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Sell Buzz 05/05

Measuring marketing success, smart giveaways and more

Give Yourself Away

Visit MicroTek Computer Labs, a computer classroom and training-facility rental company based in Oakbrook Terrace, Illinois, and you'll find cookies. Not those pieces of computer code--real, freshly-baked chocolate chip cookies, which are the company's signature giveaway.

"They symbolize how MicroTek strives to be the crossroad between technology and hospitality," says Don Slivensky, 46, president. "Students and instructors interact best in a comfortable environment. That's why we like to have the aroma of cookies wafting through the halls."

But be careful when developing your signature giveaway, says Sandy Geroux, an expert speaker and trainer in the areas of sales and customer service as well as founder of Geroux Performance Group in Orlando, Florida. "Don't focus so much on the cute giveaway that you forget about differentiation," she explains, citing a mortgage company that sells itself by giving away cookies at closing. Instead, she says, the company should give away something that ties into the business, such as a calculator or a gift card to a home center. Geroux says successful giveaways are:

  • Original: Thousands of companies give away refrigerator magnets and calendars, and people don't usually remember all of them.
  • Surprising: Create a buzz by surprising or delighting your customers.
  • Relevant: For example, a card with a packet of seeds could be a great giveaway for a landscaper, says Geroux. It's unexpected and ties in with the business.

Quick Pick

Campaignist's Marketing ROI Calculator is a new tool to help businesses measure ROI of marketing dollars based on measurements of the success of various marketing functions (such as the communications contact base, the response rate by lead source, the number of leads converted to sales and other criteria). The $995 (street) software package features a trio of applications designed to charge up your integrated marketing by providing you with the tools you need to continually monitor what's working--and help you ditch what's not.


65% of

consumers feel constantly bombarded with too much marketing and advertising.
Statistic Source: Yankelovich

69% of

consumers are interested in products and services that would help them skip or block marketing.
Statistic Source: Yankelovich

Gwen Moran is a freelance writer and co-author of The Complete Idiot's Guide to Business Plans (Alpha, 2010).

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This article was originally published in the May 2005 print edition of Entrepreneur with the headline: Sell Buzz 05/05.

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