Best recession marketing tip — give it away!

80099712 Are you worried about sales?  Have you had to lay off some staff?  Are you scared about making it through the recession?

Give away your product or service.

I know it's counter-intuitive.  There's nothing conservative about giving away your hard-earned wares.  I'm not going to go all new age on you — but there's some magical that happens when you share what you have. 

Here are some of the benefits:

You and your staff will be reminded how good you are.  When sales are coming a bit more slowly or everyone is pushing you on price, it's easy to forget just how good you are at your craft.  By giving it to someone who really needs it — they're bound to be effusive with their gratitude — and that feels good.

It's amazing word of mouth.  In these days of doom and gloom media — who isn't going to love a story of genuine generosity?  And what do you think the recipient is going to do once they enjoy your wares?  Right — talk about it.  To everyone and anyone.

It's a statement of faith and confidence.  Think of it as a "screw you" to the recession.  It's standing tall and saying…"we're not only going to get through this economic downturn….but we're going to do it by helping others.  We're going to serve our employees, our clients and those who may not be able to afford what we sell — so we're going to give it away."

Want a concrete example?  My agency, McLellan Marketing Group, just announced that we're taking applications for our 3rd annual Adopt a Charity program.

Here's how it works.  Non-profits apply (they can download our application here) and we choose one in April.  Then, for an entire year — we adopt them.  Not only do we adopt them, but some of our business partners like Brackett Media and Event Services and Radio Garage also adopt them.  

Over the course of the year, the charity will receive over $75,000 in free services.

Do you know a non-profit who could use a professional marketing squad for a year?  Encourage them to download the application and get it in before the end of March. 

More important — get out there and give the recession a raspberry.  Give away a little of what you have.  Share your expertise.  You'll be amazed at how good it is for business.  And your heart.

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4 comments on “Best recession marketing tip — give it away!

  1. Jessica Carter says:

    This is very timely; FedExOffice is allowing customers to print 25 copies of their resume for free today.

    Although I’m employed and don’t need to take advantage of the free copies, everything you mentioned, Drew, is taking effect.

    1. Staff – How good will their employees feel as they help people today? It will be a nice break from the “I’ve gotta get this proposal printed in the next 30 seconds.”
    2. Word of mouth – I’m talking about it right now and have mentioned it to friends who are looking for jobs.
    3. Good faith – I’ll remember this in the future and will be much more likely to take my business there than somewhere else.

    The Adopt a Charity is a wonderful gesture, and a great idea. I will definitely spread the word!

  2. Randall says:

    This is a really good idea, I have started playing with this idea a few weeks ago and am getting some really good results. I even use a torrent site to distribute my books as well… I have had just over 5000 downloads in just a few days from the Mininova site.

  3. Jessica,

    Your example is perfect. It’s a smart strategy all the time but it is a brilliant strategy during this economic struggle.

    The best way to feel better about your situation is to help someone else with theirs. Bravo to FedExOffice (they’ll always be kinkos to me!) for recognizing the power of giving back.


  4. Randall,

    I’m not familiar with the phrase “torrent site.” What is that exactly?


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