There are many tactics that can be used to entice a consumer to buy your product and/or service. Such tactics include: a free gift with purchase, a free 30-day trial, satisfaction guaranteed or your money back, respond now and receive a free gift, and so on.
Being a marketer for over a decade, I’ve used many of these tactics for my clients. However, in today’s world, gaining a consumer’s trust BEFORE they purchase your product or service is key in earning a lifetime customer . . . or in some cases, a customer at all! And part of this nurture tactic could include providing your consumers a service that isn’t even the product or service you’re actually selling. This concept is called “Value in Use.”
I was recently reminded of this concept at the PIMA (Professional Insurance Marketing Association) conference I attended last year. In one of the sessions I attended, a start-up pet insurance company was talking about this “Value in Use” concept and how their free app was the reason for their fast success.
What really caught my attention was the fact that the mobile app they developed had nothing to do with the pet insurance products they were selling. The free mobile app this start-up company offered allowed pet owners to develop a profile for their pet, access their pet’s health records, search for pet hospitals, find pet food stores and parks, track their pet’s whereabouts if they had a tracker installed, and even linked to social media platforms so that their pet could stay up to date on their social updates . . . of course!
Oh yea, it also allowed you to purchase pet insurance if you needed it. See that—if you needed. Meaning, you could download this app, use it all for all your pet’s needs, at no cost, and you didn’t even have to purchase their pet insurance. Now that’s what I call a successful nurturing tactic.
Yes, this company, like any other for-profit company, was looking to make money. But, they put their consumer’s needs first and offered them a service they needed at no cost, which eventually led to a sale. I recently saw a commercial from Discover that was offering a free credit score at no cost whether you were a card-holder or not. Brilliant!
Reel me in with something that brings me value at no cost, allow me to use it, and then follow-up with me as to the benefits I would receive if I indeed decided to become a cardholder. The fact that they were offering me such a valuable service at no cost already changes my perception of this company and more easily persuades me to try their product or service.
The lesson here is to think about your consumer’s needs outside of your product or service and figure out how you can provide them a solution for such needs. Is there something you can offer that would be of value to them and allow them to trust you before you start offering them the product or service you are actually trying to sell?