Tag Archives: The Godfather

Lessons from The Godfather: I’m going to make him an offer…

The Godfather

For over 35 years, this movie line from The Godfather has stood the test of time:  “I’m going to make him an offer he can’t refuse.”

It is one of the greatest movie lines of all time.  And it begs another advertising teaching moment  – What makes a great marketing offer?

A great marketing offer has four distinct components

1)  A offer.  As simple as it sounds, there are a lot of marketing materials or commercials that do not contain on offer.  Corporate sometimes calls this “branding.”  It’s advertising designed to create name or product awareness.  It’s often created by advertising agencies who have huge client budgets, and lacks accountability because it’s difficult to track.   A great marketing offer must ask for a specific, trackable response from the person receiving the marketing message.

2)  Including a specific benefit to the customer.  Will it save time?  If so, how?  And how much time will it save?  Compare these two offers:  Offer 1:  Our dry cleaning delivery service will save you time.  Offer 2:  Our dry cleaning delivery service saves our customers an average of 52 minutes per week.

3)  A price.  Great marketing offers always have a price.  A specific dollar amount is always better than a percentage.  Always.  In the customers eyes, they’d like to exactly that they’ll be paying, or saving.  Monetize a great marketing offer.

4)  A deadline.  A deadline creates a sense of urgency.  It also creates a sense of demand.  This offer ends soon is weak.  This offer ends at midnight on Monday, March 25th is strong.

Use these four elements to always create great marketing offers for your products and services.


Chris Mitchell is the President and Founder of 25-8 Marketing, Inc, a full service advertising agency in Elk River, Minnesota. He plans and implements marketing programs for small to medium-sized businesses. Mitchell is a consultant, speaker and author and has worked with hundreds of companies. He has over 20 years of real-world advertising experience, and understands the marketing challenges of the small business owner.