Gini Dietrich

How Effective Are Product Give-Aways?

By: Gini Dietrich | December 16, 2010 | 

The Arment Dietrich Facebook question of the week comes from Joe Hackman who asks, “How valuable and effective are product give-aways to generate interest in a brand/product? Also what potential pitfalls do you see with this type of promotion?”

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About Gini Dietrich

Gini Dietrich is the founder and CEO of Arment Dietrich, an integrated marketing communications firm. She is the author of Spin Sucks, co-author of Marketing in the Round, and co-host of Inside PR. She also is the lead blogger at Spin Sucks and is the founder of Spin Sucks Pro. Join the Spin Sucks   community!

  • ryanknapp

    Make sure your giveaways can target the widest user base possible inside your company / product.

    If you can, just don’t give away at random. We had a 14 year member here at the NSCAA who had never been to our convention, but told us on twitter this week he was going. We sent him a polo, scarf and upgraded him to our VIP convention package as a simple way to say ‘thank you’ and to spread some good cheer. I could have given those away to someone else, but I know with this particular member we now are very well connected.

  • I totally agree that product giveaways work really well. They incentivize an audience to interact on a new level. Even more, it brings different content to post on social networks. We’ve used it a lot for blogger outreach as well, which has created and built mutually beneficial relationships.

  • ginidietrich

    @JocelynRimbey And everyone likes free shit, right?!

  • ginidietrich

    @ryanknapp Great example (and fun seeing you here)! Thank you!!

  • @ginidietrich Uh, yes! Hahaha!

  • ginidietrich

    @JocelynRimbey I haven’t been in our WordPress admin drafts. Did you write us a guest post??

  • @ginidietrich I did! I sent it over Monday. Dan said it would likely run next week. Can’t wait to see it up & get your opinion!

  • Today I have mentioned on Twitter — the GSM operators look like they were giving away expensive gadgets including iphones, blackberries, and netbooks, but in return they see they are selling not-really-cheap services, but on “easy terms” and for “considerably” long periods..

    you can check my words at [ ] in the 1st screen – you can Cmd/Ctrl-F for “GSM”

    So.. according to this picture, a “product” give away would-work if you guarantee another purchase, a service most preferably, where the costs would be much lower comparing to selling another product, and you would have much better chance in balancing loss-profit margins “in time”..

    — — — It also works when you want to have *sudden cardiac arrests* around the board room, you know, in which you were supposed to present your “less-than-desirable” arguments against your always-worried directors, and saying like “hey Boss.. I think we should give away some of thoseee… err.. those awayy….the dose.. Hey… are you alright? You really look pale on the ground!” — — —

    OK, as a matter of fact, I think, as Net-bourne solution providers our gadgets, aka the products will be no other than our web design packages, or the SEO services (don’t pull me into what is a good ~ what is a service). To give away those we used to offer in with 4 digit proposals, we have now top-notch marketing instruments, high-quality and delicate services as never before, where we could play with the margins at our will – and almost freely (err.. wishfully thinking perhaps) – See how I am *not* a PR guy, right? 🙂

    I don’t think giving away polished web sites would be the thing of a very distant future – so we’ll start giving-aways right away.. thank you

    next time I should give video responses :p

  • ginidietrich

    @kunter We have one client who gives away water bottles. Nothing to do with the business, but keeps people totally engaged. So you’re right – it doesn’t have to be the actually product or service. AND. I think you should do a video response right here! It’ll be the first time it’s been done.

  • ginidietrich

    @JocelynRimbey Awesome! Can’t wait to read it!

  • balemar

    First off – super excited about Project: “Jack Bauer”! AH! Seriously people, if you haven’t checked it out already – you really, really want to be in the know on this one. It smells like delicious chocolate chips. Now on to your regularly scheduled comment:

    Project giveaways are usually pretty effective. Like @ginidietrich and @JocelynRimbey said below: people love free stuff. How effective…well, that depends whether it’s a product your customers or reader base actually want and can use.

  • ginidietrich

    @balemar @JocelynRimbey Uh. I believe I said free shit. 🙂 And delicious chocolate chip cookies. I must figure out a way to incorporate that into the landing page!

  • HowieSPM

    My supermarket which I am about to head to does little food taster samples during the day. BJ’s and Costoco Wholesalers do the same. I have a client that makes a gourmet ice cream sandwich whom I have told to do guerrilla tastings in LA by just showing up with little samples of their newest cookie and ice cream flavors. The key is to have the give away a one time deal, so the customer doesn’t expect them always. People love free. Its an investment that I feel has a nice pay off because it over comes the cost barrier. With the goal of them coming back for more. It doesn’t cost as much as you might think because its a business expense. And even if someone doesn’t come back for what ever reason, if they at least had a good experience they will tell others in the right situation which is free advertising. But there are pitfalls. You really want to make the situation one where likely customers will be trying your product vs freebiestalkers.

  • ginidietrich

    @HowieSPM It’s like asking people to pay for content they’ve become accustomed to getting for free. We all have to deal with it. Even the coyotes want their free lasagna.

  • HowieSPM

    @ginidietrich @balemar @JocelynRimbey Now I am very intrigued. Project Jack Bauer where Gini Clones a Jack Bauer Army to take over Peoria is really cool but had no idea the Clones will smell like Chocolate Chips!!!!!! I love modern technology.

  • HowieSPM

    @ginidietrich @kunter I saw a study on how many impressions a tote bag gets with your brand name on it. It was crazy. If you do those kind of give aways they have to be such that people want to use them or wear them. Most effective is something that straddles utility or coolness w/ your brand. The more something reeks of blatant advertising the more likely that item doesn’t get used or is only used in private. Like I might wear a horrible brand tee shirt only when gardening or mowing my lawn in case its gets all gnarly with dirt.

  • balemar

    @ginidietrich @JocelynRimbey And it still makes me giggle each time! 🙂 @HowieSPM Seriously – Gini’s all about the tech in this one. You think with her mad cooking skills she wouldn’t incorporate something delicious smelling into the project?

  • ginidietrich

    @balemar @JocelynRimbey @HowieSPM There has to be a way to incorporate cupcakes, real ones, into this.

  • @ginidietrich thank you for both responds and the lagging commentary system’s persistent email notification 🙂 however I’m not there with you..

    With all respect to your .. statements, I think, giving away empty bottles or a crazy t-shirt is surely one thing, and could be regarded as fun or as waste any day, but giving up the pay for your flagship product is another.

    Owning an iPhone after the first 20 bucks is also, another..

    Certainly, the owner doesn’t start using his iPhone with the most bizzare fashion just b/c he thinks it was a give away.. it’s an iPhone after all..

    Or the web site for a company.. let them drop the web site, let them forget the one institutional look of their corporations.. just b/c my humble generosity did not ask that 4 digits from a 5-star hotel (my recent RL topic :))

    If you are a web agency (no such thing.. but digital marketing I should say) and you’relooking at the prospect of making business with a 5-star hotel.

    Any prospect that includes drawing up scatches, filling up files, doing all the design and delivering job, and NOT GOING TO ASK anything in return.. (though I know, it isn’t quite like that) would be far less than desirable for you.

    Perhaps, we should try the bottles – lol, I suppose it is safe to presume who was behind this brilliant idea — even by means of some unintentional inspiration 🙂

    best regards again;

  • @HowieSPM that “right situation” involves the other forces in nature, I guess 🙂 But you’re laying down your arguments very well and it’s a pleasure to read your opinions too.


  • Interestingly enough, I got home last night and was lucky enough to have Google Chrome notebook sitting at my doorstep! I’m actually commenting from it right now :)y did

    Why did I get one for free from Google? Because I use an Android, I use Google to organize my entire life, and almost all of my work is web-based. What does it take me to really start blogging? Hopefully this new notebook will be the answer. Because I am going to share my experiences with this new device since not many people have them. Looks like this product give away will work for Google, as long as the product lives up to my expectations.

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