GONK GONE: Stop the free stuff, there’s no money


14843063703_fffe0c243b_bNot long ago a council launched a snazzy video for residents on how they were looking to make millions of pounds of cuts.

The first question asked by a resident was ‘how much did that video cost?’

By and large free stuff – pens, pencils, stress balls and the like – aren’t given away in local government any more.

But elsewhere this week I’m surprised to hear that’s not the case.

Despite £22 billion of savings needed in the NHS and 1.2 million people on waiting lists for social housing there are still parts of the NHS and social housing who give away freebies. Why? Because evaluation shows it makes a difference? No. Because they always have.

Unless you can clearly evaluate the difference that lucky gonk made in pounds shillings and pence I’d stop it, if I were you.

Picture credit Flickr / inthepottershands



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1 Comment

  1. That would depend on the potential strategy behind it. True, in a lot of cases they don’t exist (strategies), just a short-term promotion with little or no measurement, true engagement or outcome. However, apply a strategy and the memorable ‘item’ that represents your proposition and continues to remind the recipient of it, through clever branding, experiential marketing, social media participation and data follow up can be a powerful medium. It’s all in the planning. Get that bit right and you will see a ROI. But remember, there’s no quick fix. Successful campaigns require time, insight, planning, strategy, scratching of heads, lots of coffee, tantrums, creativity, commitment and graft.

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