Monday, July 6, 2009

Stealth Marketing…my version part 4

As you have probably guessed by now, what I did was take my notepads and pens and put them next to the pay phones in the convention center. I didn’t ask anyone first. I just did it. There were around 20 pay phones in the convention center and I would go to each one about once every 2 hours between seminars. I would put 5-10 pads and pens at each phone. At first, they were all gone. Even by the end of the seminar, most of them would be gone each time I made the circuit to restock. I worried at first that the seminar organizers were throwing them away because no one had authorized the distribution of pens and pads at the pay phones. I would watch when I saw the janitorial staff headed in the direction of the banks of pay phones, but never did I see anyone collecting the pens and pads and throwing them away. What I did see was people taking notes on the pads and clicking the pens to see what the five messages were that popped up in the window.

It turned out to be a great success. People were taking notepads/pens and taking them at a rate of 50-100 an hour. We never handed out that many of any giveaway at a trade show unless it was something “over the top cool” and it was always hard to find the next new cool thing that everyone wanted….and expensive.

So why did people take this boring giveaway that no one wanted if you offered it to them on a tradeshow floor?

I had two theories.

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