Nolan Winn essay

Describe how a business (including retail and service) can derive promotional and customer loyalty/retention benefit by utilizing a raffle in their marketing efforts.

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Every time I walk into my local Blue Agave restaurant, I wonder at the glass bowl filled with business cards promising a free lunch to those who are chosen in a raffle. I even wish that I had a business card to drop in, a free mega-burrito is very tempting for a broke college student. I inspect the atmosphere during my meal and I notice the other business cards posted around the room, with the words “Winner” etched across their fronts. The lucky few chosen for that delicious mega burrito, or another lunch of their choice. As I end my meal, the owner takes the bowl and pulls a name out, declaring “Jake’s Window Washing Company” as the winner of the next lunch. Bewildered, and a bit jealous, I ask why. Why would a company give away free food for this raffle? What is in it for them? This was my first venture into the world of marketing, and the answers I found were clearer then they seemed.

When a business hosts a raffle, they create trusting relationships with the businesses they give to. In the case of Blue Agave, they offer lunch to the person who won the raffle, as well as invites the owner of the company along. So if Steve won from “Jake’s Window Washing Company”, Steve and the owner, Jake, would both be invited out, which would perhaps create a lasting relationship with Blue Agave. If Steve and Jake absolutely love Blue Agave, they will promote on their social media accounts or by word of mouth to friends and family; which makes Blue Agave look good. In providing the business card raffle, Blue Agave receives new and loyal customers and strengthens Blue Agave’s business. Also, take into account that Blue Agave does a weekly drawing, which repeats the relationship described above and leads to a growing customer base. By using a raffle system, Blue Agave creates a new loyal customer base that will return to eat at their establishment in the future and will promote their business; an achievement any good restaurant absolutely needs to survive.

Another directive for a business, in regard to a raffle, is community involvement. A small business, or in this case a restaurant, wants to integrate itself into the community, and a raffle is one way to do that. Giving away free product, in Blue Agave’s case a free meal, allows exposure for the company which increases promotion and reputation for the business in the community. As Blue Agave continues giving away lunches and establishing a loyal customer base, they soon start integrating themselves with the location; and becoming a household name or a weekly eat-out destination. This community integration is crucial for small business, and even more so for restaurants, as the small business depends on the people around them for capital. The raffle then provides an opportunity to integrate with the community, to meet new people and to establish the business on a foundation to support it for years to come.

Who knew that a mega-burrito could mean so much for a business?

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