Give and Re­ceive

The Insider - - CONTENT -

14

Re­cently, a friend of mine who was vis­it­ing Van­cou­ver saw a lo­cal busi­ness­man buy a meal for a home­less per­son. The next day he was head­ing to Star­bucks to grab a cof­fee and no­ticed a street per­son stand­ing out­side. Re­mem­ber­ing what he wit­nessed the day be­fore, my friend brought the stranger into the cof­fee shop and bought him some break­fast. The barista was so im­pressed she comped him his cof­fee.

When was the last time you gave some­one some­thing they wanted or needed that they weren’t ex­pect­ing? What­ever you did, I bet it felt pretty good, didn’t it?

We’ve all heard that it’s bet­ter to give than to re­ceive and many of us be­lieve and prac­tice giv­ing be­cause it makes us happy – it con­nects us and makes us more hu­man. So it’s no won­der sci­en­tific stud­ies have sup­ported that premise along with some of the most in­spi­ra­tional peo­ple on the planet. So “giv­ing feels great” is a given, but don’t un­der­es­ti­mate the re­wards in re­ceiv­ing. As they say, “You can’t pour from an empty cup.” So if you like to give, you need to also humbly re­ceive so your cup of kind­ness can be re­plen­ished.

Re­ceiv­ing leads to more giv­ing, so it’s time for pub­lish­ers and busi­nesses to add “Give and we shall re­ceive” to their cus­tomer ex­pe­ri­ence strat­egy to grow reach and rev­enues.

The best way to find your­self is to lose your­self in the ser­vice of oth­ers.” Ma­hatma Gandhi

The power of rec­i­proc­ity

Stud­ies have shown that when peo­ple re­ceive a free gift, they re­spond in a num­ber of dif­fer­ent, of­ten un­con­scious ways. Most feel a real sense of in­debt­ed­ness to­wards the giver – a re­ac­tion coined as the rec­i­proc­ity prin­ci­ple. They feel a gen­uine need to re­turn the fa­vor de­spite the fact that they never asked for the gift to be­gin with. And so when they re­ceive a sub­se­quent re­quest from the bene­fac­tor, the ben­e­fi­ciary is more likely to re­cip­ro­cate.

We’ve all seen it many times and it never seems to get old…

• Free sam­ples at su­per­mar­kets are ram­pant through­out many stores for good rea­son - they help boost sales, of­ten from peo­ple who had no in­ten­tion to buy the prod­uct when they walked in the store.

• Be­ing of­fered a glass of cham­pagne while shop­ping at a high-end de­signer store makes pay­ing for the ex­pen­sive fash­ions more en­joy­able and eas­ier as the al­co­hol helps loosen the purse strings.

It also gets the gift-of-gab go­ing. Jour­nal of Mar­ket­ing pub­lished a study that demon­strated a few in­ter­est­ing sta­tis­tics about on/off­line Word of Mouth (WOM):

• Peo­ple who re­ceived a prod­uct for free in­creased WOM by 20%

• Re­ceipt of free­bies re­lated to a prod­uct re­sulted in a 15% in­crease

• Coupons and re­bates had vir­tu­ally no ef­fect on WOM

When done strate­gi­cally, this psy­chol­o­gy­based mar­ket­ing tac­tic can be a pow­er­ful in­stru­ment in the ac­qui­si­tion of new cus­tomers and devel­op­ment of deeper, longer last­ing re­la­tion­ships with ex­ist­ing ones. Just make sure that you…

• Of­fer a gift un­con­di­tion­ally and make sure they know ex­actly where it came from

• Fol­low up later to re­con­nect with the re­ceiver

• Main­tain the feel­ing of in­debt­ed­ness by con­tin­u­ing to give

Sound sim­ple? It is, so don’t over­think it. Pre­sent­ing a “try be­fore you buy” (i.e. free trial) of­fer won’t in­still a feel­ing of obli­ga­tion on the part of the user. Give with­out strings and fol­low up at a later date with the user to max­i­mize your op­por­tu­nity to re­ceive your just re­wards.

Here’s one easy and ef­fec­tive gift­ing ex­am­ple.

Imag­ine you’re a young mil­len­nial on your way to meet up with some friends at the Fair­mont Ho­tel Van­cou­ver. As you get close to the front en­trance, you sud­denly re­ceive an alert on your phone that the ho­tel wants to give you a free is­sue of Es­quire mag­a­zine.

At first you’re won­der­ing how they would know about you to alert you – you’ve never stayed at that ho­tel. You’ve stayed at other ho­tels that of­fered spon­sored ac­cess to mag­a­zines and news­pa­pers, but never at the Fair­mont. But that ques­tion quickly leaves your mind when you re­al­ize that you’ve just been given an is­sue of one of, if not the, most stylish and so­phis­ti­cated men’s mag­a­zine with no strings at­tached.

You’re not be­ing asked to go in­side to ac­cept it and you don’t have to give your per­sonal in­for­ma­tion to ac­cess it – you just need to down­load the is­sue and read it at your leisure. When you get to the bar, you can’t wait to tell all your friends about your ex­pe­ri­ence and en­cour­age them to down­load the free PressReader app so they too can get their free gift from the ho­tel

In this ex­am­ple the per­son gets a free­bie that sur­prises and de­lights them; the ho­tel gets rec­og­nized for its gen­eros­ity and the pub­lisher gets the at­ten­tion of a reader they might never other­wise have had an op­por­tu­nity to reach – a reader who can’t wait to share the good news with friends. The WOM that re­sults from one small ran­dom act of kind­ness cre­ates a gift that keeps on giv­ing…and re­ceiv­ing.

The ROI of gifted is­sues

PressReader has an un­ri­valled net­work of thou­sands of ho­tels, li­braries, cruise ships, air­lines and other busi­ness part­ners that spon­sor ac­cess to our 5,000+ mag­a­zines and news­pa­pers. By of­fer­ing these busi­nesses the abil­ity to pay for in­di­vid­ual is­sues of pub­li­ca­tions for peo­ple who hap­pen to be in the vicin­ity of their spon­sored lo­ca­tion (aka Hotspot), they pro­vide ben­e­fits for not only them­selves, but for pub­lish­ers and news con­sumers around the world.

The value propo­si­tion of gifted is­sues for pub­lish­ers

At no cost to them, pub­lish­ers re­ceive a wealth of value with gifted is­sues, in­clud­ing:

• Mas­sive ex­po­sure of their con­tent to a global au­di­ence they couldn’t reach on their own

• The strength­en­ing of their re­la­tion­ship with lo­cal and global busi­ness part­ners/advertisers • Rev­enue for ev­ery gifted is­sue read

• Au­dited cir­cu­la­tion credit for ev­ery gifted is­sue read

• The abil­ity to grow and en­gage with a large tar­get fol­low­ing – peo­ple who have shown an in­ter­est in their con­tent by down­load­ing and read­ing it

• Build on the rec­i­proc­ity es­tab­lished by the busi­ness with the reader through fu­ture gifted is­sues or other sur­prise bonuses

The value propo­si­tion of gifted is­sues for busi­nesses

Ho­tels and air­lines have been giv­ing away printed news­pa­pers and mag­a­zines for decades, but those “gifts” were lim­ited to guests and pas­sen­gers they al­ready had. With gi­fited is­sues on PressReader, these busi­nesses can reach out and touch new prospects with a val­ued free­bie that:

• En­hances the brand im­age of the busi­ness

• Strength­ens their affin­ity with premium pub­lish­ing brands

• Gen­er­ates good will, turn­ing strangers into brand cham­pi­ons

• En­ables them to fol­low, con­nect and en­gage with read­ers on PressReader

• Cap­i­tal­izes on the power of the rec­i­proc­ity prin­ci­ple

The value propo­si­tion of gifted is­sues for con­sumers

Re­ceiv­ing a gifted is­sue with no strings at­tached is, in and of it­self, a ben­e­fit, but the real value goes be­yond a one-time free­bie. Ben­e­fi­cia­ries:

• Can re­ceive other gifted is­sues at thou­sands of con­sumer-cen­tric busi­nesses around the globe

• Con­nect with busi­nesses with cor­po­rate val­ues that de­mon­strate su­pe­rior cus­tomer ex­pe­ri­ence

• Dis­cover the wealth of con­tent PressReader has to of­fer be­yond the gifted is­sue

• En­joy a fric­tion­less read­ing ex­pe­ri­ence that ap­peals to both tra­di­tional replica read­ers and dig­i­tal na­tives

Sow sow sow…

But when I look around the world to­day, I’m dis­heart­ened by the amount of lip ser­vice many or­ga­ni­za­tions pay to cus­tomer ser­vice.

Some pub­lish­ers love to talk about reader loy­alty while they con­tinue to erect pay­walls, pol­lute their web­sites with in­tru­sive ads and force read­ers to come to them, in­stead of be­ing ev­ery­where read­ers are.

Many busi­nesses talk a good story about be­ing cus­tomer-first by over­promis­ing, but then they sadly un­der­de­liver.

Thank­fully I have the op­por­tu­nity to work with some of the ex­cep­tions – pub­lish­ers, air­lines, ho­tels and other busi­nesses that seek first to de­light con­sumers with gifts that, as Amer­i­can nov­el­ist, es­say­ist and poet, Vanna Bonta once said, “have rib­bons, not strings”.

Re­mem­ber to make 2016 the year of the per­son and I’m not talk­ing about the one in the mir­ror. A cul­ture of con­stantly giv­ing will make gath­er­ing a whole lot eas­ier.

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