You could win. It’s the reason people come hundreds of miles to stand in line for a shot at being the next American Idol when the chances are slim and time is precious. A chance to win compels us to do things that we would otherwise never consider. Perhaps that’s the reason that contests and giveaways have become such a huge component of marketing today. People just want to win. If you’re not using contests to market your business, product or brand, you could be missing out on a big opportunity. On the other hand, contests can be cumbersome and expensive if they’re not handled properly. More importantly, you must start with tangible goals worth meeting. There must be a payoff, not only for winners, but also for your company. For the last eight years, Doritos has held a Crash the Super Bowl contest in which people with an idea can create and produce their own television commercial featuring their product. And it must be working for them as they’ve taken the contest global. According to Frito-Lay North America senior VP and CMO Ann Mukherjee on Forbes.com, “From a brand perspective, we leverage these ads throughout the year. [The contest] continues to be a business driver for us. As we move forward I will continue to look for those metrics but now we have an asset for countries around the world to be able to leverage, so this continues to pay off dividends for PepsiCo.” This year, two winners will receive $1 million dollars and their ads will run during the SuperBowl in 2015. One winner will be chosen to work at Marvel Studios on the set of a movie in production. Check out this year’s entry from Kirby Schultz, (link outdated) our resident artist and partner at HenkinSchultz – and show a little love with a high rating. Your contest payoff may not be nearly as lucrative – you’re not PepsiCo – but on a smaller scale, there are benefits worth exploring.
- Increase brand awareness – Believe it or not, there are prospects out there that don’t know about you. A contest may be what you need to make them aware of you and be just the little push they need to try your product.
- Build your customer base – Next to winning, people like to share. When friends invite friends to enter your contest, they’re giving you the nod of approval – and that goes a long way toward creating new customers.
- Engage with customers and prospects – One of the big goals of savvy marketers today is to put customers at the center of the buying experience. They want to be part of the conversation, not just a receiver. Contests facilitate the right kind of engagement and help them to connect with your brand.
- Increase web traffic – Especially valuable for customers who sell products online, contests direct people to your site. They may enter your contest and buy something while they’re there.
- Gather valuable data – Contest entry forms that ask customers to provide a little information about themselves tell you more about them so you can better target your marketing messages. This data can also tell you what’s working in your online marketing strategy and what’s falling short.
- Creates buzz – Contests get people talking about you. Which is really the point of marketing, right?