Tuesday, March 6, 2007

Jack Knows Marketing

When the drive-thru lady asked me if I wanted the receipt, I politely declined. The transaction was less than five dollars, I had used cash, and the change was only one cent. Honestly, why would I need the receipt? No sooner had I declined, than the lady gave me the reason. She informed me that Jack In The Box was having a contest among its employees. Apparently the employee who received the best customer feedback would be awarded a prize of some sort. As a pretty normal guy, the next question in my mind was, “What’s in it for me?” The answer was printed clearly on the receipt; $10,000! Now honestly, I’m a grown man, and I realize that the odds of winning the ‘Jack’-pot are quite slim, but hey…what did I have to lose? Even if I didn’t win, perhaps my time filling out the online survey might have moved ‘Alicia’ at store #166 a little closer to her own prize.

Where’s the lesson in all this? First, Jack In The Box has GREAT shakes! Mine was made with malted milk balls. Second, Jack obviously knows more about marketing than we may have suspected. The collection of customer data can be a delicate task. What Jack did to increase his odds of winning our feedback, was to incentivize the effort. By doing so, customers could easily answer the question that I asked…how will this benefit me? Third, and perhaps most importantly, we can take a cue from the drive-thru lady who didn’t hesitate to tell me (in a charming manner) that she really wanted to win the contest, and she needed my help to do it. How could I refuse? How could anyone? We don’t get what we don’t ask for!

Did I take the time to fill out the Jack In The Box online survey? You bet I did! Do I have a real hope of winning the $10,000 prize? Absolutely not! If you were in my shoes, what would you do?