A Tale of Two Marketing Campaigns

No matter what your business is, it is crucially important to remember that you are not primarily ‘in’ that business; you are primarily ‘in’ the business of marketing that business.

So whether you are a real estate agent that uses RTV software to advance your real estate marketing strategy or if you are a virtual tour provider that makes a living providing commercial and real estate virtual tours, your primary focus must be on the marketing of your business to be at all successful. Without marketing, there is no business and there is no way around that fact.

The marketing department here at Team RTV understands that we have many different businesses that utilize the marketing material, systems and campaigns that we produce for our Inner-Circle Members. That is why we are always on the lookout for unique ideas, even from outside our industry.

This week we came across two very different marketing campaigns, each from outside the virtual tour industry and each with very different conversion goals. In the first example I will show you how a company effectively spends marketing dollars on a campaign to bring highly qualified (yet unsuspecting) leads right to their front door with one advertisement in a magazine. In the second example, I will show you how a very large corporation spent what must have been hundreds of thousands of dollars on a marketing campaign that brings them zero qualified leads.

The first example is a marketing campaign for a children’s book company which is placed in a children’s magazine. The advertisement features a ‘scratch & match game’ that uses the assumption that you are playing to ‘win’ something. But, if you look closely, nothing in the advertisement says that you are going to ‘win’ anything. In fact, every bit of text on this advertisement clearly states that you ARE getting free gifts. All you have to do is scratch, paste, enter your kid’s name, place it in the mail and you get the free gifts. You don’t even have to fill out your address, because the magazine company has already personalized the advertisement with the address of the magazine recipient.

So, why the ‘scratch & match’ game?

Its way more effective in drawing attention to the ad, getting people involved with the offer by scratching the apples and dropping it in the mail. It’s so simple that even a kid could do it. And kids love games, especially ones that they win. Redemption of the ‘prize’ requires nothing more than the kid to fill in their own name and drop it in the mail. This tactic is borderline manipulative (using kids to obligate parents) in my opinion, but very effective in converting the magazine’s customer list to their own.

The second example is a small game piece featuring a “$50,000 cash out contest” for a lunchmeat company. The game piece is place inside the lunchmeat package with images of $100 bills and the words “$50,000 Cash Out Contest” in monopoly-like lettering. When you open the game piece to reveal your ‘PIN number’ for the contest, you are directed to a website to enter your code and find out if you have won.

So far, so good. The company has effectively reached people that are already buying their product. So you would think that the next step would be to collect information from these customers and sell more to them right? Nope. When you get to the website, you click on the link to take you to the page where you enter your pin. A screen comes up with an ‘entry form’. You enter your number and it tells you whether you did or did not win. That’s it. Game over.

I couldn’t help but feel an empty void when that happened. Is the marketing department sleeping? They spent ALL of this money on these game pieces and the website and they didn’t even ask me for my name. Nothing! Even if they had a ‘consolation prize of a 50 cent coupon, then there might have been a clear conversion goal, but there isn’t. Zero leads, zero up sell. The most they would get out of a campaign like that is geographical location of the consumer via IP address, but since the product is shipped to supermarkets and people usually purchase from supermarkets close to home, that would be a waste. Once this contest is over, they have no effective means of reaching consumers that engaged in their contest.

At the end of these two marketing campaigns, the first company has a customer list of parents with kids old enough to read, write and manipulate stickers on a page. Exactly the target market they are looking to sell their books. And I would be willing to bet that a pretty high percentage of those parents pay for the books that their kids ordered, so they also have many new customers. On the other hand, the second company has a cool looking website and no customer list.

Which company would you want to be after spending your marketing dollars?