Interactive Promotions Create Results
Interactive promotions, those that contain sweepstakes, games, and contests, product give-aways and coupons are one of the most powerful ways to motive behavior by connecting with an unidentified person and converting them into a registered prospect. This enables the start of a dialog for a permission-based, data-driven relationship.
Marketers are always asking their audience to take some sort of action. Whether attempting to persuade consumers to try a new product, retailers and distributors to promote and merchandise a product, or internal audiences to understand the product benefits, the core process to prompt the right behavior remains the same. The key benefits to the audience are usually made up of both emotional and self-defining elements. By putting the right incentive in front of the right audience you can achieve the desired results and get them to act.
A 2002 Jupiter Research Consumer Survey found that 82% of online consumers were willing to provide various forms of personal information to online retailers in exchange for a chance to win as little as a $100 in a sweepstakes. By providing the right prize incentive for your target audience you can get people to convert to a data-driven relationship and then grow that relationship by utilizing many different tactics. The data then allows you to deliver personalized and relevant offers instead of a mass marketing approach.
However, marketers must be careful not to ask for too much information at first. The amount of personal data requested during the initial contact should be minimal to avoid turning people away. One or two closed-ended questions together with the personal data collection are all the first stage should include. It is better to learn more about your new prospects over time than all at once. The strategy is to at first just get that little bit of information along with their permission. Then you can invite them to tell you more about themselves by further offering value and new incentives.
So, to sum this up, if done correctly, interactive promotions are the most powerful way to connect with key customers and grow those relationships for success.
Why Run a Sweepstakes Promotion?
Sweepstakes not only offer the excitement of a chance to win great prizes, but created effectively they can also work on building the brand and creating awareness around a product or service. They can act as an overlay to an integrated marketing program or they can stand by themselves. Sweepstakes promotions can begin internally within a company with the sponsor's own sales force and continue through the entire trade and distribution pipeline, right on to the ultimate consumer or end-user. Here are some of the top benefits of running a sweepstakes:
- Sweepstakes are used to drive traffic to a physical retail location and/or to a website. Online entry is now the #1 way that participants enter sweepstakes.
- Sweepstakes are one of the most effective means of gathering customer/user database information, which can then be used to start an ongoing dialog with this key audience.
- Sweepstakes have the benefit of being a "fixed budget". Prizes are determined up front and issued so a sponsor doesn't have to worry about going over budget. Other promotional tactics such as games, premiums, coupons and rebates are more open-ended.
- A sweepstakes theme and its prizes often are developed to build the sponsor's brand or reinforce the features and benefits of a particular product or service. Prizes that leverage an existing sponsorship and offer VIP packages to sporting, music and other entertainment events help build the brand and deliver an engaging prize that a consumer would not be able to purchase on their own.
Instant Win Games vs. Sweepstakes
Instant Win Games are sweepstakes that require some type of interaction on the part of the player and give them immediate gratification of letting them know if they're a winner or not. The difference with a game vs. a sweepstakes is that you can give out many prizes more frequently and have people play multiple times. With a sweepstakes you wait until the promotion is over to find out if you've won and you usually can only enter once.
The primary benefits of instant win games are that they're:
- Fun, interactive; involve and engage the participant
- Relatively inexpensive
- Easy to distribute
An increased interest in games delivered through the Internet and now by mobile phones has been a growing trend. Sponsors can keep costs down and customers entertained by bringing games to the online. This helps to improve both execution and reporting. On-pack codes have become a popular driver to get off-line consumers online or phoning.
Games also give the added option of giving everyone that plays some type of prize in the form of a coupon or savings on a future purchase. This is a great way to increase trial of new products or to drive incremental traffic to a retail location or website.
Here are some standard instant-win game tactics, both online and off-line:
- Scratch 'n Win
- Spin the Wheel
- Casino/Slot Machine
- Match 'n Win
- Collect & Win
- Peel & Win
- Watch to Win
- Scramble devices
What Makes Up a Contest?
There is now a rush for brands to develop contests that include consumer-generated content: Doritos, Chevrolet and the NFL all developed contests to get consumers to create their Super Bowl 2007 ads. TIME Magazine awarded its coveted 2006 Person of the Year to not one famous person, but to the collective "You", meaning all of us. Time editors say the new web "Is a tool for bringing together the small contributions of millions of people and making them matter" resulting in You "seizing the reigns of global media, for founding and framing the new digital democracy." At this time about 100 million videos are viewed every day on YouTube; about 65,000 videos uploaded every day and this continues to grow.
Contests are different from sweepstakes in several ways. They are not just games of chance. The winner of a contest must provide a degree of individual skill or uniqueness in one of the following manners:
- Intellectual – writing a song, creating a video, uploading a photograph, composing a themed essay, whipping up a creative, new recipe, etc., all require a degree of intellectual talent and/or skill.
- Personal/Physical attribute – this may include having "the most beautiful smile", the "prettiest red hair", even the closest resemblance to a celebrity.
- Physical ability – this could include kicking a 50 yard field goal, tossing bean bags into the open window of a moving automobile, making a half-court basketball toss, longest drive or a hole-in-one attempt on a golf course, etc.
All entries must be judged and/or evaluated.Unlike a sweepstakes, in which case winners are randomly selected from among all entries received, and the remaining entries are never opened and are disposed of.
Contests are often used to help reinforce the brand or product/service attributes and their positioning in the marketplace. Many brands today prefer contests because they can require a purchase and they create a database of confirmed users unlike sweepstakes in which "No Purchase Necessary" is a standard mandate. Some caveats and restrictions however do apply.
What's Prize Insurance all about?
Prize Insurance enables marketers to feature a "big-purse" cash prize... maybe $50,000, $100,000, or even $1,000,000 in promotions. Large cash prizes get attention, create excitement and help to set a promotion apart from the many marketing messages that the average person interacts with on a daily basis. Cash is the number one prize that people seek and prize insurance enables marketers to offer big cash prizes at only a fraction of the cost. Pepsi has done the largest insured prize in the history of the promotion industry with their Play for a Billion Sweepstakes in the summer of 2003.
First you need to work with someone that has the promotional planning expertise and the contacts with a professional financial underwriting company which will offer what's known as "contingency insurance". Basically, the underwriters work with a promotional planner to create a program that has a degree of "insurable risk", and depending on how the program is structured, will absorb the risk at a flat rate to the sponsor
generally at a maximum of 20% of the cash prize being offered. They take the risk and the sponsor gets the benefit of a big prize, no danger to over extending your budget, and peace of mind. You also have the option of getting over-redemption insurance to assure that a promotion stays within a set budget.
Social SweepsTM Interactive Promotions
This service combines an interactive promotion with a social media marketing program. Our expertise in both interactive promotions and social media enable us to develop exciting promotions from concept through to execution.
DDC is an authorized user of a proprietary new web application that allows promotions to be simultaneous launched on a website as well as on Facebook, Ning and Twitter. This pre-developed and tested web tool is a Facebook Verified App which we can offer our clients to quickly and cost-effectively have branded sweepstakes, contests, coupons, surveys and quizes online in days.
Interactive and Mobile Marketing Services
Micro-Site Development - includes entry page and data collection for sweepstakes and contests
User-Generated Contests - Development of essay, video, and photo contests which are strong ways to build a brand
Online Games - Flash-based, games of skill or instant win games or odds based that carry contingency insurance
SMS/Mobile Campaigns: Here are two examples of Text-to-Win Promotions
Code Checking - Promotions that involve a unique prize code (e.g. on-packs, in-packs, sampling, direct mail, etc.) in which participants can immediately check to see if they have won by text-messaging the unique code they have been given. The server checks the database and instantly replies with a custom win/no-win messages and further instructions to the participant.
Code Distribution - Participants see a brand message with a call to action and send a text-message to receive more info along with their prize code. The server replies back to the participant with the custom promotional information message along with the unique prize code from a database of codes.
iPhone Applications – Mobile applications continue to grow in popularity and our great to reach a new audience. We have partners that are experienced in building these custom applications that can fit your needs.
Email Marketing - Creation and administration of email and newsletter messages to your customer list that can grow as we implement our programs.
Additional Interactive Services
Interactive Promotions Administrative & Management Services
DDC has over 25 years of experience in implementing chance to win sweepstakes promotions in which we make it simple and easy for our clients. You can rest assured and will not have to worry about lawsuits, fines, over-redemption of prizes, or some of the other many details involved with promotions of chance.
It's our job, and responsibility to our clients, to stay abreast of changes in the area of promotional marketing law and sweepstakes legal regulations
on both a national and state-by-state basis. We accomplish this by working with the best promotional marketing law attorneys in the business, attending industry-sponsored promotional law conferences, and are actively involved in trade organizations such as the PMA - Association of Integrated Marketing.
Basic Admin Package includes:
- Legal advice and counsel
- Writing of Official Rules
- Procuring of surety bonds
- State registrations/filings
- Providing PO boxes/"Mail-to" addresses
- Winner selection/notification and confirmation
- Procuring Affidavits of Eligibility and Publicity/Liability Releases
- Winner's Lists
- 1099 forms
- Prize selection and procurement
- Prize warehousing and fulfillment
- Data entry
- Travel coordination
- Creative design and copywriting services
- Print production and management including scratch/peel off game pieces
- Entry form and box production
- Contingency insurance for cash prizes programs
- On site management and supervision of games of chance at events