The Power of Appreciation or Gratitude with Seth Godin

Seth Godin’s blog has an interesting illustration of the power of appreciation or sponsor gratitude for marketers to change the rules.

Seth remarks, “Why dont local businesses buy $50 worth of quarters now and then and feed all the meters in town just put a little flyer under the windshield wiper. Once you change the rules, the sponsorship opportunities are endless.”

It is a simple illustration of the principle of Balance Theory. If you do something for a person even indirectly, then this creates an imbalance in a relationship. In this case, feeding meters is something that many people shopping would appreciate. This act creates an ‘imbalance’ in a relationship which results in people changing their attitudes to the sponsor.

Most people do not like imbalance in relationships, and many will change their attitudes and behavior to bring the relationship back into balance. In this case, perhaps it would mean a visit to the shop to thank the shop staff or just providing positive word of mouth to other people. There could even be quite a few new customers or returning old ones.There certainly would be a lot of word-of-mouth.

Now, most of us know that not everybody would feel appreciation if someone fed coins into our parking meter. Like anything else, there are some people that would say that it would make not difference to them and their attitudes. There also would be a few that would complain about it. This is because not everybody has an equal propensity to feel appreciation. People’s propensity to feel appreciation is not equally distributed across the population.

There is actually a way of classifying people based on their propensity based on validated research questions called the GQ-6 personality questions developed in psychology to measure this. There some people that just do not feel appreciation and there are those that feel a lot of it. We instinctively know this in life.

Seth’s example demonstrates why a good sponsorship strategy can be so effective and it highlights the importance of measuring sponsor appreciation or gratitude. That’s why the GratitudeIndex is a key measurement component of SponsorMap and it is just as important to measure sponsor recall and passion with any sponsorship programme.

Many of the best sponsorship’s know that effectiveness comes through great sponsorship activation, not just the logos and sponsor recall. It’s also about creating imbalances in relationships with customers to bring about behavioral and attitudinal change.

So don’t forget the power of parking meters.

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