This is my puppy, Juno. She is learning a new command, “Go to bed”. If she goes to her bed and lies down, she gets a treat. It works, but she has a short attention span; if I don’t continually give her treats while she is in bed, she’ll get up and move on. Some times, she get’s up because she knows I will tell her to “Go to Bed” and she will get a treat. Sometimes she goes to bed without me saying anything, and looks at me, expecting a treat.
The goal is for her to go to bed at the phrase “Go to Bed” without any treats and to stay there. We have a ways to go.
Sometimes we do the same thing when we market products. We focus on the incentive to draw them in and then presume that they will buy what we have. This is an age old method (should I say trick?) and incentives have worked.
But there are two problems with incentives. One is that the quality of your customer is not the same as someone who responded to your ad or offer of the product itself; individuals who are drawn to you via incentives may just as easily be drawn away from you to some other bigger incentive. And certainly, they don’t have the same emotional attachment to the product which will make them less likely to buy from you or recommend you to someone else (unless they like incentives, too).
The other problem is that consumers are not responding to offers as they used to. They are more often searching online and what they are looking for are not gimmicks, but products. And the products they will choose will be those that have (for the most part) been validated by others.
So, if you want to incent people to buy your product, invest in the product itself. Make sure it has value and get the buyers to comment on the product so that it creates a sense of trust that what you say you are offering actually exists.
In other words, if you want people to “Go to Bed” don’t focus on the treats; build a better bed.