Sell Buzz 11/05

Advertising in video games, commercials vs. product placements and more
This story first appeared in the November 2005 issue of Entrepreneur. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.

"People come in with trade-ins because they don't want to pay retail [for a new bike]," says owner Rich Staley, 36. "They get a discount when they bring their old bike to trade in, and we get more people in the shop."

"Trade-ins foster loyalty, especially if you're doing it in an industry where no one else is," says Kevin Eikenberry, owner of The Kevin Eikenberry Group, a customer-service consulting firm in Indianapolis. He says trade-ins work for almost any kind of company and can build your business in several ways, including:

  • Giving customers a reason to buy: There's less guilt asso-ciated with trading in an old-but-functional refrigerator if the customer knows he or she will get a discount on a new one, says Eikenberry. Plus, it solves the issue of what to do with the old product.
  • Encouraging loyalty: Customers will be reluctant to shop elsewhere if they know they'll get a discount from your shop by trading in their old version of what you sell.
  • Providing additional revenue streams: Staley makes his money back and then some by selling the used bikes for parts.

Quick Pick
Trying to find the decision-maker at that hot prospect? Jigsaw Data Corp. is a fast-growing online marketplace for buying, selling and trading business contact information. Members exchange the contacts they have for the contacts they need and are given point-based incentives to keep the information up-to-date. That means over 1.2 million contacts from over 93,000 companies are constantly being revised. Contacts are mostly from the U.S., but Jigsaw launched a global initiative in June. The cost is $25 per month, which can also be paid in point incentives if you've gathered enough. Test-drive Jigsaw with a free trial, which allows you to access up to 10 contacts.

The market for product placement in video games and advergames will reach
$260 million
by 2008.
Statistic Source: The Yankee Group
of consumers are somewhat or much more likely to purchase a product seen in a commercial vs. one featured in a product placement.
Statistic Source: FIND/SVP
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