Tease, Anticipation Good Sales Tools

By Stacy Cornay for the Times-Call
Publish Date: 10/28/2012

Anticipation and teasing keep people coming back for more.

That's what kept Geri and me perched on the edges of our bean bag chairs during New Year's Eve countdowns in the 1970's.

For weeks leading up the big night, we were teased by radio commercials promoting Casey Kasem's Top 20 Countdown. We weren't old enough to go out, wear funny hats, blow horns, and sip whatever the grown-ups were sipping, so we stayed close by the radio, giggling in anticipation of hearing the best songs ever (and they still are).

We not only listened to the best music of the year, we recorded every song Casey played to create our own greatest hits play list. That wasn't easy. All we had to work with was a cassette recorder, a built-in microphone and our quick fingers. We had to hit the “record” button when the first note of a song was played and hit “stop” at precisely the right moment to capture the last note without getting Casey's patter. The effort required nerves of steel and speedy fingers. The results were generations distant from Ipod downloads, but we thought our Casey Kasem play lists were great (discounting partial songs, poor sound quality and fragments of commercials in the background).

Geri and I really didn't listen to the tapes after we made them. The fun was in the making, in the teases leading up to a special New Year's eve event and in the anticipation of being involved when Casey's choices were unveiled.

Decades of new years caught up with cassettes and Casey, but teasing and anticipation still stir strong emotions in the minds of potential customers and clients. Innovative marketing capitalizes on those emotions. Companies in the high-tech arena are masters of the game. They build anticipation to event status. When their new products finally go on sale, people are standing in lines waiting for the doors to open.

The process starts with innovative thinking and creative planning.

Teasing sets the stage. Teasing stimulates awareness, stirs interests, builds excitement and creates buzz. Teasing builds anticipation. Anticipation leads to sales.

Those who employ teasing-anticipation in their marketing strategies use a mix of media to reach their target audiences. Press releases, feature stories and paid advertising in newspapers and on radio and television are essential to initiating the process. Increasingly, social media are integral to the process. When building excitement about your products or services, social media offer options for moving potential customers from YouTube to Facebook to Twitter to your website to your place of business.

Twitter is a perfect “tease” tool. You can't say a lot, so you have to be creative. Facebook provides an informal format for talking about your event or unveiling a campaign. YouTube affords a means for visually showing what you have to offer. Used together or separately, social media teases can expand horizons for your company or business. Coupled with newspaper, radio and television promotions, social media teases can take anticipation to new heights.

If you have a great idea but lack the time or expertise to plan and implement a tease-anticipation strategy, talk with colleagues who have been there or consult with a marketing professional. The key is to connect in new ways. The payoff is when customers and clients are looking forward to doing business with you.

I'm addicted to my Ipod, IPhone and Ipad. I like the convenience and flexibility. I don't miss my cassette tapes, not in the slightest. But I'll always remember huddling with Geri in front of a radio listening to Casey's hits.

Teases and anticipation got us there.

Stacy Cornay is the owner of Communication Concepts Public Relations & Advertising. 
Visit www.comm-concepts.com or call 303-651-6612.