Godfather Marketing: Make Them an Offer They Can’t Refuse

50 Offer-related Marketing Questions

When the Godfather spoke, everyone listened. Is the same true of your marketing? Everyone took Don Vito Corleone, played by Marlon Brando, seriously when he said to his godson, Johnny Fontane in The Godfather, “I’ll make him an offer he can’t refuse.” For the Godfather, that meant do as I say or I’ll kill you. While marketers don’t need to go to that extreme, they must develop effective offers related to marketing’s traditional 4Ps: product, price, promotion and place.

50 Questions to develop an offer your customers can’t refuse

As a marketer, you need to create offers that ensure that prospects and customers keep buying. To this end, you must make your offer better than other alternatives your customers may have. Here are fifty offer-related questions to help construct your offer. (Note: Include this as part of your mid-year marketing checkup.)

  • Product

    1. What do customers get when they purchase your product or service? Think in terms of the augmented product.
    2. What intangibles do consumers get from your product?
    3. Can you bundle multiple related products together to create a new offering?
    4. Does your product or service have close competitive products or services?
    5. Does your product or service have substitutes?
    6. Is your product or service high involvement or a major purchase where consumers are willing to pay more to ensure its performance over the lifetime of the product?
    7. Where and how is the product made? Does this matter to your target market? For example, is the product hand made?
    8. What is the quality of the product? This influences what consumers are willing to pay and how they perceive the product.
    9. Are other considerations about the product and its components important to consumers? For example, being green.
    10. Does the product enhance the consumer’s image?
    11. Does the product require installation? If so, is it included in the offering or priced separately?
    12. Does the product require alterations? Is this an added cost or included in the price?
    13. Does the owner need training or support to use the product? Is this included in the price or priced separately?
  • Price

    1. How is your product or service priced relative to its perceived value? Too high or too low can result in consumers feeling that there is an inconsistency.
    2. Do you offer discounts for the purchase of large quantities, the Costco approach?
    3. Does the product size play a factor? For example, many marketers make smaller containers, but keep their prices constant so consumers don’t notice.
    4. How available is the product? Is there only a limited supply in which case you can charge a premium?
    5. How frequently is the product purchased? Does this affect how much customers are willing to pay?
    6. Is there a distinct difference in quality that customers can perceive? For example, generic drugs can sometimes fall into this category.
    7. Does your product or service expire? Think food and other perishables.
    8. Do you offer special pricing in off seasons to drive sales? Think Christmas in July.
    9. Does the product require continual refills or related products to make it useful?
    10. What are your product costs?
    11. How does your price compare to your competitors?
    12. How does your price compare to substitute products?
    13. Are there free options consumers consider viable?
    14. When is the product purchased? Does this affect the price? After a product’s been around for a while, the price usually goes down.
    15. Do time limits effect the pricing? For example, Groupon and other group coupon offers must be purchased within a specific time period.
    16. Are there quantity limits on how many items can be bought at a special price?
    17. Do you ensure that your pricing is consistent across channels and locations? If not, do you give customers a special reason for this such as email specials?
    18. Do third party sellers have an impact on your pricing? On the price final customers pay?
    19. Does your price include shipping and handling? This is a big factor for online customers.
    20. Are there additional costs such as credit card transaction fees or foreign exchange fees?
  • Promotion

    1. Do you offer customers an incentive to purchase?
    2. Do you only have a limited season to sell your product? Does this have an impact on the price? Can you extend your shoulder seasons?
    3. Do you make a special offer for first time customers to entice them to try your brands?
    4. Do you have regular sales or promotions such as Presidents Day, Memorial Day, Fourth of July, Back to School, Halloween and Christmas? Is your marketing dressed up?
    5. Can you incorporate special sales to drive incremental revenues if needed? Maybe you should plan some offers as  back up.
    6. Do you have special customer initiated sales such as birthdays to celebrate your customers?
    7. What does your brand stand for? Do your prospects, customers and fans want to be associated with it?
    8. Does brand matter for your product? For example, a branded article of clothing or a pocketbook may provide added status that may make the product worth the cost, while the store brand of tomatoes may not.
    9. How do past customers feel about your product? How do consumers rate them?
    10. How do customers feel about competitive products? How do consumers rate them?
  • Place

    1. Where is the product or service sold? Does the retailer’s brand enhance or detract from the product? Does your retail window wow customers?
    2. What channel is used for purchase? Retail, online, phone or smartphone?
    3. How widely available is your product? Does this influence buying behavior?
    4. Are special services included such as personal shopping services or other forms of special treatment like beverages?
    5. Do you offer customer service via a variety of platforms such as phone, in person, chat and social media?
    6. Do you provide additional support via an online community or other method?
    7. Do customers benefit from shopping together such as at an in-store event or in someone’s home?

Since you don’t have the Godfather’s threat backing up your marketing offer, it’s critical to ensure your target market finds your offer more attractive than that of your competitors or close substitutes. Don’t be afraid to be creative and try out new offers.

Are there any other points that you’d add to this list to help develop an offer your customers won’t refuse?

Happy marketing,
Heidi Cohen


Here’s some advice from Godfather Michael Corleone.

Are you following the Godfather’s social media advise?

Tags , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Comments are closed.