Essential elements to a successful consumer promotion

Consumer promotions or competitions are a form of trade between a consumer and a business. In exchange for the ‘chance to win a prize’ or multiple chances to win, the consumer is asked to provide their personal information, to purchase a product or service or to interact with a brand in some other way.

For a consumer promotion to be effective, the trade-off made by the consumer needs to be in proportion to what is on offer via the competition-

The most topical example of the above over the last quarter has to do with the collection, use and disclosure of personal information collected when someone enters a competition. It is fair enough to say that most consumers have an expectation that the information they provide will be used for marketing or promotional purposes.

However, if the use is too wide or the trade-off too unfair, potential entrants can be turned away. If you were asked to consent to receive unlimited marketing material from unknown third parties for a chance to win a holiday, you would be more hesitant to do so than if you were asked to simply subscribe to a newsletter (and given the opportunity to opt-out at any time).

Since the protection and understanding of use of personal information is such a relevant topic, it is now more important than ever to ensure that consumers understand how the personal information they provide will be used by the company collecting it. To do this, the intended use and disclosure should be clear on the term, in the advertising and in the Promoter’s Privacy Policy.

What is a reasonable trade-off will largely depend on the intended audience for the promotion which should tie back strongly to the actual brand and the types of customers the company is looking to attract or retain. Entry methods, prizes, ways of communicating with entrants and potential winners and advertising of the competition need to be focused on the demographics of the entrants that are sought.

Many companies go to extreme lengths to include various social media ‘likes’ follows and ‘shares’, to allow various layers of bonus entries and have a number of steps that need to be followed by an entrant to enter. These steps can overcomplicate the competition and push the balance away from a proportional trade off.

Simplicity is usually the answer.

Conducting a competition that is focused on your consumers, is proportional in what is on offer, and is communicated via advertising effectively is the right way.