guest post by Darren Hart of TrafficHappens.com
Before we get any further, let me warn you that this not about imagining your way to a shiny red bicycle. This is about using an attraction to get attention. When done properly, attractions can be an incredible tool. Done poorly, they are a catastrophic waste of time and money.
I was recently at a trade show and the booth across from the one I was working was giving away an iPad. As people walked by, a man stood in the isle and invited them to fill out a card with their contact information. With any luck, their card would be the lucky one chosen after the show, making them the proud owner of Apple’s latest have to have creation.
Almost no discussion was taking place regarding how that company could improve the lives of the people stuffing their names in the box. They just spent the day advertising Apple’s product and brand. I wish I could have been a fly on the wall when they started working that list of names. I suspect the conversation began with “Hello, this is xyz window company. You gave us your name at the trade show and we are calling to set an appointment to have a look at your old widows and replace them with nice new ones.” To which the reply might have been “Dude, I live in an apartment. CLICK.”
I agree that iPads are big fun and hours of entertainment, but I think giving one away at that trade show was a mistake. I think the company was saying that the iPad is way more interesting than anything their company has to offer and the only thing they could think of to get you to part with your phone number was to bribe you with the remote possibility of winning a toy.
The truth is, that to someone who needs windows, that company’s message would have been as interesting as the iPad. If they had created an attraction built around their product, made it interesting with showmanship marketing and targeted people who needed their services, they would have been a lot more effective. If they had done nothing more than given away a free window they would have been better off. At least everyone stuffing their number in the box would have been people hoping to win a window. That seems like an easier sale than someone hoping to win an iPad.
I don’t care what business you are in, it will be interesting to your customers when presented properly. Make your message the attraction and you’ll get the results you want. Who knows, you might even get that shiny red bicycle you’ve been dreaming of.