Adam Gartenberg's Blog

Business Analytics and Optimization, IBM and Social Marketing

MTOTD (Marketing Thought of the Day): Motivation


This year, for the second time, my son has been out pounding the pavement selling popcorn to raise money for his cub scout troop.

Last year he did a great job, selling more than I expected, but after an afternoon or two going door to door through the neighborhood and hitting up the relatives, he was ready to be done.

This year, though, he's super gung ho, begging me to go out selling with him every free moment of the weekend.  ("No, Jacob, YOU may have been up for an hour and a half already, but 8:30am on a Saturday morning is too early to go ringing doorbells.")

What changed?  This year, in addition to the usual prizes for different sales levels, they're giving the kids a marshmallow blaster for each full order sheet they turn in (22 sales).  And it looks like he might actually make it.  For a $10 piece of plastic, they're likely to get more than twice as much sales (probably an additional $200 of popcorn).  That's a pretty good ROI.

Marketing thought of the day:  What motivates your company's sellers?  Or just as important, what motivates your customers?  Is there a "marshmallow blaster" that you should be offering that can double your sales?  

If you're looking for a good place to start for suggestions, I'd highly recommend the book Yes! 50 Scientifically Proven Ways to Be Persuasive.  Just as advertised in the title, the book highlights methodologies - backed by actual market research - on everything from getting people to be more environmentally friendly to getting more tips as a waiter, and their broader implications for marketing.