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With Mother’s Day behind us, it is time to give some thought to what you are going to implement to stay ahead of the pack for Father’s Day 2015 (6th September).

Have you ever run a competition or is it time to consider running one?

Your database is one of your biggest assets so, continuing to grow this each year is an important part of growing your business/brand value. Competitions are great ways of doing this…

people love almost anything for free… if you make it easy for them

Patrick previously wrote about how to shape your promotion here, however, today I am going to expand upon running a competition.

1.       Objectives

What are the objectives of your competition? Why are you running one? (hint: to grow your database?). What product or services are you trying to sell or move faster? Who do you want to attract to enter? Is it more of your Primary Target Market? Or more female customers? Make sure you stay focussed on these objectives throughout the competition to help you implement the right things along the way.

2.       Plan, Plan, Plan

Take a planned approach to your competition by starting with a competition implementation plan and budget. Think through how you are going to achieve the objectives you set above, what steps are involved, what marketing tools and materials need to be developed etc.

Most importantly, what data do you want to collect from your entrants e.g. name, email, phone, suburb, opt in box?

I still see many competitions being run by small business operators that are not collecting even the basic data and worse still… are using raffle tickets, which are hand written on, as the entry form.

Also, ensure you meet the regulatory requirements via South Australia’s The Office of the Liquor and Gambling Commissioner which is now known as Consumer and Business Services http://www.cbs.sa.gov.au/wcm/licensing-and-registration/lotteries/

3.       Choose technology

If you are going to use technology to run your competition (recommended), ensure that you evaluate the alternatives and choose a platform that is right for you and your customers e.g. your website and an iPad, Facebook App, Instagram. Try to find a current competition that uses the same platform and test it there first. Once you have set it all up, ensure that you test, test, test it for glitches and ease of use.

Also, ensure that the data can be exported to a useable file at the end of your competition so you can easily extract it for your database – this will save you time in data entry at the end.

4.       Tell your team/staff

If your staff/team are an essential part of the implementation of your competition, ensure that they are up to speed with all of the details and get them excited about it. Brief them in and then get them to roll play or practice the key messages of the competition.

5.       Promote your Competition

Your competition will achieve far greater outcomes if you spend some time/money promoting it to a wider audience. Communicate with your existing database by email/text marketing, Social Media channels, update your sign board out the front etc. Communicate it with a wider audience via advertising, letterbox drop, neighbouring businesses or you could also consider partnering with another brand (with a similar customer base or target audience) to use their channels to market it.

6.       Implementation

Decide on a launch time/date and then roll out all of your marketing materials and tools from then. Keep an eye on things and make sure you seek your staffs’ feedback along the way, especially if you are using technology. Review your targets (e.g. the number of entries or level of engagement) half way through the competition period to see how you are tracking.

Also, remember to publicise the winner and share their story/excitement via your blog, Social Media, eNews etc.

7.       Review and Analysis

Review the final outcomes of the competition – did you achieve your initial objectives? Why? Why not? Ask your staff for feedback and improvements? Make note of ideas for improvements for your next competition (Christmas?) or for next Father’s Day. You should also be able to recycle a lot of the materials/tools that were developed so that you can get some economies of scale for your investment – this comes back to your objectives and your Marketing Plan.

 

If you implement these 7 tips, you will have a better chance of running a successful competition and of achieving the outcomes you set out to achieve. You will also get some great brand recognition along the way. Naturally, if you get stuck, feel free to give us a call, we would love to help.

Then, your next marketing challenge is to gain some repeat customers out of the new customers that your competition generated (if that was your objective!).

Most importantly, have fun and make sure whoever completed the bulk of the work calls the winner to notify them – it is the most rewarding part!

Image by the US Army on Flickr (CC by 2.0)

 

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