Understanding the difference between Incentive and Demand
Camping Out for Food
This past Saturday night, my daughter Kaitlin camped outside of Piada in Mason, OH due to their promotional incentive for “First 100 Guests Receive Free Piada For An Entire Year.” She did this because she likes Italian food and getting great deals (free stuff). This incentive got her to sleep in freezing temperatures on concrete because she is young and has time on her hands. For Piada, they use this incentive to jump start new locations and get publicity. Incentives can be effective and are often short lived. The end result… Kaitlin was #89 and received 52 gift cards for one free Piada meal for her efforts.
Camping Out For Your Child’s Education
Last Thursday, the first tent showed up on the campus of Fairview German Language School in Clifton. Within hours, more tents popped up like colorful weeds. Parents are vying for a limited number of spaces to enroll their child in this Cincinnati Public Magnet School that begins teaching German in Kindergarten. These parents will spend two weeks under the stars. There is no incentive. They get no reward. They simply get their child enrolled. That is demand. When there is limited competition, limited choice and limited capacity, demand increases.
However, high demand has not always the case at Fairview German Language School. I have firsthand experience as both of my daughters attended Fairview. In 2001, enrollment was dwindling. Cincinnati Public Schools in general suffered from a bad reputation. Vouchers for private schools were a new option. Fairview was (and has continued to be) a School of Excellence but enrollment in the Kindergarten classes was getting dangerously low.
In my first year in business, I was hired by the parent board to develop a strategy to increase enrollment. Little did I know that this project was the germination of the principles that are the foundation of the MARKETING ACCELERATOR™ process. Here is the short story on the enrollment results:
* 2001 – 60 new students.
* 2002 – 125 new students – a 105% increase
Read the case study about Enhancing Enrollment at Fairview.
The strategy I put together was one element of several people’s efforts that combined to make this a success that continues today. Fairview German has always been a great school worth camping out for. It was an effective marketing strategy that moved it to the front of parent’s minds in 2001. That momentum continues into 2013.
Have you made any marketing changes that have created a decade long impact? Tell me about it below.