Sound Advice – Consumer Contests That Work for You

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 Consumer Contests
That Work For You

          In today’s competitive environment, more and more businesses are seeking innovative ways to increase sales. The noise-o-sphere is saturated with sale ads, and “buy me” propositions. One type of sales promotion that can work well, if properly planned, is a consumer contest.
          Consumer contests can be used to achieve many objectives, including increasing traffic, enhancing brand identity, and creating on-site excitement.
          All of these can in turn increase sales. But successful contests don’t just happen; they must be carefully planned and administered.
          First and foremost, you must have a clearly defined objective – and that objective is not to give away a prize but to increase sales.
          All too often, we hear marketers say, “I want to give away a trip to Florida. Can you design a contest?” The real question should be “I want to achieve X marketing objective. Will a give-away or contest achieve it, and if so, how?” Ask yourself what you really hope to achieve from any type of promotion.
          A men’s wear store, for example, that uses valuable media time or online space to promote a free trip to Disney World, makes no sense. On the other hand, promoting a new line of suits and giving away one for each season, tells your audience what you sell.
          While the trip to Disney World might create more traffic, the wardrobe giveaway will deliver qualified buyers and let everyone who could not attend the event know exactly what you sell and what you stand for.
          After defining your real and ultimate objective, you must be satisfied that the promotion you design will achieve that objective. Test-marketing the idea, or discussing it with others could prevent disaster.

IMPORTANT: Your promotion should not be measured only by the sales or qualified traffic it generates, but should be measured by the lasting impression it creates about your business with the 95% of your target market who were not available or in the market to participate  at the time of the promotion.

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