Perspiration Precipitates Performance and Other Marketing Lessons Learned

Marketing Ideas Douglas Criticism Quote

The following is a letter I received from a dear client, John Douglas, who also happens to be a talented local photographer. Over the past year, John has undergone the rigors of becoming an SEO-savvy entrepreneur. John is a model student; eager to learn, invested in his own success and quick to pick up the strategies required to build success, both online and offline.

I asked John if I could share his letter with you. I feel his experience may resonate and help normalize others who may feel as he did as they attempt to break into their local marketplace.

As I mentioned to John, it is wonderful to see yourself progress toward self-confidence as a business person and professional. Yes, it’s hard to teach such things without the frustrating mechanism of time and the roller-coaster of the success/failure continuum. Take pleasure in recognizing your inner growth. Lessons like these are learned not just intellectually, but also at a cellular level, through life discovery. This means such valuable lessons become truly yours, adding onto the wisdom you already possess. You are richer today–both in the spirit and in the material–as a result.

In support of your efforts,

Matt Schoenherr

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Hey Matt:
It’s been close to a year since we started working together. I thought I would share some observations with you. I have been seeing increasing activity and interest in my work as manifest by the number of requests I am getting now. Am I as busy as I’d like to be? Absolutely not, but I’ve learned to be patient. Some random thoughts:

  • Success is measured incrementally, and doesn’t happen according to your prescribed schedule. I have learned be comfortable with even modest gains. As you are well aware the last year has seen some frustrations on my part, largely because I was focusing on the success of others and not on my personal successes. I have learned to focus on myself and my abilities and not be concerned with the success or failure of others.
  • Don’t evaluate your success on the short term. It has taken me a while to assimilate this, and I’m sure you’ve told me this a number of times. Being an engineer, I plotted a linear regression of where I expected to be in a year with regard to web traffic. Am I going to reach my goal? I don’t know. Do I care? No.
  • “P cubed”. Perspiration precipitates performance. Gains are not achieved without some hard work and drudgery. I never imagined it would be so difficult to to get top ranking, and to hold on to decent ranking.
  • Web design is fun, but web maintenance is boring and mundane. The website design looks fantastic, and I am still happy with it today after nearly a year.
  • Word of mouth is the best advertising. I firmly believe that reputation trumps any search engine rankings or website designs. SEO is a way of getting your foot in the door and establishing yourself as a credible resource.
  • Does top ranking mean you are the best? Absolutely not. I have learned that you have to have faith in people and recognize that they will make decisions to hire me based on their criteria, and not my criteria.
  • Learn to see the difference between constructive criticism and destructive criticism. Appreciate the constructive, ignore the destructive.
  • Has it been worth the time, effort, and money? Absolutely! I would not be seeing the interest I am seeing without decent ranking on keyword searches. Thank you for your efforts.

Lastly, thank you for being patient with me in the last year. You have been my technical advisor, mentor, and (at times) my spiritual and psychological counselor.  =)

I am very appreciative of all of your efforts and assistance in the past year.

John Douglas
Photographer

Marketing Idea #19: Perfect Your Powers of Persuasion

Marketing Ideas Public Speaking

Hone your public-speaking skills. Join Toastmasters (www.toastmasters.org). As you move onward and upward into the business community, you will be called upon to give presentations before groups (one of the best ways to be perceived as an authority on your topic). Being proficient and persuasive in communicating ideas and stories before an audience is a huge asset. If you’re petrified by the thought of public-speaking, take solace: The point isn’t to get rid of the butterflies, it’s to get them flying in formation.

Marketing Idea #24: Volunteer for Local Nonprofit or Charity

Marketing Ideas Volunteer

Volunteer for a local nonprofit group or charity. Maybe you have something to offer by volunteering on an advisory board. Maybe you want to climb into the trenches and help on the front lines. Whatever direction you choose, be sure your efforts are a reflection of the values you hold close to your heart. The cause you support must inspire you on a deep, personal level. Otherwise, you will tire quickly and may end up abandoning the effort before you’ve even begun—and that is not the way to build a reputation for quality and service.

Marketing Ideas #59-66: Event-Goers Love Attention to Detail

Marketing Ideas Event Attention to Detail

Don’t skimp on the small stuff when you’re producing an event. People will always expect certain things, and if they’ve paid to be there, they have a right to expect those things.

#59: If you have an event or seminar, provide beverages, a coat rack or coat check, and snacks.

#60: Validate parking if free parking isn’t available. If you can’t validate parking, work out an arrangement with your venue to include parking in the price of admission.

#61: If parking is still an issue, offer a shuttle service to and from the event.

#62: Make it easy for people to register; offer online registration from your website. This method should collect their contact information, accept and process credit cards, and send attendees their confirmation automatically. (There are services available for accomplishing this if you’re not sure how to do it yourself.)

#63: Make sure the bathrooms are clean and tended to regularly.

#64: Ensure there are enough trash receptacles and that they are emptied periodically (before they’re overflowing).

#65: Work with your local chamber of commerce, business associations, and networking organizations to promote your event to their members.

#66: Offer meals during an all-day event. This serves two purposes. First, you’ll have less stragglers wandering back in from lunch after the event has picked back up. Second, by giving attendees a reason to sit at their table, they network with each other over lunch, bonding with each other (and your brand) in the process.

Marketing Idea #58: Promote Your Cause with the Local News

Marketing Ideas Partner with the Local News

Contact your local TV and/or radio stations about teaming up to produce special events and programming around your issue. You and your partner stations might consider creating news stories on key issues in the community, while also sponsoring city hall forums, fairs, and other outreach events. The goal of partnering with your local broadcasters is to extend the value of 1.) your outreach efforts and 2.) their programming.

Marketing Idea #46: Throw a Party

Marketing Ideas Throw a Party

Whether a holiday or a “client appreciation” party, getting your clients together in the same room and collectively thanking them for their loyal patronage can help you make clients (and friends) for life. Depending on the nature of the organization you operate, you may also have key staff members available to assist with mingling and mixing.

Variation: If you have a large organization, you may separate the employee party from the client party, but certainly both are worth having. Employee parties offer the opportunity for internal marketing; client parties, external.

Marketing Idea #67: Sponsor Local Programming

Marketing Ideas Sponsor Local Programming

A great way to get your organization’s name into the local community is to sponsor or underwrite a local news program, whether television or radio. Make sure the media station (and format) you select is appropriate for your target market. For instance, if you’re looking to reach an older crowd, maybe you want to advertise on an “oldies” radio station, which plays songs that were hits in the past. If you want to reach the younger generation, you might look at a Top 40 or hip-hop radio station. If you’re looking for a sports-oriented crowd, you’ll want to place your ad in front of the folks sitting at home, watching the sports channels.

Tip: An ideal place to advertise is with talk-radio programs. National Public Radio (NPR) and similar “talk-based” formats offer an audience that is already tuned into the discussion, rather than an audience that will be annoyed by another ad that separates them from their music. Underwriting these programs on a local level will also provide you with the opportunity to support a wonderful service in your own community.

Rebuttal: Free Samples

Marketing Ideas Free Samples

In response to Seth Godin’s “Free Samples” post, May 11, 2012:

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Free samples

It bothers me to watch the hordes at the farmer’s market, swooping in to each booth, grabbing a sample and walking away. The thin slices of handmade rye bread, or the perfect strawberries or the little glasses of juice—all of them disappear into the hands of people who have no intention of buying.

Sure, someone stops and buys now and then, which is why the farmers keep offering the samples. To them, it’s merely a cost of doing business, a relatively inexpensive way to keep prospective customers coming. I’m not sure I could do it—the people afraid to look me in the eye, all that slinking around, and most of all, the profits walking out the door, over and over again. Enough thin slices makes a loaf.

This is vexing, even to someone who merely makes ideas. Watching people sneak endless tastes with no intention of making a purchase—sometimes I gasp at the audacity.

The distinction in the digital world is profound. In the digital world, the more free samples you give away, the better you do. The miserly mindset that afflicts the merchant watching inventory walk out the door at the market is counterproductive in the digital world. That’s because more free samples cost you nothing.

The scarce resources in the connection revolution are connection, attention and trust, not molecules, atoms or strawberries.

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Free Sample Double-Take

While I see great value in most of Seth Godin’s marketing ideas, I will respectfully cry foul on this one. I would have placed this comment on his blog, however—at the time of this writing—Mr. Godin has turned the commenting feature off. Curious, for someone who reports engagement is a primary vehicle for building a trusting, loyal following?

People are People

Though I agree things may be different in the digital world, I would also say the contrast is not so stark. People are people, no matter where we draw the lines on a map, and no matter whether that map is of the real or digital world. In fact, free samples probably work just as well in the flesh; they simply exhibit different properties.

Let’s Compare

Yes, your reach is broader online. You can reach anyone with a computer and an Internet connection (so long as they can find you.) This means greater volume, greater exposure, and—hopefully—greater opportunity for sales. It also means greater exposure to vultures and trolls. In the digital world, your free samples can be snapped up by people who never read them, or worse, repackage them as their own. C’est la vi.

Marketing Ideas Free SampleIn the real world, free samples also entice—same as their online counterparts. Accepting a free sample in the real world carries less anonymity, however. In a crowded farmer’s market, you can’t use a fictitious name or a junk email address to grab that succulent sample; you or your minions (maybe you send in your child, eh?) must get close enough to the purveyor to risk being greeted. As a shop owner, immediately your connection is stronger and your ability to engage the potential customer (face-to-face) is dramatically increased.

The same time and effort that went into crafting that piece of digital brilliance may also be the same time and effort that went into crafting that bread. Sure, digital assets can be downloaded and reproduced over and over. It’s the “do it once, replicate over and over” model. Yet, while many of us don’t need the latest, greatest marketing book, we all need to eat. Now we’re moving into differences in product selection, which has precious little to do with whether free samples work in the real world (which they do.)

Example: Used car dealerships employ a variation of the free sample concept all the time. Have you ever test-driven a car but needed to get buy-in from your spouse or parents before signing your life away? Has the salesperson ever told you to take the car home overnight to get a feeling for it? That’s known as the “puppy dog close” and it works wonderfully. The “free sample” is in the chance to try the vehicle on, wear it and show it off. The dealership is banking (literally) on you becoming emotionally bonded with the vehicle. The more connection you feel to that vehicle, the more likely you will adopt it and the sizable loan or lease that accompanies it.

Afterglow

Maybe Mr. Godin was simply searching for something to critique so he could segue into his final point about connection, attention and trust. He obviously must understand the ancient, time-proven concept of free samples, even though he finds himself “vexed” and “gasping” at the “audacity” of it all.

What about you? Do you believe free samples work? Have you used them in your own business? Have they compelled you to buy more yourself?

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Reference

Godin, S. Free Samples. Retrieved from http://sethgodin.typepad.com/seths_blog/2012/05/free-samples.html on 05/11/2012.

Marketing Idea #71: Offer Editorial Comment

Marketing Ideas Offer Editorial Comment

Often, radio stations will set aside time in their news schedules for taking public comment on important issues. Begin by calling the news directors of your local radio stations and asking for the chance to offer your editorial comment. (Make sure you have a good sense as to whether they cater to the audience you want to reach.) Focus on local concerns related to your work.

Marketing Idea #43: Tips to Make Your Grand Opening Successful

Marketing Ideas Grand Opening

To make your grand opening successful:

  • schedule it during high-traffic times (if your location allows for it),
  • throw a big grand opening sale,
  • offer food (make this appropriate to the clientele you are seeking),
  • provide a tent for seating outside,
  • send a direct or email mailing the local market,
  • offer demonstrations of products or services, and
  • invite all local business owners, press, and the local chamber of commerce for the ribbon-cutting.

Variation: Already been in business a while? Find anything to celebrate! Maybe you throw a party over being in business so many years. Or maybe you had a recent birth in the family. Or maybe you want to celebrate a key vendor or client. There are plenty of reasons to celebrate. Pick one and show people a great time.

Social Media Gone Bad: I’ll Like Your Page, if You Like Mine

Marketing Ideas Social Media Backliking

An interesting thing happened to me the other day. In the course of performing routine search engine marketing tasks, I received a message from someone who had just “liked” one of my Facebook fan pages, Marketing Ideas 101. The message read:

“Hey, I just liked your Facebook fan page! Please like mine back!” ~ Random

Now, I don’t know about you, but every time this happens to me, I feel awkward. What if I look at this person’s page and determine it’s junk? What if it’s spammy? What if it holds little value in the world at all? The burden! The obligation! All from a single note from someone I’ve never met!

Gasp. What if I don’t like their page?

I try to bring value to my websites. I try to inject interesting content, helpful tips and a wealth of wisdom in my contributions to the Internet community.

In addition, it takes a lot to “wow” me. I’ve never just “liked,” or “followed,” or “retweeted” someone just to be nice. Oh, wait..that’s not true.

In The Beginning

In the world of search engine marketing (SEM, commonly and erroneously referred to as SEO the same way everyone insists on calling all facial tissues “Kleenex,” there is a technique referred to as “back linking.” Back linking (spelled backlinking, back linking or back-linking, depending on who you talk to) is an activity whereby you add your website to niche directories, submit articles, post videos and podcasts, post blog comments and more – all of which include one-way links back to your website.

Of course, the result is simple to guess. The more conduits leading back into your website, the more traffic you have, and the more conversions (sign-ups, comments, calls, sales, etc.,) you should receive, right? That’s the theory, in a nutshell.

Well, humans are ingenious beasts. It wasn’t long before people figured out you could swap links and accomplish similar results. Google caught on, slapped everyone, and reciprocal link campaigns lost their value.

Then came link farms, where links between sites were less direct, placing sites in a circular chain of links. Google figured that out too, mostly.

During all this, social media was blooming. Blossoming. Exploding.

One booming social channel was called Twitter. Maybe you’ve heard of it? Personally, I resisted Twitter at first. The notion of a glorified text messaging system seemed a faddish time-eater to me. As a business owner and father of four, I am busy enough as it is. Eventually, I gave in, signed up and thus began my fall from grace.

I Blame Twitter

From day one, I began to see the “if you follow me, I’ll follow you” phenomenon in Twitter. Being new to Twitter country, I took this virtual exchange with random strangers to simply be part of the Twitter culture. “This is what you do with Twitter,” I said to myself. To play the game, you must first learn the rules and I figured following random people (especially if they followed you) was how you played the game.

Occasionally, I would see a Twitter account that did not follow this pattern. Usually, this person was a celebrity, so they would have a million followers in contrast to the five people they were following. These examples were not the norm, however.

Enter Facebook

Born two years earlier than Twitter, Facebook was all about connecting friends. As time passed and dreams of monetization increased, fan pages were created. As fan pages were created, people and companies began to realize the power of “likes.” This power – similar to Twitter, whereby a broadcast became more powerful with the growing size of the fan base – was a real turn-on to anyone who understood the marketing principles of exposure and amplitude. Want to extend your reach on the most popular social network on the planet? Get more “likes.”

How do you get more “likes” you ask. Provide greater value. Increase your engagement. Maintain dialogues. Be entertaining. Be remarkable. “All that takes work, Matt!” you say. “What if we just trade ‘likes?’ That sounds easier.” True.

Welcome to “Back Liking”

I see a problem with reciprocal “like” campaigns. For one, social media is supposed to be about connection and engagement; not spamming. It’s similar to getting spam on your cellphone. Your cellphone is a very personal conduit into you, like your Facebook news feed. Who wants it junked up with spammy broadcasts and solicitations? Yuck.

Another problem with “like” reciprocity campaigns is the dilution of your “like” power. How can anyone trust you as a person of influence if you “like” 3,000 pages and many of them are junk or of little value. If you have “liked” 3,000 quality resources, that’s another matter; good for you.

Afterglow

This brings me back to my initial point. “Liking” someone back out of pure reciprocity and not from a place of belief in them or their message:

  • squanders your influence (a currency advertisers pay social networks handsomely for),
  • soils your news feed (and your attention) with posts and ads irrelevant to you, and
  • fails to reflect you and your tastes accurately.

I believe one of the best ways we can shine in the world – including the virtual world of social media – is to show integrity in our communications with others. Our daily challenge is to bring that integrity to every corner of our presence, both online and offline.

The next time someone asks you to “like” them back, make sure you can do so with a true heart and a clear conscience.

In support of your efforts,

Matt


Matt Schoenherr is a husband, father of four, marketing consultant and founder of Marketing Ideas 101. As a student, teacher and published author, Matt supports the worthy goals of service and commerce in the small business and nonprofit communities. Creative marketing ideas and marketing strategies may be found at MarketingIdeas101.com.

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Reference
Photo cropped from the work of Justin Blanton, http://hypertext.net/photos/112.

Marketing Idea #88: Power in Print

Marketing Ideas Power in Print

How often are you bringing value to your clients? Offer a regular newsletter, article, or column. Ensure that whatever you put out maintains a consistent look and feel with the rest of your image; this assists you in furthering the development of your brand.

Better: You should be collecting the e-mail addresses of everyone who comes to you. Reduce your printing costs, save trees, and extend your reach by offering your network an e-newsletter.

Marketing Idea #104: Host a Field Trip

Marketing Ideas Field Trip

A great way to gain exposure and provide entertainment is to provide public tours of your facility. This is especially powerful for agriculture, arts and history, manufacturing; essentially, any place where something is grown, created or built. Try not to schedule such an event around any deadlines or busy periods you might have. Take your time with the tour to ensure your captive audience remains engaged and make sure to tailor your presentation to your audience. A class of first-graders may be more interested in learning how apple cider is made than watching giant steel presses shape red-hot bars into orthopedic implements.

Or, then again, maybe not..

Marketing Idea #8: Selling Online (Do It)

Marketing Ideas Order Online

Make sure your customers can order from you online. If they can’t order from you online, make sure they can order by phone or by fax. You’re in the business of making it easier for your customers to do business with you! Your challenge is to analyze how easy it is for customers to get what they want from you. Have you ever tried to buy something from yourself? Go through the process. Have your staff go through the process. Survey your customers; how did they feel about their first experience with you? Compile your notes and discuss your findings. Then, fix what’s broken.

10 Great Office Fundraiser Ideas

Marketing Ideas Office Game Ideas

1. Create a Recipe Book

Everyone brings in a favorite family recipe which is then compiled into a single document, beautified, and published for resale.

To execute this fundraiser

Send around a sign-up sheet so you can get a feel for the kinds of dishes people would like to contribute. Have the sign-up sheet broken out into categories, such as Appetizers, Salads, Poultry, Pasta, Desserts—be creative. Be sure to include several blanks for ‘Other’ in case you forgot something. (Using categories here will also help you organize the recipe book later.) Make sure the sign-up sheet also describes the goal (this is part of a fundraiser,) the deadline for contributions and the reward for contributing (credits in the cookbook, bragging rights, a discount on the cookbook when it’s ready, etc.)

Once you have received enough recipes, compile them into your word-processing software. Apply a festive template, font-style and high-resolution pictures of the dishes for extra pizzazz.  Don’t forget to pass a draft around for additional suggestions and proofreading.

Finally, take the finished product to the local print-shop and have them printed. Hopefully, you allowed people to pre-order and pay ahead of time. (Tip: Include the option to do this with the sign-up sheet!) Pre-orders and “reserve your copy” reminders will help you pay printing costs and determine how many copies to print.

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2. Book Sale

Help employees purge clutter at home by encouraging them to dust off and donate their used books to a book sale. Sell the books at a discount and match them to new homes.

To hold this fundraiser

Most of us have books that have been sitting on our bookshelves, untouched for many years. Encourage teammates to bring in those books and donate them. Collect the books over the course of a week or two. On the day of the big sale, lay the books out to gain maximum exposure. Announce the beginning of the sale and let it go on for as long as you like. The length of your sale depends upon its popularity, since someone must be available to provide answers about prices, make change, etc.

Near the end of your sale, encourage people to revisit and benefit from a steep discount (buy one book, get a second book free, for example.) Your mission is to squeeze as much as you can out of the effort and reduce your inventory.

Once the sale is over, you have two choices: store the remaining books for another sale or donate them to the local library or city mission.

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3. Bake Sale

Give your baking teammates a chance to show their stuff by donating through a bake sale. Those who don’t bake can buy baked goods at the local grocery store and mark up the price to contribute to the fundraiser.

To hold this fundraiser

Open the sale just prior to lunchtime and make sure to broadcast a vivid reminder. No need to limit yourself to baked goods either. You can do the same thing with:

  • Popcorn
  • Hot dogs
  • Bakery goods
  • Ice cream
  • Nachos

Twist: Have any gardeners on the team? Expand this concept to holding your own farmers’ market.

Twist: Host a pancake breakfast where organization leaders cook pancakes and fry up breakfast meats and potatoes for the crew. While this can be leveraged as a fundraiser, this is also a great idea for simple employee appreciation.

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4. Cook-Off Competition

Target a popular type of dish and have staff compete for high honors. Everyone pays to eat.

To hold this fundraiser

You’ll need a sign-up sheet for this one. Collect the names of would-be cooks and have employees RSVP to the dining event. Each cook prepares a full batch of their delectable dish and brings it in for the lunch rush. Collect employee money at the beginning of the food line. Each employee gets to try as many of the dishes as they like, but all employees are limited to a single vote. Tally the votes after the lunch rush and announce the winner!

Twist: Have team members prepare delicious lunches for auctioning off to co-workers.

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5. Announce a Jean Day

Have an office where the dress code is business casual or uniforms? As long as some structure is placed on this (i.e. no ripped jeans, no denim skirts above the knee—whatever is appropriate for your organization’s culture,) a jean day can be an easy, no-muss, no-fuss fundraiser for your office.

To conduct this fundraiser

Announce a Jean Day, where people can pay a small amount ($1-$3) to wear jeans.  Let people know what the money will go toward (i.e. a holiday party later in the year, a local charity, etc.) The likeliest day for this is usually a Friday, when people are often relaxing into their weekends. Studies have shown, however, that holding a Jean Day on a Monday actually shows a boost in employee productivity. (No kidding.)

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6. Costume Contest

Get your team mates to show their true colors.

To hold this fundraiser

Charge a low entry fee for participants. Promise bragging rights and free lunch. (Yes, this eats into your revenues. Pun intended.) Since paying money to dress up in a silly outfit and be seen by your co-workers may be a deterrent, you’ll need the incentive of free food. Take pictures of this one and post everywhere. This one often accompanies other fundraisers, such as Executive Auction or Office Raffle/Silent Auction.

Themes might include:

  • Team Spirit Day
  • Halloween Day
  • St. Patrick’s Day
  • Argyle Day
  • 80’s Day

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7. Office Sports Competition

Game day takes on a whole new meaning when colleagues team up to create adventure courses throughout the office.

To conduct this fundraiser

Establish teams to create courses throughout the office. Charge a low entry fee to participate and win prizes and high acclaim. Courses may include:

  • Putt-putt golf obstacle courses
  • Nerf basketball or ping pong ball trick-shot courses
  • Office Olympics, where mundane tasks are put to a race (make X number of photocopies, collated, 2-sided, stapled, then file X number of documents, then make X number of cold calls or customer service calls, mail cart slalom, etc.)
  • Foosball, air hockey or billiards competitions (if available)

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8. Office Raffle

Everyone can chip in and buy tickets. Just be sure to make the prizes enticing, otherwise no one will see the value in playing.

To hold this fundraiser

This fundraiser is all about the prizes, so they had better be good. Lunch with the boss will only work if people actually like the boss, so tread carefully here. Buy your ticket rolls at any office supply store and leave raffle participants with little paper stubs of hope in exchange for their well-earned cash. While the possibilities are endless, raffle prize ideas may include:

  • Wear jeans around the office for a day/week/month.
  • Get a full day off, with pay.
  • Lunch with the boss at a posh restaurant, on the boss’ tab.
  • Tickets to a sports game.
  • Gift cards for restaurants, spas, movie theaters, stores or gas stations.
  • A non-business trip, with lodging and meals covered.
  • Air miles.

Twist: A variation of this would be the silent auction, where prizes can be bid upon directly. This allows for greater diversity in prizes which broadens the appeal.

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9. Executive Auction

Participating executives line up for a pageant and the employees are able to bid on them once the dog and pony show is over. The executive purchased then has to do that employee’s job for a day.

To conduct this fundraiser

Set the starting bids on the executives. These minimum bids, when added together, will ideally surpass the fundraising goal so that everything else is cream. If your fundraiser’s goal is more lofty, aim to achieve at least half with the opening bids.

For the auction stage, have the executives perform for the crowd to build the bidding frenzy. Use tasks that humanize and personalize the executives. These segments may include:

  • Give an off-the-cuff speech for two minutes involving a funny memory
  • Tell what they would do if they were President of the World for a day
  • Dance to three very different 10-second music bites
  • Runway model
  • Spelling bee (See “Adult Spelling Bee“)
  • Talk about a personal goal or interest that doesn’t involve the office at all

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10. Pin the Tail on the Executive

Well, not really, but as the title implies, this fundraising tactic targets executive authority. The object is to inspire donations at the expense of a well-humored (and hopefully well-loved) executive or manager. People will pay dearly to see their higher-ups lowered to receiving public smirks and jeers with their slice of humble pie.

To execute this fundraiser

Set the office fundraising goal. Then set the incentive for meeting that goal. If the goal is met, fundraising incentives for this strategy may include:

  • Wearing some ridiculous costume (keep it clean and present a picture of the costume ahead of time). The best costumes may ballerina animals, mythological creatures, team mascots, etc.
  • Shaving off beards or mustaches. (This only applies to the whiskered men.)
  • Wearing a competing college team’s uniform all day, singing the competing college’s fight song, or allowing staff to decorate the executive’s office with competing college fanfare.
  • Executive matches the donations or a percentage of the donations for their team, floor, agency, etc.
  • Executive is ‘jailed’ until they reach their donation goals. (Read ”How to be Arrested for Fundraising”)

Twist: If the goal is NOT met, maybe the employees have to take on the same challenge?

Marketing Idea #54: How to be Arrested for Fundraising

Marketing Ideas Arrested for Fundraising

A number of good causes offer a “lockup” program to enlist members of the community in raising funds. The idea is to publicize a mock arrest and jailing (though you may really be handcuffed and driven to the local jail in a police car) in exchange for “bail” (contributions to the cause). The arrested then contacts the members of his own network to solicit for a set amount of funds in return for his freedom. Once bail has been made, you’re set free. If you can’t be away from your job, there’s often a “house arrest” option. Sign yourself up, and publicize it as widely as you can. You’re gaining a life experience, a wonderful story, and good karma.