Cheating Just a Little
"When people who buy a
Lottery ticket every week
never win, and the guy
who just took the Jackpot
tells the reporter it's the
first he's ever bought a
ticket, sales of Lottery tickets drop."
Members of the Board were looking at me. Some nodded their understanding,
others took somewhat longer to 'get it'.
When the majority seemed to have caught the point, I continued;
"This can't be a truly 'random' draw. The most loyal customers win."
There were a couple of politically correct types making the expected noises.
I wore my 'interested' face.
All they were doing was extending a thirty minute meeting to an hour and a half,
but the coffee was good, the pastries excellent.
They'd be brought around.
The plan was simple. Everyone could enter. They'd write their names on their receipts and drop them into the bin.
On Sunday, at closing, the Bin would be taken into the Office. While the other workers, cleaned up and did their rectification, the Senior manager would go through the entries. Known customers would be kept, strangers tossed.
On Monday morning the Draws would be held. Only the receipts of the best customers could be drawn, for those were the only ones in the bin.
The contest went off without a hitch.
All our good customers felt that shopping with us had benefits. Sales went up, and I was being congratulated by everyone, even those who didn't know about the little 'trick'.
I got a reputation,( in house), of knowing how to do contests so was loaned to a few other companies (non-competitors) to help them.
Life as an Expert
My most challenging mission was the muddle one organisation had gotten itself into with having the public, online, select the name for the new beverage they were about to introduce.
Never, ever, use the word 'online' in any possible connection to 'voting'. In most cases those who would vote are Trolls and other denizens of the Dark Side.
People might, standing by the table, sipping the drink, make an entry, but to go home and connect to a web site so as to nominate or vote for an already nominated name?
I am sure 88.9% of all people forgot about the contest before they got into their car, and another ten percent before they had reached home.
Considering the names that had been 'nominated' were Gross, (capital G here) I instructed the Creatives to come up with twelve possible names.
While Trolls nominated and voted for Puke, Choke, MouthFail, and other such, the team was coming forward with 'Breeeze', 'Sunnyshine', 'Neat', and other such ideas.
I then informed the company to insert our names on the Chart, (and if there was any decent name suggested by the public, include them) and do a bulk voting. This would make every vote we made equal 100 votes so to push our names to the top of the list while blocking the gross names. Any vote for a Gross sent 100 to a Decent.
On the last day of voting we actually had about 25 good names and went with them into 'Round Two'.
Sure, it was cheating, but Business trumps democracy.