Sunday past and I was in Langebaan on the West Coast. It was a beautiful day with mercury nudging 30 Celsius. Perfect for the beach. Strolling along the sands and enjoying the cool breeze coming off the lagoon, I noticed a crowd a few metres away from me. It was an excited group of kids (ranging between 8 and 16) all yelling and screaming and dancing to the music blaring out of a truck parked on the beach.
As I neared the group, I noticed Vodacom branding on the truck and the feather-banners that demarcated their promotions area. The promotion in question was a dancing competition for kids. There were spot prizes from Vodacom on offer and from what I could the kids were having a good time.
The thing that bugged me: no parents. Not because there was no parental supervision but because one would think that the target audience of any promotion would be the people who have the money to spend on the products. This promotion couldn’t have been an acquisition drive since it wasn’t geared towards adults (the people with the money). It couldn’t have been a retention drive because there was no payoff for anyone who owned a Vodacom-network phone. So what was it?
A waste of time and money.
The imminent recession means that every marketing cent counts. If your marketing/promotions aren’t capturing new clients or (more importantly) giving your existing clients reason to stick around, then you’re wasting your time and your money. And we will miss you in 2010.