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this week's Marketing
"No gimmicks. Just great service."
When a client asked what I thought of that tag line, it sent
me into a deep think. I wondered first what "gimmicks"
really are - since the client would need to stay clear of
them - and second whether forswearing them is a wise idea.
According to Merriam-Webster, a gimmick is a method or
trick used to get attention or prompt sales. Usually the
word carries a negative aura, implying that a gimmick gets
results from showmanship rather than substance.
Well-known gimmicks include giveaways to get you into a
store, come-on discounts that vanish when you blink, ads
created for their shock value and wild tweets that have
nothing to do with what's being sold.
Doing without all that seemed quite feasible. However, an
artificial deadline - "___ through January 30" or "this week
only..." - could also be considered a gimmick. When the
customer's need isn't urgent, you'd be doing away with a
powerful way to nudge someone who's mildly interested into
Deadlines can help people sitting on a fence to shove down
and buy something beneficial.
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