Late last year, I was driving around and passed one of our local coffee shops here in town and the idea just hit me. The idea sprang from other brain-storming sessions on business growth and marketing. I personally am not a fan of the buzz words “growth hacking” or the like because it all boils down to marketing. The trends in marketing change just as they do in any other industry and depending upon that, it more or less dictates what marketing methods you can use to grow your business.
For example in the business-to-business arena, traditional marketing does not have a decent return on investment (at least not in my experience.) Traditional marketing would include things like newspaper ads, radio commercials, billboards, etc. What we’ve had to do is find other methods of marketing that stick out from the normal methods used by other competitors or rely more heavily on word-of-mouth marketing to push us forward. The book “Guerrilla Marketing” reflects our approach much more than any traditional marketing method..
In the experimentation that I’ve done and what I’ve read on the subject seems to suggest that if you can combine word-of-mouth marketing with guerrilla marketing, you will get people talking about you and your business.
So back to the idea, it dawned on me that people generally respond well to promotions that give them free stuff. A social media campaign that gives away a free software program, a contest in which the winner wins a car, or a sports contest to win a cash prize. However, there is a problem with those types of promotions; they really only have one winner. One person who will go around and and promote your business. Not to mention there are some people, myself included, who don’t want to participate in contests that they have little chance of winning just to give their contact information out.
It dawned on me that the best way that I could get more people talking, instead of just one, is to make all the people a winner and the local coffee shop is the perfect place to do that.
On a given day which has not been advertised ahead of time by myself or the coffee shop, we will give the coffee shop a certain amount of money, say $200, to pay for every persons coffee that walks in the door. It only applies to coffee and can’t exceed $5.00. In return, the barista will give the customer a rack card with our services and contact information.
We have executed this idea once and it was a great success. It got people talking about our company positively. One comment that I overheard was, “This is so awesome, who does this?” On top of it being a plus for our company, the coffee shop had the second best day they’d had all year. The word spread quickly, and lots of people came by for drinks and food.
We have set another date to do this again with the same coffee shop soon and I’m expecting similar results.