Last week I was lunching at a barbecue restaurant when I saw a gumball machine with a coupon flyer on top of it. I wondered if the person managing the gumball machines was the same person distributing the coupons that sat on top. If they weren’t they missed out on a key bulls eye marketing principle: Piggybacking.
In a world of limited resources, you should leverage and maximize existing marketing "working capital" to carry your messages. There’s a disproportionate amount of investment to start a new program, campaign or initiative than to add something onto an existing campaign.
The idea of piggybacking is to look at any marketing program and piggyback on it with another marketing message. Or, alternatively, piggyback every marketing vehicle to reinforce your main message (example: logos on delivery vehicles, URLs on receipts, etc.).
Think about all of your customer touch points and ask yourself, what else could be added that wouldn’t take away from the primary message.
- Can you add a cross-sell to a landing page that may entice a visitor to think of buying something else before they leave.
- Can you add something to what you ship the customer?
- Can you add a message onto your voicemail?
- Can you add a message from your customer service, sales or support representatives?
- Do you (moderately) leverage links from one page to another page in your site (The Resolving Door concept).
The IDEA and PRINCIPLE of Piggyback is to look at any and all activities and consider how it can be added to and leveraged and maximize its full potential...but not past the point it becoming overwhelmed, cluttered, or diluted.
Here’s a great example of piggybacking external messages to create a free advertising campaign:
Many years ago the VP of Marketing for Micron PC bought the sponsorship for a college bowl game, paying $500k for the sponsorship to have the game called the “Micronics Bowl”. As the premiere sponsor they got the logo on the field plus a number of other advertising placements. The VP resold these other advertising spaces to partners…sort of a subleasing of this advertising space. In the end, the parts were greater than the sum, and he resold the multiple advertising placements for a total of $500k…allowing Micron to have their name on the field and the bowl named after them for free.