Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Make $3,650 A Year With Two Solo Cups

Marketing Doesn't Have to Be Hard.

Sometimes you can spend millions of dollars on advertising and maybe not make one sale. And sometimes you can put a couple of Solo cups to work for you and make $3,600.

I walked into a coffee shop today and had to smile when I got to the counter. It wasn’t because I got free coffee (although, it sort of was). It was because of the little genius marketing idea sitting on the counter.

Each week, the baristas at the coffee shop create a question of the week. I call it the “Which is Better?” poll.

Last week the sign out front asked customers “Which is better [implied] Pluto or Scooby Doo?” This week’s question was “Which is better [again, implied] Smoothies or Milkshakes?”

Customers of the coffee shop can “vote” by dropping a dollar in one of two cups — one labeled with a photo of a couple of milkshakes and the other with a photo of smoothies. The shop has also done Captain America vs. Superman, New Ninja Turtles movie vs. Classic Ninja Turtle movie, and last week, Pluto vs. Scooby Doo. You can see from the photo above, Scooby Doo won last week's poll.

The winner at the end of the week, is announced on the counter next week, along with a new question. But the real winner(s) are the baristas, because they get to keep the poll tax each day as tips. Not a bad way to ask for a tip without really asking for a tip.

See, marketing doesn’t have to be hard ... or expensive.

You Can Simplify Your Advertising:

1. Keep it simple — Sometimes it’s just as simple as putting out a shingle and letting folks know you are in “business.” In this case, the baristas are in business for tip money.

2. Put out a tip jar — Let people know that you are in business. Get business cards. Start a website. Tell people you are in business. Put out your “tip jar.”

3. Ask for business — Even if it’s only a dollar (or something that is inexpensive). Put a price on your services and ask people if you can “serve” them.

4. Give something valuable in return — Give people something in return for a little cash that they put in your “tip jar.” Each week, these baristas give everybody in the coffee shop a chance to have their voice heard.


These Baristas Inspire Me

While these baristas aren’t getting rich each week, they do get tips that they might not ordinarily get. For the price of a couple of cups and some paper with two photos and a new question each week, they get $10 a day or so in tips. I’m not great at math but I think that’s about $70 a week and $3,650 a year ($3,660 on leap years). That’s very little cash outlay to get a lot in return. 

By the way, I voted for Milkshakes. And from the looks of things, other people like milkshakes too.

Your Chance to Share 

Have you seen an example of Small-Budget-Big-Bang marketing in action? Please share …

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