Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Stealth Marketing…my version part 6

On the trade show floor, a pen and a notepad are valued in terms of future usefulness; theoretic usefulness. This is something that they might be able to use in the future. They have a lot of paper and pens back in the office, so it is less likely that they will use the trade show pen or pad than, for example, Chapstik. Chapstik sounds like a horrible giveaway unless you have spent a few days on the show floor in Las Vegas. Chapstik becomes the most excellent giveaway (trade show giveaways are also called SWAG or chotsky) in the history of trade shows! You need it now...desperately!

I developed a theory similar to the “Time Value of Money” model I'd learned about in Finance class where a dollar given to me today has more value to me than a dollar given to me a year from now, but I will not bore you with it.

Essentially, give a guy a notepad on the trade show floor and it just becomes more SWAG to carry home and once he gets home, no one wants it. It is just ballast in his suitcase which he jettisons in the hotel room before heading home.

Put a notepad next to a phone and it becomes an essential business tool which he takes away with him because he found it useful in a time when he really needed it. He will use the same notepad when he makes his next round of calls, keeping all his notes together in one place. It goes back to the office with him for use in writing trip reports or following up on phone calls. If you have designed the notepad to be a good business tool (not flimsy or too small or covered in distracting text and with enough sheets of paper to last him a week or two) then he will use it in the office. It has become a part of his efforts to stay productive.

We were in the office and the decision maker was helping us spread our message among his subordinates and peers.

My competitors took note and tried to duplicate my success, but they lacked a few key components.

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