Nick Deyong, Founder and CEO at The NDL Group, explains how to make the most of your prize promotion strategy. PROMOTIONAL FEATURE
With clients often seeking to fulfil objectives such as brand engagement and customer loyalty, finding the right promotional prize incentive, one that connects with the target audience, can be key to achieving your campaign objectives.
Delivered well, prize promotions really can provide a good return. Promotional activity has been proven for many years to help change long-established shopping habits and drive attention to one particular brand over a competitor. A carefully crafted promotion, seen at the moment of an actual buying decision, can be a very powerful way to interrupt an automated buying pattern.
The biggest challenge at the start is usually to ensure there’s a really clear commercial objective. What do you want this promotion to achieve for your brand? Boost sales? Drive engagement? Captivating a target audience can be tough if the promotion is trying to cover off multiple goals.
Once you’ve got your ‘big idea’, delivering both the prize content and the mechanic as a slick end-to-end customer experience can prove tricky. We achieve this with Promotigo™, our proprietary technology that provides a user-friendly platform, while running complex technology, such as entry validation, behind the scenes.
Insight drives creativity
Obviously, we also use customer insight to drive the creative process. If you can tap into the emotion behind a purchasing decision, you can really achieve a targeted campaign. Linking your brand to a relevant theme or product that makes your customers feel good is a fantastic way to get them engaged.
We’ve done this recently with Thirst Pockets, Intertissue’s brand of kitchen towels. By associating the brand with everyday essentials at the heart of the home, we link to the positive feelings of family-time, comfort and security. A promotion which helps the consumer make this connection, in a split second, can be very powerful indeed.
Another element that has to be taken into account is measurement. What constitutes success for your promotion? Setting the objective in the first instance will help you set KPIs to measure the impact of your promotion.
With digital campaigns, for example, we can very quickly report back on traffic to our platform, such as numbers of competition entries or cashback claims validated. Most of our clients are keen to monitor their promotions daily through our real-time reporting dashboard.
Further reporting can also be put in place to measure a promotion’s wider impact for the brand, such as a rise in the volume and reach of user generated content on social media, or an increase in newsletter sign-ups or even additional media coverage generated in the audience’s target titles.
OK, you have your objectives and your big creative idea. You have worked out the mechanics which will deliver to the target audience via the most appropriate and cost-effective channels and how you are going to measure success.
Before you go any further, however, you have to take into account potential regulatory or legal challenges. It’s essential that a brand complies with relevant laws and regulations. Most of our clients are experienced in running great promotions, but they don’t necessarily have the in-house resource or expertise required to make it all happen. It’s essential that any promotion is checked by qualified legal experts.
Cross border blues
Cross-border promotions can be particularly fraught with complexity, with legal and compliance issues presenting a multitude of challenges. The UK enjoys possibly the least regulation, and Europe or the US are relatively straight-forward too, as long you have the right contacts in the various countries you plan to run the promotion in to make sure you have stuck to local laws and regulations.
Roll out a promotion further afield, however, and you’ve got to be very wary. Asia, Australia, Latin America and Africa have widely differing laws and regulations to the UK, Europe and America and also to each other.
It’s not impossible to run a truly global campaign, but there are always going to be compromises that have to be made in order to comply with local laws.
The trick is to ensure the campaign concept is creative yet flexible, otherwise the legal costs can outweigh the benefits of the promotion. With the right contacts, a multi-territory model can usually be agreed, but it takes a certain level of legal expertise to even start the conversation!
Making people happy
Finally, don’t forget that there is even more work to be done once the promotion has finished – you have to manage the delivery of the prizes.
Dealing with happy winners is a perk of the job for us, especially when they’re delighted with their once-in-a-lifetime trip! But managing a brand’s winners takes incredible attention to detail. It is vital to ensure their experience really is one of the highlights of their life, so that they become an important brand advocate for the long-term. It’s fun, but there’s an unbelievable amount of work that goes on behind the scenes.
Also, for brands to get the most of out their promotional budgets, they need to leverage the prize winner experience, which these days can be very effectively done via social media.
Give your prize winners a fabulous experience and they should be more than happy to spread the message by sharing the highlights on social media. This can be hugely powerful, although obviously it has to genuinely come from them, which means you have to deliver a really great experience. Getting prize winners to endorse and advocate a brand can increase the reach of your campaign ten-fold.
You can also encourage winners (and entrants) to submit and share their own User Generated Content (UGC), although you must always be careful to stick within the regulations and laws which apply in the territories the promotion is running in.
The NDL Group was founded in 1997 by Nick Deyong, with heritage in radio promotions. Now a multiple award-winning group based in North London, NDL offers a complete, end-to-end brand promotion service to media owners, blue-chip brands and their agencies. Specific teams offer a range of expertise including campaign planning, building bespoke promotional platforms, fulfilling all aspects of prizes, experiences and rewards, and total winner management. For more information please visit ndlgroup.com or call 0207 428 1214. PROMOTIONAL FEATURE