AMiable Solution #288: And the Winner Is…
People like contests. They like the idea of winning, even if the odds seem against them (hello, Lottery).
Luckily for marketers, those same people are willing to share some of their personal information in exchange for a chance at winning the big prize.
According to Intuit, the maker of Quickbooks, the accounting software program used to manage sales and expenses and keep track of daily business transactions, “52 percent of consumers are motivated to stay connected with a brand by contests or [being asked] for their input about current or new products.”
While contests are fun for those who participate, they actually serve a strategic purpose for those conducting them. Businesses and organizations across the country host them, and continue to host them (hello, Publishers Clearing House), because of the benefits they receive.
How can hosting a contest help your organization?
1. Increase your contact database. Whether you host a contest through social media or more traditional means, hosting a contest means collecting data (name and contact information, how they heard about you/your contest, etc.) from people who are interested in the things your company or organization does.
2. Generate fresh ideas. We all get tunnel vision every now and then. Running a contest—either internally or externally—can be a great product development strategy. Internal contests help you tap into unrecognized talent and insight from departments not normally part of that creative process. External contests put the creative freedom into the hands of the people who use or support your operations.
3. Encourage engagement. People who have something at stake tend to take more interest in your website or blog or Facebook account. Providing occasional updates will have contestants coming back for updates, for more information about your company, and for more opportunities to win.
4. Expand your marketing team. Okay, this one is temporary, but when you create an enticing contest with an irresistible prize, especially if the contest requires people to vote, then your customers also become your marketers.
5. Increase traffic in new or fledgling channels. If your social media activity isn’t where you’d like it to be, or if it seems like all of your customers turn to your Facebook page but rarely visit your website, you can use the “popular” communication path to direct customers to the road-less-travelled.
6. Influence your current plans. As Intuit suggests, “The data you collect and analyze could prompt you to shift your perspective on your product or service, marketing strategy, or overall customer engagement. Or it could verify that you’re on the right track and help you connect more deeply with your target audience.”
Who wins in a well-planned and well-executed contest? Everybody.