Gimmicks Don’t Work

Recently in my local daily newspaper here in Phoenix, The Arizona Republic, there was an ad for an advertiser that I had never seen before. Well, either it was the newspaper account executive or the business owner, or maybe even both, who thought it would be totally clever and eye catching to print the ad in the paper upside down. So far I’ve seen it twice and let me tell you, it’s stupid.

Your job as a business owner and advertiser is to make responding to your message as easy as possible for the consumer. By printing it upside down, this advertiser has only succeeded in making it more difficult for the potential consumer to read the darn thing. But somebody thought that this was a totally clever “gimmick” to attract attention.

There are all kinds of gimmicks that you see everyday. If a gimmick actually works, it will only be successful for a very short period of time. Your goal as a business owner is to develop and maintain long term devoted clientele, not a spur of the moment responder who is not responding to the actual message of your company, but to the gimmick.

I run across potential new clients everyday who say to me “Do you have any good ideas?”
What this actually means is “I’m desperate and need a quick fix for my company.”
Don’t fall into this trap. There is no get rich quick scheme or gimmick that is going to bring you all the business you’ll ever need.

There is however, promotion. Promotion is different from marketing and advertising in that it represents a short lived event or special attraction. Marketing and advertising represent long term relationships with the marketplace. A promotion, as opposed to a gimmick, can be very effective in attracting attention from both potential new business and the media.

An example of a good promotion might be for your company to form an affiliation with a local charity. Then on designated days or weeks, you could donate a percentage of all sales to this charity. Let’s say you own a restaurant. Then on the last Wednesday of each month you would donate $2.00 from each meal purchased to the local food bank.

Will new customers come running from all corners of the earth just to eat at your restaurant on this day? No. But a promotion like this, done on a regular basisFeature Articles, will generate good word of mouth for your company and eventually lead to an increase in clientele who have heard “great things” about your restaurant.

So always remember to separate out the cheesy gimmick from the quality business building promotion.

Michele Borowsky

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