Risk Taking and Advertisement
Not too long ago I read an article about the latest apartments.com sweepstakes. If you haven’t seen their commercials before, apartments.com is somewhat of a search engine that focuses solely on finding apartments for users. They claim to be the only service of its kind that guarantees all of their listings, so prospective tenants are never scammed.
As far as I have seen, they have taken the “commercial” route so far with their advertising methods. Now, it looks like they are taking a much more drastic approach to growing their user base: a sweepstakes in which 13 lucky people win free rent for life.
Wow. I would cry if I won.
Entrance into the sweepstakes warrants the following: submit a review of your apartment property between July 20 and October 12. Sharing your review on social media will give you an additional entry into the sweepstakes. Users are chosen at random each week to win free rent.
The purpose behind this campaign is pretty clear: get more people to use apartments.com. Its a great method of increasing use, given their continuous advertising and the fact that rent is one of the major expenses of most of our lives.
This is a smart move, and I applaud them for it. But what I admire most about this is the risk they are taking with this investment. Free rent for 13 people for life. That’s a lot of money. But the returns that they might get through this campaign could be massive.
The reason I appreciate their willingness to take such a risk is mostly based on the fact that this is something that I don’t see many people do. They are putting quite a large sum of money over a long period of time on the line in order to get what they want. Unfortunately, in my experience, business owners and representatives are either not willing or don’t understand the investments that must be made in order to succeed in any social media campaign.
In short, apartments.com, I applaud you. Keep it up with your courageous moves. As for the rest of us, take note. While the internet provides faster retrieval of information on a grand scale, it does not provide faster money for free. Just like in the “old days” before internet, we still need to be willing to invest a considerable amount of time and money in order to get the returns that we want. The mere quickness and convenience of the internet does not necessarily guarantee quick and convenient returns when advertising through it. We still must be patient and strategic.
The main benefit we have as online advertisers, however, is the mass audience that we can reach with little effort. While this is a very big advantage, it is not a guarantee that everyone who sees an ad will follow it. In the end, it is and always has been up to the consumer whether or not they want what you have to offer.
By: Alec England, Columnist, Centerlyne