03 Jun

What’s in it for me?

To many, this might be a post that states the bleedin’ obvious, but – from what I’ve seen recently – what I have to say isn’t that obvious to everyone.

It’s quite simple: if you want people to engage with your business in some way i.e you want them to act on something you’ve suggested, you have to ask: ‘why would they do it?… what’s in it for them?’
If there’s nothing in it for the consumer/client, other than ‘brand X is telling me to do this’, why would they be bothered to spend their valuable time on that brand?

To give an example of what I mean, take a look at this:


Why would I bother to take the time out of my busy day, to go on Twitter and tell this company the best things about my postcode – essentially providing them with free content? What’s my motivation to do this? What’s in it for me?
(yes, there’s a vague mention that I could win prizes, but it seems a bit of an afterthought, stuck at the bottom of the poster).

I seem to remember, a wee while ago, Robinson’s asked people to post stuff on their Facebook page on what they liked about the squashes. They offered up nothing in return for people doing their marketing for them. Consequently, most of the comments that went up were rude, from ‘trolls’ rather than genuine consumers.
Again – why would these consumers spend their precious time going onto a Facebook page to praise a brand for no rhyme or reason, other than ‘Robinson’s would like some free marketing’?

If your company sends out customer surveys (particularly if you send speculative surveys to people who are just on a mailing list, who you’ve had no previous contact with…. AKA ‘spam’), you have to ask the same question: what’s in it for your customer/client? Why would they bother taking 10 minutes out of their hectic schedule (possibly running their own business) to provide you with information to improve your company?
I know one company that, alongside such a survey
, offered a free pdf case study that showed how to get the most out of their software or other, similar software – at least that’s giving something in return.

Why not make the incentive to advertise/engage with your brand seamless, as part of a campaign?
Every year, Red Bull run their Flugtag event. People enter a competition to try to fly, by jumping off a 30-foot platform (above water), in whatever costume they’ve made. Some costumes are silly, some have genuinely been made with the intention of flying. Loads of people take part and, in the process, end up marketing Red Bull.
They take part because the event is fun, it’s silly, it’s a challenge, it appeals to their daredevil/childish side – it has that ‘what’s in it for me?’ element.

Recently, Wall’s Sausages have launched a campaign, where people can engage with the brand and win a ‘Wallsie’. Here’s the TV ad for the campaign:

Wallsies look like a great idea: I want one! I could be bothered to go to Wall’s Sausages’ Facebook page to try to win one – there’s a definite ‘what’s in it for me?’

It’s the same with writing content (…I could go down in flames here…) – it has to be interesting, engaging, or useful to the reader, otherwise why should they bother reading it? The last thing anyone should do, with content, is just prattle on about how good their company is or try to sell to people – instant turn off.

Anyway, there you have it – it’s not hard: just think about the ‘what’s in it for me?’ factor before you do any marketing.

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