Your marketing minute: Is this a trip or what?

January 9, 2012 | By | Reply More

Do you give away freebies to make customers happy?

Donna Dahl is a Calgary-based marketing consultant.


By Donna Dahl    

A few years ago, it seemed I was getting lost a lot. I would go for a drive and discover that I could not find my way back home.



After calling my husband for directions one too many times to suit me, he recommended that I get a GPS for my car. I agreed.

Life after GPS intervention? What we discovered was that we had to constantly update the maps. Updates were running into $80 or $90 a time. Ouch! That’s an expensive map. It would be cheaper to print one from the internet. There was just one teeny, tiny problem with that solution. I could not print off a map in my car.

We recently came across a newer GPS for a little over $100 that came with a lifetime of free updates. Guess what we did?

Thinking back over the years of economic boom, it seems to me that the profit game was to satisfy the consumer feeding frenzy and keep it alive with new products. Customer service and added value felt like they were being exchanged for loyalty points programs and the offer of making extended warranties available…for a fee.

With the speed at which technology is changing the way we communicate alone, why wouldn’t I just prefer to have a trade-in program so the company can go green with recycled products? When people are not cashing in their points, the liabilities for them are growing. Perhaps consumers don’t really see points as having the same value as plain old-fashioned customer service and added value like, “We’ll throw in the delivery for free.”

Where was I? Oh, yes. I was talking about my new GPS. I can now update it whenever I want as often as I want and I am a raving fan. I have not been at a loss getting from A to B for a long time.

What have you purchased recently that came with something for free? Do you add anything for free when your customer makes a purchase from you? Do you sweeten the pot incrementally with larger orders?

Until next time, I would love to hear from you. What value-added deals have you come across?

Donna Dahl is an author, marketing strategist and professional speaker/trainer. Her work takes clients from Stuck to Start™ in 90 minutes. Ask her about her new Stuck to Start™ by Phone program. She can be reached at Visit her website at or take in one of her shows at Donna Dahl was awarded a 2011, 100th Anniversary International Women’s Day Outstanding Service Award in Business.



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Category: Business

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