Neighborhood Beggar Reinforces Important Marketing Lessons

Discussion in 'General Marketing' started by A8ch, Aug 20, 2012.

  1. A8ch

    A8ch Gold Member

    This morning while I was out running errands I stopped at a Dunkin' Donut franchise for a hot beverage. As I approached the entrance, a man sitting outside said to me. "Do you have fifty cents or a dollar you could spare?"

    I thought of several smart responses but said nothing as I walked pass him and reached for the door to enter. As I disappeared inside, he called after me again. "Maybe when you come out, sir. Fifty cents or a dollar!"

    While waiting in line I couldn't help but notice (and applaud) the number of marketing strategies that man was using to generate revenue.

    Niche Marketing: Maybe his market research (or gut intuition) told him that people are more likely to be generous when they're about to eat or have just eaten, so he targeted people on the go who are about to make a quick stop to spend money for coffee, a breakfast sandwich and baked goods.

    Positioning: He is the last person you see before entering the establishment and the first you see when you leave. This gives him one opportunity to ask for your business and one opportunity to follow up. And because he could be seen as an impulse item the odds are in his favor.

    Squeeze Page: His question served as his squeeze page. The response it evokes is either yes or no.

    Price Conditioning: He didn't simply ask for 'change' and risk leaving it up to your goodwill, he was specific. Fifty cents or a dollar, a classic alternate choice selling strategy. You could even consider the tactic to be a psychological upsell.

    Free Traffic: His positioning allowed him to siphon traffic from Dunkin' Donuts for free and enjoy healthier profit margins. We would call this spamming.

    In spite of its flaws, his sales funnel sucked me in. I went for the upsell and gave him a dollar when I came out. He thanked me and asked God to bless me real good.

    As I pulled out of the parking lot he was spamming the next prospect with his do-you-have-fifty-cents-or-a-dollar-you-could-spare squeeze page.

    And so it goes...

  2. Just2EZ

    Just2EZ Moderator

    LOL, good observations.
    I wrote an article years ago called "Begging for Dollars" about putting a PayPal Donate button on websites.
    As long as you are honest about it PayPal doesn't care, happy to get their cut.

    I gave the $50 or $100 option to a friend yesterday and he gave me $100.
    (not begging, fixed his computer for him and he was very grateful)
    Usually I just ask for the lower amount and be happy with it.
    A lesson learned, give 'em a choice and be surprised.
  3. payment proof

    payment proof Well-Known Member

    Another excellent post Hermas with great advice and lessons. I really enjoy your posts too. :)
  4. Vishal P. Rao

    Vishal P. Rao Administrator Staff Member

    Super post Hermas (y) Thank you for enlightening us!
  5. happywife

    happywife Gold Member

    What I particularly like about this post is not so much the lesson of the "beggar" but the lesson of Hermas seeing and understanding what he was seeing. :) How often do I go through the day completely oblivious to the knowledge that could be obtained if I put more thought into my observations?

    How many of us would have simply seen a 'beggar' and given him the optional "donation" without seeing anything beyond that in terms of marketing lessons? I'm afraid I would have fallen into that category. ;)

    That's one of the things that makes Hermas good at what he does. Thanks for sharing this Hermas. It's got a few little gems in it that I will file for future use.

    yahia and Just2EZ like this.
  6. A8ch

    A8ch Gold Member

    Thank you all for your very kind words.

    I believe that if we closely examine our everyday experiences, however seemingly insignificant, we would often find something interesting to take away.

    This plane of existence is our schoolhouse. Class is always "in session" and there is never any recess. The more we can really tune in to our immediate environment, the more opportunities we'll have to learn, and develop our perception, insight and understanding.

    One of the pathways that can lead us to that state is: keeping our awareness in the present moment as much as possible, and less on what happened yesterday or on what we plan to do tomorrow.

    yahia likes this.
  7. Vishal P. Rao

    Vishal P. Rao Administrator Staff Member

    Exactly! And your experience with the beggar is a real example of that. The more you are in tune with the present moment, the more wisdom you'll gain.

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