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October 14, 2011



I have toyed with this idea quite a lot but the one thing that makes me reluctant to use it is myself. I'm not a very good person to test marketing ideas out on because I am fairly cynical anyway so I'm probably way off, but from my own experience I find myself de-valued as a customer. It happens with the company LoveFilm (don't know if you have it in the US - DVD rentals by post), and basically every so often I get vouchers through the post for 3 months free, or a certain amount off etc that I can give away to friends. They're presented as nice gift cards and look really lush. But the problem is, it feels like I'm being used. I have been subscribed to Lovefilm for 6 years and have never been given any money off/gifts etc but have only been given this to pass to other people so that they can get more customers. I always throw them away. But if they were to give me some sort of loyalty gift alongside a bunch of things to give away to my friends I would definitely go ahead and do it. So I guess that is something to think about - how can we reward existing fans without cheating them. If I BOUGHT a CD, I would probably be a bit miffed if 2 more came with the expectation that I would GIVE them away. We need to give the buying fan something more, something that says they are valued and that they are a part of the team rather than just a useful pawn in our fan acquisition game.

Interesting thoughts. Thanks!

David Hooper

You are correct. You can absolutely devalue what you're doing by running sales all the time. Because of this, what I mentioned above is something that I'd do only during a "push" to get your album out and only for a limited time.
I think the best place to do it would be on the tail end of live gigs, where the audience is fired up, ready to buy, and ready to tell people about the experience they just had. This will make them feel like they're part of the experience and EXTENDING that experience by telling people about it and passing along the music they've just heard.

Fil Campbell

I've been giving away old CDs when people at my gigs buy one of the latest releases. It works really well - shifting stock, introducing fans to my earlier work and allowing people to share a purchase if they don't have a lot of money.

Mike @ MikeVeny.Com

Great article!!!

I swear I just got one of those cards for Kiplinger's Personal Finance and thought the same thing. You blogged about it first. :)

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