able to build a valuable up-to-date database that is full of consumers who are genuinely interested in a product, which can prove to be really useful for a variety of different departments — not just marketing.
Being able to contact these customers directly, straight in to their inbox without spending revenue on established databases is something quite special. Most importantly, these are contacts that have already expressed an interest in a product and for the most part, have already tried and tested it.
So is it worth it?
Giving away stock or drastically reducing prices may seem a little daunting to a company but it’s important to remember that selling out of products at a reduced price is certainly better than not selling any at all.
Additionally, freebies and discounts give marketing departments the ability to promote a new product or raise the awareness of an established product cost effectively while gaining valuable feedback without disturbing consumers that are not interested.
Being the company that gives rather than takes is certainly a nice reputation to have and building a brand image like that is something that cannot be given away.
Tom Bryant is founder of MagicPromotions.co.uk and its sister site MagicFreebiesUK.co.uk. The sites provide marketers with the unique opportunity to promote new products, offers and services to an online community of over 120,000 consumers free of charge, allowing companies to make significant savings on advertising costs and improve data management.
To find out more, visit www.magicpromotions.co.uk