This week’s Idea: She does it…so why shouldn’t you?

with Neil Godin 

She does it (meaning Google, of course), but wait – is Google really a ‘she’ – or is it a ‘he?’  Well. I think of Google as the mother ship of all search engines, and ships have always been referred to as ‘she’ – so I’m saying ‘she’ does it. Okay. So what does she do?

Well. She takes product sampling to new heights. For example, you may have received an offer from her that presents you with an opportunity to sample her Adwords advertising program. The most recent offer I received came with a plastic gift card offering me $150 worth of Google Adwords advertising, if I spent just $50 of my own. That, Dangerous Marketers, is a three-to-one offer. Not bad.

googleHow can Mother Google make such a generous offer? Because she knows what she’s doing. She’s offering new clients an opportunity to test the waters…try out the program…learn how things work…get comfortable with a totally different form of business promotion – without breaking the bank – while receiving three times their cash investment in this form of advertising. And. She knows that it costs her virtually nothing to make this very generous offer. Because. Her lights are on. Her staff are paid. And this is simply a low cost investment in her overall marketing program. Smart.

But wait (as they say on TV) there’s more! 

MG also makes it clear that new advertisers can get all the help they need when they try her program. In fact, a simple toll free call to a Google advisor can help them get their first campaign set up – completely – at no additional cost. In this way, MG is giving herself the opportunity not only to introduce new advertisers to her program – but also to ensure that these new advertisors get results, and, as a result, stay with the program. Smart. Smart. Smart.

Your call to action 

If MG can do it, so can we. Most of us can make similar offers that give new customers an incentive to try us out. Supermarkets have always known that sampling, and deep introductory discounts, bring new buyers into the fold. And you can do the same. The key (once again) is to calculate the total lifetime (repeat and referral) value of a new customer (which is so huge that it will totally amaze you), so that you feel comfortable offering a deep discount or a free sample to prospective new customers. Another key to success (as in MG’s example) is to provide the orientation, coaching and any other support needed to make certain that new customers fully understand how to use and get full benefit from what you offer.

Adding what I think is a brilliant touch, Mother Google often (not always) sends out her new customer offers with a plastic gift card attached. Of course the gift card is never used, as everything is done online and by telephone, but the hard product of the gift card makes the offer “feel” even more real, and even more valuable. Mother Google, we salute you.

See you next week.


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