Marketers have long tried to understand the impact of contests and sweepstakes as marketing and promotional tactics, looking to measure not only whether consumers will participate but whether they will follow the activity surrounding them and make the connection with the sponsoring brand.
Consumers like to participate in the fun and excitement of promotions like contests and sweepstakes and tend to make the connection between contest and brand. A strong majority of respondents in a CRN survey said they would be more receptive to considering a product that sponsors a contest or sweepstakes.
What are some ways to maximize success with this tactic? Here are a few ideas to consider:
1. Make sure you align with an organization that is fully experienced in this area. That may sound obvious. While the fun part of this tactic is all that consumers hear on the air, there are enormous considerations for marketers regarding procedures, rules, regulations, and legal considerations. The best-laid strategies can easily turn into disasters when not properly researched for each locality and executed to spec.
2. Remember that promotions are a prop. Of course, you want thousands of consumers to flock to your contest or sweepstakes. You want engagement and participation. But that’s not the be-all and end-all objective. What you want more is large numbers of consumers paying attention to your message because there may be “something in it for them,” whether or not they choose to participate. You want them to remember something key about your brand, long after they’ve forgotten about the promotion. Even better, you want them to heed whatever call to action you are communicating, such as a drive to retail to purchase. In this way, promotions are a prop for getting your message heard, remembered and acted on, away from commercial clutter.
3. To that point, make sure your promotion communicates a key takeaway about your brand. When it comes to prizes, cash is king, but it won’t buy you recall. It’s far more effective to design promotions so that the prizes and method of entry are strategic to your message. For example, CRN created the “Choose Your Own Adventure” sweepstakes to communicate the features of the Jeep Grand Cherokee’s Selec-Terrain dial, which adjusts vehicle settings to four types of rough terrain. Just as drivers can “choose” a Selec-Terrain setting, entrants could choose from grand-prize adventure trips to Maui, Aspen, Yellowstone or Yosemite, each representative of one of the four terrain settings—sand, snow, mud and rock.