How to Choose the Right Sweepstakes Prize

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Offering a prize that resonates with your target audience is key in attracting future customers. We like to say that, whenever possible, your prize should be your product or service. If you’re a pet product retailer, giving away a year’s worth of free pet food is a good idea as it’s something your customers would want.

But if giving away your product or service is not possible or simply not very exciting (like free tax return services or a year’s worth of car insurance) this is when you need to get creative about your prize.

Yes, you can always give away cash or a gift card, but the idea is to tie your business to a prize that is attractive to your customers.

You want to be speaking to your customers even if it’s through a third-party brand.

Here’s what I mean… let’s say you own a chain of ski rental shops. Your business is renting skis, not selling. Awarding $1,000 worth of ski gear may be out of the question, plus it does not fit your business model. Not a good mix.

What you know is that your customers are skiers and visit ski resorts and facilities.

One prize that would work very well would be an all-expenses paid ski trip to the Four Seasons Resort in Vail, Colorado, with rental ski gear provided by your business.

You get to speak to skiers, your prospective customers, by offering them something they would love to win. It’s also a way to tie your brand to a bigger brand (Vail, Colorado and the Four Seasons) or a brand that reaches new customers for you.

Think of Regal Cinemas partnering with Pepsi to offer a trip to the Oscars. Regal Cinemas is piggybacking on the Pepsi brand and the Oscars event to elevate their brand and attract new customers. And you can do the same, no matter what niche you’re in.

How to Pick The Perfect Sweepstakes Prize? Answer the following questions…

  1. What market is my business in? (Sports retail, pet products, insurance, car rental, etc…)
  2. What does our ideal customer look like? Gender? Age? Marital Status? Geographic location? Income level?
  3. What’s your budget for the prize?
  4. What is the prize you will give away? How many?
  5. Is the prize something that people will get excited about? Not just want, they have to desire it!
  6. Does this prize resonate with your target audience?

Here’s an example:

Market: Fashion
Ideal customer: Female, ages 21-35, single or married, income level of $45,000+
Budget: $4,000
Winners: 1
Prize: $4,000 Shopping Spree
Is prize exiting to your prospective customers? Yes
Is the prize relevant to your business? Yes

Think creatively when selecting a prize. If you are an action sports retailer, a professional photography session of the winner and friends surfing your local break would be a great prize. If you sell Ford cars, a trip to meet the 2015 Ford Mustang Master Sculptor Kevin Goff at the Ford Motor Company Engineering Design Center sounds awesome. Both prizes tie well into and enhance the brand. The right prize is key to designing a successful sweepstakes and is also fundamental to reaching new customers and elevating your brand.

Comments? Tell me on Facebook, Twitter or email me at marcos@momares.com.

3 Good Reasons Why QR Codes For Sweepstakes Entry Are a Bad Idea

Instead of making the process of entering a sweepstakes easier and faster, QR codes make the process of getting to the sweepstakes entry form cumbersome.

  1. Participants needs to understand what to do with the QR code. Does your target understand what the pixel black squares are  for?
  2. Participants needs a QR a code app to read the QR. Do they have a smartphone? Doe sit have a QR code reader app? Do they have to download a QR code reader app?
  3. It takes 3 additional steps to get to the sweepstakes entry from a QR code. 1. Launch QR app. 2. Scan QR code and 3. Go to the destination website.

You are better off just printing your sweepstakes entry page URL or simply asking participants to send a text message  to enter the mobile sweepstakes. Ex. Text BRAND to 65047 to enter.

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Pepsi Uses Text to Win (SMS) for Oscar Sweepstakes

The soft drink giant has been involved with mobile marketing since the very beginning. Pepsi knows well that their target audience is highly mobile engaged.

    “We’ve found that consumers are more willing to engage in a promotion via SMS than other methods of entry because it’s quick, convenient and now an   extremely commonplace form of communication,” said Gina Anderson, director of media relations at PepsiCo, Purchase, NY.

This mobile sweepstakes is well made because it fits the promotional moment well. This sweepstake runs with Regal Cinema during the pre-movie commercials. Moviegoers are instructed to send a text message with the code found on their Pepsi soft drink cup to a shortcode for a chance to win instantly.

The components that make this mobile sweepstake likely to succeed are:

  1. Right timing– During the pre-movie commercial run when moviegoers are awaiting the feature film.
  2. Target- Young demographic of moviegoers who are well aware and very comfortable with using text (SMS) messaging.
  3. Channel: The easiest and fasted way to enter a sweepstake is through texting in (text-to-win).
  4. Incentive: Participants will know right away if they have won one of instant win prizes or they remain entered to win the grand prize trip to the Oscars.

Good job Pepsi!

5 Lessons from Ad Tech New York

I traveled to New York on Nov. 7th to attend Ad: Tech. a conference billed as the “largest digital marketing event worldwide.” Since I’m in technology and marketing, I decided to see what I could learn.

Well, that’s not entirely true. The main reason I attended Ad:Tech was to network and build business leads from the advertising agencies attending—our core clients. Ad:Tech was huge, more than 400 business booths and 10,000 attendees. With that volume I was sure I’d meet many NYC ad agencies…so I thought.

I soon realized there were only 12 “creative/ad agencies” and only 3 were actual full-service agencies. Not the large group I expected. Long story short, for business prospecting, I was in the wrong place. I had to formulate a new strategy on the go or assume a time and money loss, tuck my tail in, and fly back to Miami with nothing to show for the effort.

Once I realized this, I decided I was going to focus on talking to as many people as possible to learn what they did and see what I could learn. I would also go to all the keynotes and presentations. Instead of business development, I worked on strategic research.

Five Things I learned at Ad:Tech New York 2013

1. Why doesn’t the ultra premium Cristal Champagne (or other luxury brands) advertise to the hip-hop loving minority market? Hip-hop loves luxury items; they mention them in their lyrics and show them on their videos. One reason why large luxury brands don’t invest a lot of ad capital on marketing to minorities is because they represent a very small portion of the overall market. If brands are going to pay for ads, they may as well aim for the lion’s share of the market. The other reason I learned is that large luxury brands don’t want their products associated with minorities. Their belief is that if you associate your brand with one group, you will disassociate your brand from another group. But what I found more interesting is that none of these luxury brands have a problem accepting minority dollars for their products.

2. Translating a commercial into Spanish so it can “target” Hispanics is not Hispanic marketing. Brands that target minorities should ensure their message has an authentic feel that resonates with the minority target. This is key to engaging the minority customer (or any customer). The point is, don’t just translate your ads to the language the minority target speaks, this feels disingenuous and fabricated. Create ads that truly “speak” to them. Ads that acknowledge the cultural differences and reflect the current realities of their day-to-day lives. This will increase the odds that the target audience will relate to your message and the benefit of the product.

3. “We know who you are, where you shop, what you like and we’ll suggest what you should buy next.” Ad network technologies responsible for placing the ads you see online are far more advanced, intelligent and hyper targeting capable than most marketers realize, understand or invest their budgets on. For now, the advertising technology meal feels like a buffet for one. The benefits will get clearer for marketers as time passes and these new benefits are adopted.

4. According to Kevin Jonas, ex-member of the Jonas Brothers band turned marketer, Millennials only care about three things:

  • a. Looking good. Does your brand or product make me look cool? Does it improve what I think of myself or what others think of me? Think of brands like Oakley, American Apparel or Lrg.
  • b. Feeling good. Does your product or service make me feel good about my purchase? Does it improve my health or appearance? Think of brands like Kashi or Bolthouse Farms.
  • c. Doing good. Does your product support the causes I care about? Is it environmentally friendly? Does it support my local community? Think Toms, Patagonia or Warby Parker.

Mr. Kevin Jonas directed the marketing strategy for the Jonas Brothers band and he said Millennials did not like getting advertising pushed on them. They like to “discover” products and services. If they liked your product, the reward was that they would share it with their friends on their social networks. Powerful reward!

5. Orange pants. I wore a pair of orange slacks to Ad:Tech and thought nothing of it. It turns out that in a networking setting they became a great conversation starter. People just approached me and commented on the orange pants and that got us talking about business. If you can wear something that stands out like handkerchief, a pin, a hat or a parrot on your shoulder, people will approach you to talk about it and they will remember you for it.

Bottom line, what I think was the most important lesson here is that in business, as in life, the best-laid plans can go astray. What you do from that point on can turn an apparent failure into an opportunity.

 

One Direction Instant Win Sweepstakes Via SMS Entry Is What Makes You Beautiful

Mondelez (Trident, Stride and Dentyne) is targeting the chewing-gum-loving teenagers who are also the largest text-(SMS)-messages-loving demographic. Using SMS text messages as the sweepstakes entry method is a no brainer. SMS also makes truly an “instant” win sweepstakes. You text in and you get an immediate response saying whether you won or not. See screenshots below.

All this is supported by a mobile optimize entry form and a desktop entry form. Mondelez does a good job at executing this sweep.