In the world of experiential marketing, Tesla Motors is one of the best examples I know – letting potential buyers discover, explore and play with their product without a commitment. The idea is that as shoppers experience your brand, they are drawn into the purchase funnel and become connectors, sharing what they learned (as I am doing right now), and either buying or perhaps bringing their social network into the funnel as well.
Like many people around the U.S., I was drawn to a Tesla store. This one happened to be at upscale Fashion Plaza in Newport Beach, California. After a day of accompanying my sweetie through hip boutiques and trendy coffee shops selling $4 cookies, it was refreshing to see a car store! Once inside, I felt like I was at a Smithsonian exhibit. There was a car chassis, a battery layout, all the tech stuff -usually hidden - available to touch, and exhibits to explore. Tesla representatives were on hand to answer questions about battery life or suspension linkage.
You can benefit from Tesla’s strategy of sharing expertise if you rethink your customer’s buying experience. For example, if you are in the supply chain management business, you can offer a free white paper on a specific position or solution to a problem, helping key decision makers justify implementing solutions. Your article should define a relevant problem in the industry and offer a solution without favoring a particular product or company. It might have a title like “Maximizing Efficiency in Overseas Delivery.” By addressing an issue that concerns potential clients and giving them a solution, you're giving them value. In return, you get on their radar as a vendor and they become connectors for you by sharing your white paper with others.
So, one new component in your marketing toolbox could be social – whitepapers, blogs or tweeting – connecting with potential customers without requiring a sign-up. Think of your own behavior, after all. Do you readily give up your email address to get a white paper? Or are you more likely to do it if it is a free download with no opt in. Also, since it’s free and easily accessible, you are more willing to share the link with friends. According to experts*, offering free information without requiring registration translates into 10 to 50 times more downloads, meaning more website traffic and more exposure for your company.
Think about what you can offer potential customers for free. A small investment in time could yield a huge return in new business.
- Creative Director
*David Meerman Scott, New Rules of Marketing and PR, pg. 161