Vacation Part 2: Want My Attention?

Posted on June 8, 2011 by - Also by this author

Marketing Gimmicks, Premiums and a Good Ride: Attending the NASCAR Coca Cola 600 in Charlotte, N.C., was an experience of a lifetime! Being from Bakersfield, Calif., and having our hometown boy, Kevin Harvick, win the race was icing on the cake. Collecting all the freebies designed to make me a new customer was a bonus.
 
Getting to and from the track was made so much better by using the services of CLT Express Luxury Transportation. Our chauffeur arrived at the hotel 30 minutes early, and since we were eager to get going, we were most appreciative. Making the trip even better for us was the fact that CLT apparently had been delivering service for a corporate account with VIP access. So our chauffeur had been in and out of the track several times before our trip and was just waved in to a VIP parking lot. We had to walk only 50 yards to the gate. The departure worked equally well, and we found our chauffeur waiting for us at the base of a bridge exactly where we were told. My cousin Jamie, a local of the area, insisted that our chauffeur was going the wrong way to our hotel. Our chauffeur was quite polite informing her that we were taking a “back way” to avoid traffic. I must say he clearly knew what he was doing. The only disappointment was that my assistant had asked for a confirmation with pricing on two different dates and never did receive the requested information. While I find things like that to be annoying, the actual receipt reflected a pleasant surprise in the rate. 
 
Once at the track, the latest marketing schemes all seemed designed to capture email addresses. This of course offers the fastest and most economical communication with potential clients. The most prevalent tactic was to take your photo next to a racecar from Toyota, Ford, Chevy etc. and the only way you can view your picture is to go online and provide personal data. How smart is that?
 
Of course Jim Beam was there luring people into a tent with giant fans all over in a sweltering heat. They served samples of their new bourbon product called Devil Cut. Your choice of Coke, 7-Up, water, or other mixers could be used to create the perfect drink to bring you back for more and more.
 
Sprint had really cool backpacks with their logo all over, so everywhere you went you were following someone displaying the Sprint logo. They also gave away hats. Toyota had a VIP lounge; all you needed was a Toyota key and you were in! Bank of America was offering a $6 food and beverage voucher just for filling out a survey. This also required you to reveal personal data that would be used later to contact you.
 
The bottom line is companies were out in force collecting personal data for later campaigns. I thought about how beneficial this might be at a local event to have a survey that asks clients to provide information about whether they use livery service or might have an upcoming need in the future. Email marketing is certainly the cheapest media available. Armed with data provided by potential clients, targeting those clients that actually use or are considering using a limousine could be even further tempted with special offers “just for them.”
 
Next week I will share with you the reality of what can go wrong when you’re gone on vacation. Because I strongly encouraged you to take a vacation, I am not going to be bashful about sharing why I had to return to work early and the disasters I had to deal with. This blog is about the real world we live in and I won’t sugar coat it for you. Things got really bad.
   Jim Luff, LCT contributing editor 
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