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How to Bring Them Back.

September 18, 2012

Staying inspired can be a daunting, but necessary task.  As a marketer, business, or web site developer its your job to stay creative…and it may also be a great move to keep your customers creative.

Since the Fall is a powerful time for change and reflection its a perfect time to urge your supporters, customers, and beyond to get inspired and it might be the best marketing tool you’ve got.

Shall we look at some examples?  Terrific.

This morning I was a taking a look at what some of the top tech companies do for their users to keep them creative and engaged.  These examples are innovative and keep current and future users engaged.  Being a Bay Area native, I’m partial to Google, Apple, sometimes even the dying Yahoo!  These firms have employed some of my oldest friends (call me loyal) so we’ll begin with Google.

Google-a-Day.  Who doesn’t love a good search?  Why not make a game out of it?  Google highlights and utilizes what users want most (more to Google)  and offers Google-a-Day, a clever (and fun!) prompt which combines scavenger hunts and Googling.

The idea here is simple.  Use our product and have a little fun.  These prompts are so clever you’ll sort of forget you were urged by a marketing technique.  The simplicity here?  The folks at Google put your needs ahead of their own.  And your need?  To have fun.

Excite first, then remind folks whose exciting them…that’s the Google way.

Near Field Communication.  Those of you excited by the iPhone 5 are familiar with NFC.  Its a technology which establishes radio connectivity between phones, computers, and the like from their physical proximity (not reliant on a WiFi connection).

If you’ve visited Starbucks recently you’ve noticed that you can download an app, load it up with cash, and use your smartphone to pay for your coffee and more at Starbucks.  This is another example of NFC, and more and more businesses are beginning to use transactions this way.

This month one of the staff writers for Wired Magazine is going to live without her wallet in an effort to test and prove NFC.  She’s going to use her smartphone, or online retailing, to pay for her groceries, her coffee, her lifestyle.  Read more about her adventures here.  This experiment ignites the imagination and (I’m sure) will get more folks to open up about paypal, smartphone transactions, and online retailing.

What’s effective about this experiment is her risk factor.  This makes her experiment a thrill which educating us about a relatively new technology.

What experiments can you do to boost your new products?  Make it risky and adventurous.

Build your own computer. This guys really caught on to getting your kids excited about computers…not just using them but building them.

Simon Cox, an engineer at Britain’s University of Southampton, got an idea to build a supercomputer, using simple materials, and create instructions to teach others how to build the supercomputers too.  I won’t give everything away, but one of the simple materials are legos.  You can figure out the rest here. 

Innovation are one of the best ways to keep your customers coming back.  Offer them something new and they’ll realize how much they love using your company.