For some time, we have used a “money machine” as a trade show booth draw and incentive. It’s a little “used car sales-ish,” but it really works in getting people to the booth, and it draws a crowd. Plus, it ties into our marketing campaign of “See More Green”. The booth is a rectangular cube with plexi-glass sides and a fan on the outside. The fan, obviously, blows the money around while the player stands inside trying to collect as much cash as they can in 15 seconds. Once the timer goes off, the money stops blowing and the player has to stop collecting.
I have been observing this game for a few years now, and, by far, the most interesting thing to watch is “the approach”. The most timid people have surprised me by going hog-wild in the machine once locked in – shoving money down their shirts (against the rules, by the way) and grabbing at the green like a victim being attacked by killer bees. Then there are those who take a more strategic approach and come up with a strategy ahead of time, e.g., let the money get at arm’s height and grab it. They also watch others and judge what they are doing wrong/right. There are those who have a fair amount of trepidation about getting in an air blowing money trap, and then there are those who beg to get in. A lot of these observations can be applied to many people’s approaches to purchasing new software/hardware/technology in general. It reminds me of the “Adopter Curve” that has been around for some time now (applied in a variety of arenas):
- The early adopter/innovators, aka killer bee victim: This purchaser buys something new because, really, they have to be on the cutting edge, and it is cool. It is more of an emotional purchase. They also have a problem that may be wasting a lot of time/resources and want to solve it so they make a quick buy. Sometimes this may lead to a non-fiscally responsible purchase and sometimes it works for them.
- The conservative/early majority/late adopters, aka studier: These people purchase something new because it solves the problem at a reasonable cost. They study all of the ins and outs of the product and then, when the time is right, make an informed purchase based on facts.
- The late adopter/laggards, aka anti-machine: Usually the late adopter waits for the deal or they take the “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” approach. While they may have the same problems as others, they can live with it.
It is always a little difficult for me to understand why people have any reservations about winning free money. I guess they think there must be a catch or they just don’t want to put themselves in the spotlight. As the old adage goes, “it takes money to make money”. A lot of technology companies promise to make firms money if they purchase their wares. A lot of times they are right. Sometimes it’s just a waste of resources and other times it really will make your firm money. Make sure to do your research and you may inherit your own money machine.