Radio Hed: Social Proof

Radio-Hed-Logo-2By Jeffrey Hedquist

Let’s face it; we all like to belong to something. That desire can be a short-lived one, or a lifetime desire.

Unless we’re talking about a rare one of a kind piece of art, no one wants to be the only buyer. When we see or at least know about others buying, visiting, indulging in, investing in, consuming, supporting something – a cause, a brand, a lifestyle, an advertiser – it gives us confidence that we’re making a good choice, or at least a popular choice.

“Ten thousand people can’t be wrong!” Well, yes they can, but at least we weren’t the only ones making a bad choice.

You’re hungry, looking for a nice meal, cruising down the street. You see three restaurants in the same area. One parking lot is virtually empty, one has a few cars, and one is packed. What’s your likely choice? Without knowing anything about the three eateries, you might assume that the crowd knows best and go with the traffic flow. If your advertiser already has the crowds, tell a story about it in the commercials. If they don’t, you’ll have to help build one. Create incentives for people to go to the club, restaurant, the store, spa, etc, and then advertise the crowd you’ve built, to draw others because of the cache you’ve created.

Example: Rope off all of the back tables at the restaurant and leave them unset. Market (email, direct mail, newsletter, radio) to regular customers that if they come by early in the evening, they can eat for half price. Then, as tables (and that parking lot) begin to fill up, gradually open up more tables by moving back the rope. Now you have a crowd to draw a crowd. And you’re the marketer who did it.

Help your advertiser start an owners group.

Example: H.O.G. The Harley Owners Group. Their motto: “Express yourself in the company of others.” Their description: “The Harley Owner Group is much more than just a motorcycle organization. It’s one million people around the world united by a common passion: making the Harley-Davidson dream a way of life.”

There are car model owners’ groups, dog owners’ groups, RV Clubs, paintball groups, yacht owners’ groups, woodworking tools users’ groups… the list is almost endless.

  • If you couldn’t get in to Café Paradiso last Saturday night, we apologize. Maybe you just need to plan your evening’s activities a little earlier.
  • Create commercials that sound like news updates as seats are filled, items in a limited inventory are sold, memberships are renewed, subscriptions are registered, and appointments are booked. Again, you’re demonstrating social proof to your audience that the advertiser is desirable.
  • Wonder why Salon X is almost always booked? They now have a way for you to get in without a long wait. It’s the Salon X Lucky Club.
  • Was that really the entire U of I football cheerleader squad we saw at Studio Thirteen this week? No wonder the temperature was up.
  • When (celebrity) came to town they could have gone to any restaurant to eat. They had their pre-concert dinner at The Red Rock.
  • Sixteen of the twenty most successful businesses in Denver had Summit Computer Solutions set up their network. Is this something you should look into?

Help your advertiser get a crowd, and let the crowd draw a bigger crowd.

© 1997-2010 Hedquist Productions, Inc. All rights reserved.

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