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What is one of the main keys to a successful internet business? Marketing. What do we all strive to perfect? Marketing. What is this article going to address to help you improve in? You got it, Marketing.
I recently had the pleasure to be impacted by a very simple yet effective marketing technique that had nothing to do with the internet, but could easily be applied there.
I work for one of the largest and most popular privately owned general contracting firms in the area that I live, and because of that, there are many companies that want to partner with us on projects that we do and get their piece of the market.
We have salespeople taking us out to lunch, on golf outings, to sporting events and our CEO even got to go to Florida to sit in the stands at the Super Bowl, courtesy of one of our equipment suppliers. Individuals who desire to do business with us are willing spend gobs of money just to keep themselves out in front of the competition, but those "big things" aren't what I am basing my article on. It's a simple, inexpensive technique that I like to call "Candy Jar Marketing", and it has almost everyone of my co-workers' attention.
Several months ago I was walking past the receptionist desk and I saw a small jar of candy. Inside was mini chocolates, hard candy and other miscellaneous edible sweet treats. I was so delighted to see it because if you've ever worked in an office, that afternoon sugar rush really helps get you through the day.
I casually walked over to the jar and on the outside was the name of an engineering firm that I personally never heard of, and in the top of the cap was the persons business card that placed the jar. I thought, wow, what a nice jester that this individual was thoughtful enough to set this jar of "free" candy for us in the entire office to enjoy.
As far as I know, this individual hasn't asked for business or even met with one of our estimators to get on our bidders list, but they are leaving an impression.
Eventually, the jar empties and it is set aside, but not disposed of, because the person who put it there, said that they would be back in a few days to fill it again. Sure enough after a few days of it being empty, this person showed up again to fill it with more goodies.
This has been going on now for several months and because our office is so large, I never met this person and I don't know if anyone but the receptionist has, but we really like them. If this person would come to me today and ask to bid a job, I would most definitely allow them to do so.
This person is going out of their way to leave an impression prior to asking for business and they are doing it in a subtle inexpensive manner that is having an extreme impact.
What does this have to do with internet marketing? Simple, give your potential customers a candy jar and keep filling it with candy. Yeah, ok, what do you mean by that, Scott. I mean, set a budget to give free stuff away to your customers, and when they wind up on your opt-in list, keep filling them up with more free stuff.