Saturday, January 16, 2010

Stretching the Creative Muscle

After the "Cowboy" ad, I convinced the marketing group that what they had been doing was pure folly.  They simply were not solving a single problem.  They were spending money for no benefit...and to the contrary....they were spending money to hurt their cause by clogging up the voicemail of their sales team with customers who should be going to the distributors for samples.

 Since we knew who our target audience was and since that target audience was fairly small, it made better sense to go directly to the customer with our promotion.  Our sales staff kept asking for some sort of "leave behind" to build goodwill with their customers.  Our competition was always bringing trinkets to the customer.  We rarely did.

We went to work on developing a giveaway that would be unique, desirable, and used in the office.  A frisbee or stress relief "desktop toy" is pretty boring and usually goes home with a customer (or in the trash a day or two later) and does not stay at the office.  Our first effort was a "flashcard" flashlight which is essentially a flat flashlight about the size of a playing card but much thicker.  This was a decent first effort.  It was unique, not very expensive, useful (everyone needs a flashlight), and had plenty of surface area for a sales message.  It was just not very popular.

The group was now starting to think creatively. We'd just not stretched the creative muscle adequately...yet.

James Snider is a Global Marketing professional, responsible for developing the 3.4 billion dollar 1394/FireWire market. James spent 16 years in marketing with 7 years working at "for profit" companies, 8 years as executive director of a non-profit and the past year as an independent global business development consultant.

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